Most banks & credit unions are their own worst competition

Stop angsting over how this neobank, that fintech, that big tech firm are going to change banking. Focus instead on what consumers really want, then use reverse engineering to create the digital products that will help your financial institution win. Without superior customer experience, no amount of marketing will save you.

As challenger brands and big tech muscle in further into financial services, how can banks and credit unions survive the attacks? Frankly, they need to stop focusing on these new rivals — and instead concentrate on improving the value their financial products to consumers. That energy will address consumers’ rising expectations and counter new players’ actions. You can’t stop the newcomers, but you can push your own offerings to new heights.

It’s natural, in the face of deteriorating results, to try to fight rivals head on. But when this doesn’t help, financial institutions shift the focus inside and seek out scapegoats. But typically results continue eroding. So they pour money into increased advertising and aggressive sales drives.

On the surface, this seems very decisive. But none of this helps. It just demoralizes and demotivates the institution’s partners and staff.

Institutions must instead determine what’s wrong with their offerings, what’s missing, and why consumers reject them. You can’t force the world to adopt your product, but you can adapt your product to the world. Indeed, digital transformation is pointless if it doesn’t improve user experience.

 

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