Three Strategies for Achieving Digital Excellence

Jun  27 
Author Picture 
Virginia Heyburn  Vice President, Strategy and Thought Leadership, Fiserv 

Brand leadership in financial services relies on consistent experiences

Generational preferences, new technologies and a growing field of competitors are challenging financial institutions to transform the customer experience into one that is seamless, fast and convenient, keeping in step with the way people live and work today.

Outstanding service that builds trust and loyalty calls for flawless digital engagement, deeply personal human interactions, and tightly integrated digital and in-person channels. Today, financial institutions are striving toward that goal by building their brands on technology and elevating the digital experience to the CEO level.

Those efforts will continue in the coming years as brand leadership in financial services hinges more and more on technology. Here are three strategies to help you succeed in that environment:

1. Widen Your Digital Footprint

The banking industry has done a good job digitizing deposits in the past decade, but that is no longer enough. The next step will be digitizing all payments and lending offerings and providing a consistent experience across all those services.

Today, digital lending options are spotty, the experience is loaded with hassle, and they look and feel fragmented. Payment services are starting to move to all-digital platforms.

2. Prioritize Money Movement as a Brand Builder

Why put customers in the position of choosing which payment rail moves their money? Historically, financial institution online payment interfaces have asked people to choose between a bill pay tab and a person-to-person tab, depending on which provider they want to pay.

That approach is evolving to better reflect how people think about payments. Most people have little idea of the different payment rails moving money behind that interface and even less idea which may be most efficient. To them, making the choice is an extra step.

In the future, people will simply tell their banks or credit unions how much money to move, who it's going to and when it needs to be there. The financial institution will work it out behind a simple, clean, fast experience. And speed is essential. Prior Fiserv Expectations & Experiences research shows that 93 percent of millennials say real-time payment delivery is important for a good payments experience.

3. Set One Experience as the New Normal

For customers, banking relationships must be available across all channels they could conceivably use. People need to be able to hop seamlessly across channels.

For example, someone might want to start a loan origination in one channel and finish it in another. Across channels, the experience that person is having looks the same, and it's simple, intuitive and fast. And younger customers want to split tasks, stepping in and out of a single financial services process, such as loan origination, multiple times.

Ingredients for a Brand-Building Customer Experience

Create a dialog with people and avoid the monologue


Deliver 24/7 excellence, rapid transactions, offers and decision making


Allow customers to shift easily from task to task and channel to channel

Be a part of people's daily activities for easy financial services

Building Trust and Loyalty

Banks are in the business of building digital trust. Without it, our industry will struggle.

Digital services excellence can drive that loyalty and trust by being always on, highly secure, minimizing mistakes, making relevant offers and providing immediate responses. Constant innovation is the path forward, along with keeping the digital-human balance in check and taking care not to "transactionalize" the emotional.