Third annual report finds largest US banks moved ahead of Europeans, while Australian banks maintained their lead in supporting digital customer acquisition.
Avoka, the global leader in customer acquisition journeys in banking, today unveiled the findings of its 2018 State of Digital Sales in Banking Report. The report, now in its third year, compares the digital account opening capabilities of 50 of the largest banks in North America, Europe, and Australia, measuring both the breadth of their offerings and the quality of their customer experience.
“The results of this year’s report speak for themselves - account opening and onboarding have emerged as a hot spot in the digital transformation of the customer experience. Banks have acknowledged that no matter how well their digital marketing works, if their digital sales efforts don’t match up, customers simply won’t convert. They have accepted that digital account opening capabilities are a must-have, not a nice-to-have,” said Phil Copeland, Avoka CEO.
This year’s report brings back Avoka’s proprietary “Digital Sales in Banking Readiness Matrix.” Drawn from the company’s leading knowledge of the global digital sales landscape, the Matrix maps out which banks which are lagging behind in their digital sales implementation, which have prioritized digital readiness, and which have reached the optimal “Digital Promised Land.” The Matrix is the only tool of its kind to measure both the quality and the quantity of banks’ digital offerings.
While banks continued to improve their digital onboarding capabilities over the past year, the global landscape has shifted in notable ways. Australian banks remain the leaders in the digital race, but this year’s study found that North American banks are quickly catching up. North American banks showed the largest year over year improvement, led strongly by the US. Data reveals that in 2018, the number of US banks that reached the “Digital Promised Land” doubled, reflecting the strong efforts that large US institutions are applying to digital sales.
In Europe, meanwhile, a restrictive regulatory climate caused a slowdown in digital transformation efforts. With banks in countries such as the UK focused on preparing for far-reaching directives like Open Banking and GDPR, many fell behind in their digital sales readiness. Even European banks that fared well in prior years showed flat trajectories in the 2018 Report.
Improvements Made, Challenges Remain
Over all, the number of banks in the “Digital Promised Land” has increased to almost 50% in this year’s report. Helping to drive this progress is the personal banking sector, where 69% of products worldwide can now be applied for online. Also of note is a sharp reduction in the gap between mobile and desktop digital account openings over the past year—from over 50% to only 20%. Mobile account openings are quickly becoming the norm for personal, wealth, and business accounts, refuting the notion that consumers want to ‘browse but not buy’ on mobile.
While still lagging behind personal banking and wealth management, business banking—the most profitable and most complex of many banks’ product lines—has also displayed notable progress in digital account opening availability over the past year, with a worldwide increase of 300% for online sales readiness. As major banks continue to build out their digital sales capabilities, this is likely to form one of the most important new battlegrounds.
“We have seen dramatic improvement in the state of banks’ digital sales capabilities over the past year, but there is still much work to be done,” says Copeland. “Business banking in particular presents the next frontier for banks as they seek to ensure frictionless, user-friendly account opening and onboarding experiences across all business lines. Implementing effective digital sales processes in this area will be a key task for banks going forward.”
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