Citizens customers want digital banking with a hint of human interaction

Digital banking usage is up at Citizens, with 90% of consumers and 86% of businesses reporting that they use digital channels for their banking needs — a significant increase over usage during COVID-19 lockdowns, says Beth Johnson, chief experience officer at Citizens Financial Group, in this episode of "The Buzz" podcast.

Digital banking usage is up at Citizens, with 90% of consumers and 86% of businesses reporting that they use digital channels for their banking needs — a significant increase over usage during COVID-19 lockdowns, says Beth Johnson, chief experience officer at Citizens Financial Group, in this episode of "The Buzz" podcast.
 
Last year, 85% of consumers and 71% of businesses reported using digital channels. "Digital is here to stay, and that's not really surprising to me when you think about our daily lives," Johnson tells Bank Automation News.
 
The $187.5 billion Citizens recently released its Banking Experience Survey 2021, which this year polled approximately 1,000 consumers and 260 business leaders. 
 
For financial advice and more complex transactions, nearly two-thirds of consumers and businesses want human interaction, the survey found. That's about the same for consumers in 2020, but down from 73% for businesses in 2020. 
 
Those findings could be instructive for banks and financial institutions to focus branch personnel on more complex interactions, Johnson notes, but they also point to the opportunity for virtual consults — such as video chats via digital channels — which are becoming a preference for customers. 
 
Sixty-five percent of consumers and 82% of businesses said they feel at least "somewhat comfortable" sharing additional information and data with banks for a more tailored customer experience, according to the survey. 
 
"In a digital transformation, think about that also as a data and analytics transformation," Johnson tells BAN. "Our clients really want us to be able to provide them keen insight." 
 
Banks and financial institutions need to make that insight personal for each customer — and automation can play a critical role in that, Johnson explains.

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