How Retail Banks Can Get More Out of Mobile with Layer

The world’s biggest retail banks have invested heavily in their mobile app strategies. They’re far from matching the reach of other popular consumer apps. But nearly 30 million monthly active users for JPMorgan Chase shows promise for an industry that was slow to adapt.

Now, consumer expectations have reached a point that simply having a mobile banking experience isn’t enough. Retail banks have to question whether or not they’re delivering real value for consumers—or if they’re just replicating a creaky old website on mobile.

Just this week, Layer COO John Montgomery and VP of Sales Bill Hu presented at FinovateFall 2017 to discuss this mobile challenge in retail banking.

Millennials might not want to visit physical branches, but they still expect personal banking services and financial institutions have to be ready to provide them through mobile.

Retail Banking Trends Demanding More Mobile Value

It’s not just mobile that’s changing the retail banking industry. Widespread digital transformation trends have disrupted the industry, creating a sort of “do-or-die” moment for retail banks in 2017.

Now is not the time to lag behind the competition. The following trends demand action from retail banks and a more valuable, consumer-facing mobile experience:

  • Rising Interest Rates Changing the Product Portfolio: Interests rates are rising for the first time in years, opening the door for greater retail bank profitability. Lending, wealth accounts, CDs and other dormant products are more viable than in previous years, but not if they can’t be sold effectively. Mastering mobile can help unlock this potential revenue stream.
  • From Disruption to Convergence: Startup FinTech companies have been disrupting retail banking in recent years. However, Moven CEO Brett King notes that 2017 is the year of convergence—when the lines between banks, lenders FinTechs, and other financial services firms blur. Partnerships, mergers, and innovation will accelerate competition, making mobile customer experiences a key differentiator.
  • FinTechs Have Raised the Customer Experience Bar: Even in the midst of industry convergence, the fact remains that “Challenger banks also set the standard for personalized and contextual experiences,” according to Daryl Wilkinson, Managing Director at DWC Strategy and Innovation. Rather than resisting the disruption, retail banks must embrace new technology.
  • Decoupling Branch Operations from Physical Location: Just about every retail bank has a mobile app, but that doesn’t mean the experience is complete. A survey from The Financial Brand found that just 17% of bankers believe the entire account-opening process can be completed via mobile. While 29% expect to fix this in 2017, there needs to be more urgency in mobile improvement.
  • Resource Asymmetry Widening the Competition Gap: Regional banks and credit unions have trailed larger institutions in terms of access to resources. However, they’ll continue to fall behind in the customer journey as digital transformation widens this gap in competition. Maximizing the mobile customer experience can differentiate these smaller institutions and create greater customer satisfaction/loyalty.

These trends (and the struggle to meet their demands) show that retail banks aren’t looking at mobile correctly. Rather than focusing on products and traditional metrics, banks should be creating customer-centric mobile experiences.  

This is where Layer can help.

Layer Helps Retail Banks Transform the Customer Experience

The Layer Customer Conversation Platform is built to help retail banks create a mobile experience rooted in valuable customer conversations.

But this doesn’t just mean improving the mobile user interface to drive more branch engagements. Embracing mobile messaging to drive the digital experience puts the full power of your financial services in the palms of customer hands.

Implementing rich conversations with the help of Layer lets your mobile app do things like:

  • Automatically generate account balance updates and offer transfer recommendations when appropriate
  • Engage in 1:1 conversations with personal bankers for in-depth questions/transactions
  • Execute transfers and other transactions within the mobile conversation through interactive messages (including biometric support for security)
  • Recommend and sell financial products (for example, as a collection of interactive options in response to queries)
  • Enable peer-to-peer payments and compete in a market dominated by agile FinTechs

These are just a few of the features that a Layer-powered mobile experience can offer. But if you want to get a better idea of how these rich conversations might work, check out this demo video showing the potential for retail banks:

Layer Retail Banking Mockup from Layer on Vimeo

Achieve Your Strategic Retail Banking Goals with Layer

At a time when competition is at an all-time high, retail banks don’t have time to let digital disruptors surpass them in customer experience. At the same time, decision makers can’t sacrifice business success for a disconnected mobile experience—the two have to be intertwined.

Layer helps retail banks achieve strategic priorities that use customer experience to drive business success, such as:

  • Maximize New Accounts per Sales FTE: By connecting customers to digital “branches” via a mix of bots and personal banks, banks that use Layer will be able to move more customers down the signup funnel more efficiently on mobile. This “more with less” approach is critical for the current competitive landscape.
  • Increase Sales Conversion per Inbound Call: Focusing on inbound messages and creating an experience where customers can receive personalized offers, asynchronously chat with bankers, and actually do all the necessary legwork to set up an account within the chat, banks using Layer can stop bleeding customers who get frustrated with more antiquated acquisition processes.
  • Decrease Customer Attrition Rate: Credit cards linked to subscriptions may create switching costs, but retail banking customers aren’t locked into brands today and have little-to-no actual loyalty. Create a highly-differentiated experience with Layer to develop a close relationship with customers without needed branches everywhere (that people don’t want to visit anyway).
  • Appeal to Millennials Who Hate Phone Calls and Going into Branches: Layer helps banks create an entirely frictionless experience for interacting with your bank that isn’t simply a shrunk down website. This, in turn, helps you compete with digital native financial companies who already focus on mobile.
  • Increase Customer Lifetime Value: By creating a differentiated personal channel with customers and building trust, banks can sell more products and services and “handle” more of their customers’ financial lives.

If you want to learn more about achieving these strategic goals with Layer, contact us today for a free demo of the Customer Conversation Platform.