Banks are plagued by a litany of archaic processes and outmoded design. That was just about bearable before the digital age, but is there any room for it today?

We’re constantly playing catch-up in fintech; most other tech industries face far fewer regulations. There are a lot of key messages coming out of 11:FS, but the number one message is that digital banking is 1% finished. Sometimes you can lose sight of what that means and how it affects people. But the other day it became apparent in quite a public way.

Now I’m not going to say that Derren Brown is a master of all things banking, although he probably would have some interesting ideas, but he raises a good point. Banks waste time. Not just their own with needlessly long processes and interminable reviews, but they’re now actively damaging customer relationships.

We live in a time where customers are suffering from greater poverty, or at least it’s perceived that way, than ever. People are doing more things and more is available to them than ever before. Switching from one task to another is a surefire way to kill individual productivity, so why would any customer stick with a bank that refuses to adapt to their needs by wasting their precious time? They wouldn’t, so it’s up to banks to adapt to the 21st Century and start providing products which focus on customer needs.

Customer focus


Digital has been the focus of the financial industry for years. Unfortunately, that’s been a focus on digitisation not digitalisation, resulting in a digital banking industry that’s only 1% finished. The major issue with digitisation is that it creates pointlessly difficult customer journeys. Customer journeys are vital to customer happiness, you can see thousands of them for yourself on our 11:FS Pulse platform.

Unhappy customers do not want to purchase your products. Unhappy customers do not want to waste their time on pointless paperwork. And most importantly, unhappy customers do not want to be your customer at all.

We’ve seen intensive fallout when customers have been denied efficient service. TSB suffered a loss of approximately 12,500 customers after their woes earlier this year, and while catastrophic one-off events like that aren’t commonplace, the underlying issues remain the same. Poor customer experiences.

Smarter not faster


Not understanding your customers’ key pain points is a fundamental error being made across the banking industry. If you learn what customers care about in their journey before they even take the first step then you can create a journey that’s pain-free. By mapping out the journey early on, you can create a smart and easy path for customers to follow that doesn’t waste anyone’s time.

Using an approach rooted in knowing what your customers need rather than focusing on your own processes first means you can deliver a service that solves their needs and into which you fit your requirements. The customer comes first rather than the business. It may sound counter-intuitive but if a business provides a minimum loveable product then customers stick around and rely on that business to service more and more of their necessary financial products.

It’s evident in the reaction to and retention rates of challenger banks. It’s because they did the research, figured out what customers needed, and then created loveable products instead of thinking up an idea based on assumptions and implementing it haphazardly to try and satisfy internal company demands. There’s no room for useless processes in today’s digital landscape. You need to move smarter, not faster.

So what’s the key to moving smarter, not faster? Get in touch at hello@11fs.com to find out what customer journeys you need to build for your products.