New research from Internet giant Cisco underlines the finding that the majority of consumers are willing to provide their financial institution with access to more of their personal information in return for more personalized services.
“The topline message is that the future of retail banking will be defined by offering a higher degree of personalized services,” said Al Slamecka, marketing manager, Financial Services, for Cisco.
He added, “It might begin with providing a greater degree of control to consumers. We will also see consumers thinking about interacting versus transacting with banks through virtual channels.”
The research offered a medley of numbers. For instance: what consumers most want in dealing with a financial institution or advisor are availability (63%), competence (65%) and efficiency (68%).
Consumers also indicated a willingness to exchange more details about their finances in exchange for greater protection from identity theft (83%), increased savings (80%), personalized service (78%) and greater simplicity (56%) in managing their finances.
A major finding: consumer comfort with virtual communications channels is increasing. Per Cisco’s numbers, 71% indicate they are comfortable with the increasing use of virtual communications in addition to in-person financial conversations.
Slamecka elaborated that 34% of consumers said they were willing to do video chats with a financial adviser instead of person to person,
He indicated that a worrisome data point is that the majority of consumers say their financial institution does not know enough about them to offer personalized services.
Another data point: 46% said they would be comfortable opening an account with a purely online financial institution.
“It’s a mistake for financial institutions to believe that it’s only in the branch where high-touch relationships with consumers are possible,” said Slamecka.