By Campbell Shaw, Head of International Bank Partnerships at Cardlytics
The shift in the digital ecosystem for banks, brands and consumers this year, has been like no other since smartphones became a thing. Customers have demanded more digitalisation, driven by the need to be served in new ways, which has sparked innovation in banking like never before.
But as we look towards lockdown lifting, what must banks do to keep customers engaged?
Reconsider what is value
2020 saw a race to add value for customers. Be it through digital developments providing enhanced customer service, or new rewards schemes, both fintechs and traditional players have been reconsidering their brand appeal and using tech to develop more engaging offers and experiences for customers.
Of course, value comes in many shapes and forms, but being part of this revolution means marrying digital developments with customer expectations: convenience, efficiency, and value.
Take MBNA for example, we’ve recently partnered with them to develop a rewards programme tailored to each customer’s unique spending habits, so they can reward customers as they spend on our newly re-opened high streets. They understand the customer has a choice at the point of payment as to which card is used to get that coffee or lunch and they have made it more valuable for the customer to choose their card.
As we emerge from lockdown the banks that truly understand what brings value to their customers will be best positioned to succeed.
Invest in engagement
Last year, customers checked their mobile banking apps more than ever before, prompted by an increased need to manage their finances even more tightly and with more time on their hands they interacted with their banks more frequently.
But this environment of forced engagement is changing. As customers leave their sofas and hit the high streets once again this summer with more confidence and with money to spend on things they need, a new challenge is emerging for banks – how to build more meaningful relationships to keep customers engaged when they no longer have to be.
With the high street reopening, competition for customer attention will yet again be fierce. But this need not impact banks negatively. Banks need to think about what unique digital services they can offer to help customers as they transition out of lockdown. For some that might be more regular account balance notifications as their spending increases, for others it might be relevant offers and rewards at their favourite brands, while for some it might be as simple as making one app the place to check and manage all their different financial accounts and decisions.
For our new digitally native partner Curve, adding value to customers means offering convenience and simplicity, allowing customers to merge their existing banks into one clever card, and an even cleverer app. We have been working with them to build a rewards model that complements their brand ethos, while creating meaningful moments to engage with their customers.
Work with brands
We’re at a unique point in time, as lockdown slowly lift customers are poised and ready to spend with their favourite brands. On the other hand, brands are increasingly looking for avenues to market to prospective customers.
Both are missing a trick.
Banks can build customer engagement and loyalty by offering rewards schemes in-app that are targeted and tailored to the spending they see day in, day out. Brands can use offers and rewards to identify, map and target existing and new customers with relevant offers thanks to bank spend data.
The solution is simple. If brand marketeers and banks can be unified, there’s a huge opportunity to help them both increase their value with customers.
Campbell is Head of International Bank Partnerships at Cardlytics. Prior to joining Cardlytics, Campbell led the RBS (now NatWest) mobile banking partnership for Monitise, a UK Fintech. Campbell has also held senior leadership roles for data-led businesses including Dun and Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax. Campbell also co-founded ePolitix.com, the portal for Westminster, Whitehall, and the devolved institutions.