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Digital channels represent untapped opportunity to acquire customers

Applications using mobile devices represent 20% of digital applications

Digital channels represent untapped opportunity to acquire customers

The fact that 88.5 million Americans attempted to open an account online or with a mobile device in the past 12 months underscores how far digital account opening has come in a few short years. Nonetheless, its potential remains largely untapped, especially as consumers place growing importance on mobile capabilities, says Javelin Strategy & Research in a new report.

The return on investment from digital account opening clearly begins with acquiring customers, but its potential value also can extend to retention, cost avoidance, and revenue, it says.

The initial wave of consumers applying online and opening account has grown to include consumers relying on smart phones and tablets for account openings. Applications using smart phones and tablets represent about 20% of digital applications for checking and savings accounts. One in ten consumers say it is easier to open accounts on smart phones and tablets than it is to log online or visit a branch.

“The overarching strategic challenge is to weave these multiple channels into a consistent, uniform, branded experience. Financial institutions must prepare for a customer who researches an account online, starts an application online or on a mobile device, initiates a chat session or phones a call center, transmits supporting documents with a smart phone, and still might opt to visit a branch to seal the deal. The key is to enable the customer to decide,” says Mark Schwanhausser, director of Omnichannel Financial Services at Javelin Strategy & Research.

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John Ginovsky

John Ginovsky is a contributing editor of Banking Exchange and editor of the publication’s Tech Exchange e-newsletter. For more than two decades he’s written about the commercial banking industry, specializing in its technological side and how it relates to the actual business of banking. In addition to his weekly blogs—"Making Sense of It All"—he contributes fresh, original stories to each Tech Exchange issue based on personal interviews or exclusive contributed pieces. He previously was senior editor for Community Banker magazine (which merged into ABA Banking Journal) and for ABA Banking Journal and was managing editor and staff reporter for ABA’s Bankers News. Email him at jginovsky@sbpub.com.

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