Why great CX is the doorway to success with open banking for financial services firms
How can financial services providers ensure they deliver an experience that meets people's high and evolving expectations?
Last updated January 3, 2023
Open banking allows non-banking organizations to offer financial services to customers via application programming interfaces (APIs). And since its inception in 2018, it’s been changing the way people manage their money. From personal money management apps and price comparison services to accounting apps for businesses, millions of companies and consumers use open banking to stay on top of their everyday finances.
For providers of open banking apps and services, it’s a hotly contested—and often unforgiving—operating landscape. In fact, half of financial services customers say they would walk away from a company after a single bad experience. As a result, customer experience (CX) has long been the financial services industry’s top priority.
But how can financial services providers ensure they deliver an experience that meets people’s high (and evolving) expectations? The key is having a customer-first philosophy in which the needs of users are at the heart of any products and services they develop.
Data privacy and transparency are key
For many years, information about financial transactions was held by banks and building societies. Yet the arrival of open banking forced them to share that data with non-banks (with the consent of customers), sparking a new wave of innovation. This, in turn, means businesses and individuals can now leverage their own banking data to access tools designed to help them get the most out of their money.
Yet, of course, the ability to share financial data also brings some uncertainty. People are wary about giving third-party financial services providers (TPPs) access to their information, and many may not know, for example, that open banking is closely regulated by national authorities.
Understanding that TPPs must follow strict data security rules could help alleviate hesitant customers’ concerns and give them the confidence they need to get started with open banking. It’s therefore vital that companies are clear with customers about how their financial information will be used, stored, and secured.
Investing in artificial intelligence (AI) is investing in your customers
AI can also be powerful in delivering the seamless experience customers demand. By helping businesses automate simple tasks while learning about customers and their behaviors, AI tools like chatbots can help financial services companies deliver a more personalized and effective CX.
Personal banking app Cleo is a great example. Designed to help Gen Z customers manage their money, the app uses an AI chatbot to connect with people in an engaging and entertaining way. Information is delivered in a conversational, friendly tone, often with accompanying memes. The app has some fun features, too, including a ‘roast’ option, which provides witty observations about the user’s spending habits. These roasts are highly shareable and have gone viral on social media, helping Cleo attract more customers.
What’s more, as AI technologies evolve, people and businesses are becoming more aware of the benefits. Zendesk’s chatbot and AI research reveals that 39 percent of consumers expect AI to improve their customer experience. Meanwhile, about a third of businesses are allocating 10 to 24 percent of their customer service technology budget to investing in AI. Both factors will help accelerate progress.
Open banking in action
Monese provides a banking app with an account and debit card that makes it easier for people to get set up in a new country, making it especially popular with immigrants and returning ex-pats who need borderless access to their money. Crucially, it uses Zendesk’s omnichannel solution to support its broad customer base. This is another key element in delivering an efficient and scalable open banking service, as it allows customers to enjoy a seamless and efficient experience—no matter how or where they are interacting with their financial services provider.
Since implementing Zendesk, Monese has increased customer satisfaction by 10 percent while reducing its overall first response time (FRT) by 59 percent. The company has also leveraged Zendesk Guide to better manage tickets, providing help center articles in eight languages. This means that when customers request support from the app, they are served the right help center article before the support phone number is shown.
TrueLayer’s open banking platform enables engineers and businesses to build better financial experiences for their customers. Using its open APIs, businesses can securely access financial data from their customers’ bank accounts to facilitate transactions and validate customer identity.
As part of its customer service strategy during the pandemic, TrueLayer invested in Zendesk Sunshine. Using this customer relationship management (CRM) platform, the company was able to compile all its customer data in a single customer view, which improved response rates at a time when the tech industry was under significant pressure. The company also uses Zendesk Guide to store and provide FAQ articles for users. Impressively, TrueLayer’s CSAT is now above 95 percent.
Standing out from the competition
The current economic situation is leading many individuals and businesses to re-examine their financial priorities. More than ever before, people want greater control over their money without having to compromise the security of their data and without needing to spend huge amounts of their precious time managing their day-to-day finances.
This represents a real and exciting opportunity for any financial services company that is able to offer open banking solutions that meet this need. In a crowded and competitive market, delivering a truly effective and differentiated experience can be tough. But companies that invest in their CX right now may find themselves leapfrogging their competition into the future.