Imagine accessing your monthly financial statement on a single responsive page. That page provides an intuitive view of your finances, segmented in a logical hierarchy. Perhaps an integrated video introduces the statement or walks you through the highlights, including spending categories and spikes.
Let’s say you don’t recall a transaction. So, you ask for clarification through your device’s microphone or live chat. Once you master your statement, another piece of media catches your eye. It could be rewards, savings recommendations, investment opportunities or a service about which you were unaware.
This may seem like a pipe dream, but so did other digital changes that have happened over the past years. Digital demands have transformed every corner of the financial services industry. Statements are following suit, adding significant value to consumers.
Institutions that seize current opportunities and plan for upcoming technologies can transform the mandated process of sending bank statements into an effective engagement touchpoint.
A Look at the Current Statement Landscape
Before glimpsing into the future of financial statements, consider the following trends. Of the respondents to CSI’s recent survey, over one-third of financial institutions primarily (36%) or solely (2%) deliver paper statements. That’s almost double the number of customers who prefer to manage finances digitally.
It’s true that many customers still rely on paper statements, and there are advantages to providing both. Yet, these numbers suggest an opportunity to shrink the gap between those who prefer digital and those who actually use digital statements. Market upheavals suggest that the time is ripe to advocate for conversion and showcase your digital services. Doing so cuts costs and meets digital expectations.
Strategies for Promoting Digital Statement Adoption
Interactive digital statements ensure cross-channel consistency and convenience. They update your statements’ appearance to reflect your brand while simplifying marketing and eliminating the rigidity of paper statements.
Institutions have deployed a variety of strategies to encourage digital adoption. Some have taken a more direct approach by charging a fee for print or making e-statements the default option. While these methods to digital statement adoption can be effective, consider a subtler approach that showcases the benefits of adoption.
With the ever-increasing preferences of digital, many customers who once held fast to paper statements are persuadable. Continue to use every tool at your disposal to inform and reassure customers about digital statements. Highlight the benefits of digital statement adoption – including immediate delivery, enhanced security, automatic storage for convenient review, search functionality and positive environmental impact – to help eliminate skepticism from your customers.
What’s the Next Big Thing in Digital Financial Statements?
Interactive digital statements are the critical first step toward a better user experience. But tech leaders see an opportunity to innovate further and transform statements into a unique customer resource.
Institutions can either expect minimal interaction or make that statement worth customers’ time and attention. The following are some of the highlights for upcoming media-rich documents that customers won’t overlook.
Two-Way Interactive Engagement Tools
Financial statements provide a quantifiable benefit to your institution and customers. But that value diminishes if they’re only skimmed or lost in the shuffle of inboxes and stacks of mail. Even if a customer only refers to their statement for a few moments, make those moments count with:
- Live chat and voice features enable your customers to interact with you more directly. These elements of a holistic digital communication strategy ensure that customers understand their statements without needing outside sources.
- Graphic displays and more intuitive designs make the information more digestible. The brain processes visual data incredibly fast. So, spending breakdowns and graphs optimize the digital format and make it easier to understand financial statement highlights.
- Personal Financial Management (PFM) tools simplify making budgets, tracking expenses and monitoring financial health. While maintaining consistency with digital banking, users will adjust PFM category assignments without leaving their statements.
- Embedded videos provide product overviews or showcase a relevant offer. Embedded, pre-made external videos are an easy win.
- Recommendations help customers make wiser financial decisions, investments and more. This is also an opportunity to expand your marketing ability and highlight reward systems or different products.
Actionable Digital Statement Data and Analytics
Effective digital transformation is impossible without a clear view of customer data. Consider what you learn from your current statements. Does it offer genuine insight and value?
For forward-thinking financial institutions, it’s time to revise those expectations. Modernized digital statements will more widely process and collate data for useful reporting. Updated analytics dashboards better illustrate recipient engagement, tracking usage and delivery failures. With these tools, your institution can gain insight into when and how your customers use (or don’t use) your documents. This data can supplement and draw from your CRM and other existing analytics tools.
Differentiate Your Institution Through Customer Experience
As the market drives consumer expectations, the right investments spur customer engagement. As such, digital statements will continue to evolve, empowering customers to better understand their finances. For a broader view of a unified customer experience and tips to get there today, refer to our Banking Priorities 2021 Executive Report at https://www.csiweb.com/2021-banking-priorities-executive-report/?utm_source=association&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=wp_csi_bankingpriorities21.
Jimmie Paradee is product manager with CSI’s Document Services Division. In his role, Jimmie is responsible for the product management for all CSI Document Services Azure cloud and web-based SaaS applications.