Banks need to invest more in developing digital personalities to avoid losing trust and relevance among consumers, a new report by consulting firm, Accenture, has said.
Reuters reported Managing Director of Accenture’s banking practice, Alan McIntyre, as saying that adoption of digital banking tools like chatbots accelerated this year as the coronavirus pandemic made customers weary of visiting branches, but that the transition caught some institutions flatfooted.
“There’s a lot of scrambling going on to adjust. Part of the problem is that banks are really focused on the chatbots being functionally correct and compliant, but haven’t really defined personalities,” he said.
The shift to digital means cost savings for banks, which can rely on fewer branches and tellers for day-to-day services. But it also risks weakening customers’ emotional connections to banks at a time when trust in major financial institutions has plummeted.
Trust in major financial institutions fell to 29 per cent from 43 per cent two years ago, the report said.
COVID-19 concerns have pushed the volume of in-branch transactions down approximately 40 per cent making it harder for banks to rely on friendly interactions at local branches to engender trust and loyalty among customers.
Banks have already been investing to address the issue. Bank of America Corp hired talent from Walt Disney Co to work on its AI chatbot Erica. Capital One Financial Corp recruited an anthropologist, a journalist, and a filmmaker from Pixar to help bring its chatbot Eno to life