Apr 12 2016

Doing Digital Right: What Australian Customer-Owned Banking Institutions Should Consider Now

Six percent of Australian consumers have a banking relationship that’s entirely mobile. Now, 6% might not sound like anything to get excited about, but that percentage reflects a cross section of the Australian population, ages 14–49; measure only the 14–24‑year-old cohort and the percentage more than doubles. While it’s unlikely that a mobile-only future will come anytime soon for customer-owned banking institutions (COBIs), no one can deny the importance of digital channels and the increasing need to “get digital right.”

The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) asked the Filene Research Institute to learn more about how Australian consumers are accessing financial services and steps COBIs could be taking now to use digital channels more effectively. Toward that end, we scanned recent literature on the topic for Australia-specific consumer insights and digital delivery best practices, then connected with US vendors and COBIs with a reputation for effective digital channel delivery and management to get their thoughts.

This report provides some starting points on what COBIs should be investigating now in digital, with guidance and case studies from North American peers.

To get into digital—or improve their position—COBIs should start with the following:

  • Make your digital strategy your driving force. Don’t play the “me too” game. And don’t be swayed by every new digital offering. Develop a strategy and measure all your decisions against whether they help you deliver on it.
  • Get to know your members and their preferences. In general, Australians are ready adopters of digital channels, and online capabilities are an important factor when they choose a financial services provider. What steps are you taking to understand your members’ channel preferences, how various demographic segments shake out when it comes to digital use, and whether they use different channels based on transaction type?
  • Recognize that digital isn’t just about Millennials. Yes, this group is essential to the future of COBIs—and they do typically demand digital—but they’re not the only ones who care about these channels.
  • Keep the buzzwords in mind. There’s a reason “APIs,” “mobile,” “seamless,” “omnichannel,” “friction-free,” and “disruptive” make an appearance in virtually every article about digital channels. Learn about them and factor them into your digital strategy.

Filene thanks its generous partners for making this important research possible:

Report Number 397