The future is channel agnostic

by. Bethan Cowper

The financial industry has faced multiple challenges in recent times, from advancements in technology to the increase in consumer education and expectation. This has led to the rise in the methods available to perform banking actions, coining the term “multi-channel banking.” However, as innovation and expectations have continued to grow, multiple channels by themselves are no longer sufficient to quell both industry and consumer requirements. Omni-channel banking is the next step up; still offering channel variety, yet delivering consistency across the channels and therefore a far superior banking experience for the customer.

In order to stay competitive in the market, credit unions can no longer afford to view each channel as a silo. Members are seeking a unified, streamlined experience regardless of the channel they use, and credit unions need to adapt to these requirements. Whilst industry experts continue to debate which channel is the future of banking and whether or not the branch is dying, financial institutions that take a broader approach to investing in the future are coming out on top.

Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that the variety of channels available does not result in the abandonment of traditional banking mediums. One channel does not negate the next—mobile banking isn’t the “new” Internet banking and so forth. Instead, customers are choosing to use multiple channels to carry out their everyday banking activities depending on numerous factors, from convenience and geographical location, down to security and perceived risk. A report from eMarketer shows that 85 percent of Americans that use Internet banking still visit the branch and nearly all respondents of the survey utilized more than one banking channel in their daily lives. This cements the idea that customers will use any channel made available to them and that it is this distribution of usage that is represented by declining figures.

With this in mind, by not offering other channels that are available on the market, credit unions could be cutting themselves off from increased revenue and member adoption. Omni-channel banking offers credit unions the opportunity to extend their reach beyond traditional banking to cater for the evolving requirements of their members.

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