As a new analyst researching vendors for digital banking, I wanted to share an observation as eBusiness and Channel Strategists are making decisions about digital financial services investments. In the last few months, I’ve interviewed personal financial management vendors and banks about their PFM implementations. One notable theme is bubbling up to the surface, what role does PFM play in online banking’s future?
With notable success in driving higher engagement, vendors and banks report that customers spend between a 2-4x more time in PFM than online banking. While both online banking and PFM have similar goals to increase retention, cross-sell, loyalty, and provide customers with greater insight into their financial picture, both offer different customer experiences. Functionally, the main difference is that online banking supports transfer and self-service capabilities, while PFM does not support transferring capabilities and may loosely, at best, integrate self-service. The biggest difference is customer experience.
Online banking is transactional in nature. You go there to view your balance, schedule payments, and make transfers. You get in, you get out. Most institutions have masters pushing high volume, low complexity account maintenance tasks to digital channels. The focus has mainly been on automating these capabilities to reduce manual processing to gain further cost efficiencies.