Responding to the growing number of consumers who interact with their bank regularly in more than one channel, retail banks are developing new strategies and planning to invest more resources toward meeting these multichannel demands. This is according to the second annual survey of Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) members conducted by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) in collaboration with CBA’s Digital Channels Committee.
The joint CBA/Forrester research project surveyed digital executives at 21 leading banks, primarily in the US and Canada. Twenty of these 21 executives reported that their bank has a digital strategy, but the bulk do not believe they currently have the budget needed to support multichannel initiatives. However, while the majority of respondents agree that multichannel customer profitability is hard to measure, the banks surveyed are generally optimistic about delivering a compelling multichannel experience in the coming years. Some 48% reported plans to build a multichannel application status tool, and 90% indicated plans to grow their full-time headcount dedicated to multichannel support and strategy in the next 12 months.
“Multichannel customers comprise 88% of today’s customer base, according to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data, and this number is expected to grow as mobile and tablet banking adoption increases,” said Tiffani Montez, Forrester Research principal analyst serving eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals. “Yet few banks have connected their multiple channels to create an integrated multichannel experience. To move multichannel strategies from dream to reality, banks will need to optimize their multichannel services and develop tools that support seamless cross-channel interactions among branches, ATMs, call centers, and the Web.”
Survey respondents reported that banks are still investing most heavily in the online channel, but mobile investment is increasing year by year. Top digital investment priorities for 2013 are reported to be infrastructure upgrades and online sales and service upgrades.
“CBA and our Digital Channels Committee members are examining the growing segment of multichannel customers and asking how we can work to meet their evolving needs,” said Richard Hunt, CBA president and CEO. “Our annual research collaboration with Forrester is a valuable industry resource that illustrates investment priorities across a wide variety of banks throughout North America.”
The findings of this second annual survey are summarized in the report “The State Of North American Digital And Multichannel Banking 2013” and enable eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals in the banking industry to benchmark their priorities, goals, and metrics. The results were previewed in March as part of the Digital Channels Forum at CBA LIVE 2013 in Phoenix, Ariz.
The CBA/Forrester report is available here. Forrester clients have access to the report via their normal subscription service.
The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is the trade association for today’s leaders in retail banking — banking services geared toward consumers and small businesses. The nation’s largest financial institutions, as well as many regional banks, are CBA corporate members, collectively holding two-thirds of the industry’s total assets. CBA’s mission is to preserve and promote the retail banking industry as it strives to fulfill the financial needs of the American consumer and small business.