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Why it’s Time to Adopt an Omnichannel Strategy at Your Bank

  • by Shane Ferrell
  • Nov 19, 2015

Internet banking, mobile apps and PFM are no longer cutting edge—they’re checkboxes on a list of customer “must haves” for your bank. So, how does your bank keep up with customers’ evolving digital demands and still stay competitive with big box banks? 

The answer is creating a strong omnichannel strategy. 

BankingUnleashedBlogInfographic_V3smallWhat is Omnichannel?

According to a recent retail and business banking technology survey from Celent, 86 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that “Omnichannel is about ensuring customers have a consistent experience of our brand irrespective of the channel they use.”

Bank channels often include:

• Branch
• Call Center
• Mobile
• Online
• Wearables

Understanding your customers’ needs and behaviors on specific channels can help your bank determine where you need to invest in channel integration—and where you may not. For example, customers may shop for mortgage rates or take pictures of houses using your bank’s app; however, it’s unlikely that they would complete the entire mortgage application process using mobile devices. 

So while you may want to have mortgage rates and photo options available on your mobile app, it may not be necessary to have the entire mortgage application available on the app. What’s important is providing a consistent customer experience across channels. That means your mobile banking app should offer the same rates and the same branding seen on your website and even at your branch. 

5 Principles Your Bank Should Follow on Your Omnichannel Journey

Once you’ve identified the framework of your digital channels and established a strategy to create a successful omnichannel experience for both your customers and your bank, follow these five principles as you embrace the digital bank:

  1. Keep an eye on the market

    Expand your focus beyond banks. Watch other industries—like social media platforms, transportation companies and retailers—for examples of innovative brands that are interacting with their customers on a frequent basis.

  2. Focus on the customers’ experience of your brand  

    Customer experience is hard to quantify—it’s often the emotional connection with your bank. Try performing customer satisfaction surveys to find out what your customers like and where there are areas for improvement.

  3. Build flexibility into your operating model

    We have no idea what the world is going to look like in two years, so instead of establishing a new legacy, build agility and flexibility into your business and technology strategies so you can do a better job of responding to the changing world. 

  4. Be clear about how economic value will be derived

    Before you implement an omnichannel strategy, be clear about how your bank is going to drive revenue. Get agreement from stakeholders upfront, and establish clear targets that you’re going to deliver on using digital technologies.  

  5. Establish a portfolio of plays
  6. Have a short- and long-term roadmap in place that says where your bank plans to go, but also how you will create a new way to get to that destination if needed.

How to Implement a Digital Strategy at Your Bank

It’s clear that providing customers with a seamless experience across your financial institution’s digital channels is a priority. And adapting to that digital technology will transform the way your bank operates—from the products and services you offer, to how your IT staff functions, and even to how your organization, culture and skills are managed.

So how do you transform your financial institution into a model bank in today’s digital world? Check out CSI’s Banking Unleashed webinar series to learn more about how implementing digital banking platforms and real-world strategies can make omnichannel successful at your bank.


Shane Ferrell serves as CSI’s director of digital banking. In his role, he leads the strategic direction of CSI’s digital banking suite of products, which includes omnichannel, internet and mobile banking. During his nearly 15-year career with CSI, Shane has held various positions, from conversions to product management.