I’m sure the many advantages of self-service online banking have been covered at length all over the internet. But this isn’t one of those articles. Instead, we’ll discuss some of its pitfalls.
As more and more bank customers take advantage of the online banking services, banks have to take a closer look if they are providing superior these services. A bad experience in your online banking portal will still be a bad banking experience associated to your brand. So let’s take a look at some of the common ways banks fail at self-service online banking.
1. Badly-Designed Portal Can Reflect Badly On The Entire Bank
Your online banking service is no longer just a side-show. Its an important offering of your business that should be treated the same as your regular banking services. Having a badly-designed online banking portal makes your online banking customers assume that’s how you do things normally and could encourage them to go to other banks that have a more user-friendly, yet still sophisticated online banking portal.
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It isn’t a surprise if some banks will be left behind. Of course, when online banking was in its early stages, it was either treated as a novelty, or something to reflect how innovative your bank it or it was merely something to serve a minority of customers who just preferred to do things online. Now, things have shifted in such a way that your primary customers prefer more and more to use your online banking service.
But what does it mean to have a portal that’s not user-friendly? It can be any number of things such as:
- Complicated navigation
- Too many menu options
- Menu that’s too deep (More than 2 levels)
- Using technical banking terms
- Page loading too slow
- Operations frequently result in errors
- Non-streamlined online banking processes
- No option to get immediate help or support
- Too much text
- Unnecessary pdfs
If you want to have a top notch online banking facility, you’ll need to remember and go back to the main point of online banking itself - you made it because the customer wants an EASIER and FASTER way to do banking. Therefore, everything should be stripped down.
Put only a few options in the navigation and stop using acronyms that only those working in the banking industry know. Use simple language and if you have to use complicated banking terms in a page, make sure there’s a way for your customer to find out what it is; either a pop-up that shows its definition as you hover the mouse over it, or put an online chat function. If a certain process such as transferring money takes six pages or mouse clicks before the operation is executed, reduce it to three. Does a page have too much text? Find better ways to display information such as dashboards, tables, charts and cut text to a minimum.
Make your online bank as easy as possible and in a way that even teenagers can use it. After all, that is the essence of what online banking is trying to achieve. A complicated online banking portal is just about as useful as a bike with an octagonal wheel - it works, but only with difficulty.
2. Different Technological Proficiency Levels of Online Banking Customers
It won’t be right to assume that only those who are familiar with online banking will be the only ones to use your online banking portal. Some of your new customers could be first-time users or maybe some of your less tech-savvy customers would like to give it a try after hearing how convenient it is.
It’s because customers have different levels of technological proficiency that leads to the failure of self-service online banking. It’s assuming that everyone can understand whatever you put out there without giving it enough thought that leads to failure.
Just remember that whatever is the minimum level of user-friendliness required by your customers, that’s the level you’ll have to keep in mind when developing your online banking services..
3. Lack of Online, On-Demand and Personalized Support
Online support is the equivalent of your in-branch customer service provided by your tellers or representatives, and their importance isn’t any less. If online banking customers are just as important to you, then you should consider giving them enough support through chat functionalities in your portal.
Without online customer support, your customers will have no outlet to clarify their doubts. Sure, you may have a F.A.Q. page, but that’s not enough. Not by a longshot. Your interaction needs to be personalized and available on-demand and with customer service representatives. There should also be multiple ways for customers to reach you - phone, chat, bots or artificial intelligence, voice chat, video chat and email are some of the ways you can be more reachable.
Online banking can’t be treated as an “extra” anymore. Banks have to take their self-service online banking seriously. Otherwise, a badly-designed portal, confused online banking customers and the lack of online customer service support can lead to customers jumping overboard to banks that have a more user-friendly and streamlined online banking service.