What Was Old Is New Again: Cross-Selling Is Back In Vogue

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan stated in a speech today he plans to step up cross selling as a part of his efforts to revamp the company. The strategy of cross selling is nothing new, but few financial providers have been successful in pulling it off. Why is cross-selling such a challenge? The reasons are two-fold:

From a customer perspective:

  • Nobody Can Be Good At Everything. It is the going in assumption that no single financial provider can have the best product in all situations. Consumers don’t naturally assume that their brokerage provider would also be the best provider for their mortgage.
  • To Each His (or Her) Own. Each product purchase is a discreet transaction. The product being purchased drives what is important. A customer may choose their checking account provider based on the availability of ATM and branches, but when that same customer is shopping for a credit card, they may desire the flexibility to aggregate debit and credit rewards which their existing provider may or may not offer.
  • “What If…”. There is some hesitancy on the customer's part to have all their "eggs in one basket." The current financial crisis has likely only added to the angst of holding too many assets with a single firm. While this concern will subside to a degree over the next few years, it has been and will continue to be in the back of consumer’s minds.
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Extending Online Customer Service To The Mobile Channel

There is a lot of hype around mobile. There is good reason for a lot of this hype: Mobile Internet usage is increasing. At year-end 2007, only 11% of US adult cell phone owners accessed the mobile Web monthly or more. By mid-2009, adoption had risen to 17%. Daily use of the mobile Internet has also been increasing, and by mid-year 2009, daily use of the mobile Web was 10% of adults with mobile phones. For more details, see the July 29, 2010, “Making the Case for the Mobile Internet” Forrester report.

But in all of the conversations about if and when to develop m-commerce and mobile apps, it’s important that another conversation also occurs: What happens when users need customer service from within a mobile Web site or app?

Here are some key questions:

  • Is it easy for a consumer to find “Contact Us” information on your mobile Web site? It is an ongoing pet peeve of mine that it is typically easier to use mobile Google — showing consumers all of your competitors' contact information as well.
  • Is your help content optimized for mobile Internet and app users?
  • Can you extend your existing online customer service channels to the mobile Internet? Don’t just think email. Think virtual agent, chat, click to call . . .

I’ve recently published a report called “Extending Online Customer Service To The Mobile Channel.” I hope this will provide some useful ideas for your company.

Why Don't Banks Make More Use Of Their ATMs?

One of the things that continues to surprise me about many banks’ multi-channel strategies is how little most banks have integrated their ATMs into those strategies. Cash machines are by far the most commonly used banking channel. According to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics data, 74% of adults in Western Europe use a cash machine at least once a month, far more than use either branches or online banking that often.

Despite the introduction of Windows-based operating systems and colour screens, most banks aren’t doing much to engage customers on this most-frequent touchpoint. Most do little more than promote the product of the month to all comers. Only a few leaders, like Singapore’s OCBC Bank and Spain’s La Caixa, have integrated ATMs into their CRM systems, which lets them do clever things like remembering customer’s normal withdrawal amount, wishing customers a happy birthday and making products offer that are relevant to that particular customer.

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Measuring Fraud Rates And Multichannel Progress

by Elizabeth Davis


No! They’re not related, they’re just on our mind and topics of our latest surveys for eBusiness executives. The eBusiness and Channel Strategy research team maintains a panel that we survey online each quarter on a variety of topics (join here if you’re not already a member).


Our last survey looked at what eBusiness managers are doing about fraud in light of the recession. We found that, for the most part, fraud hasn’t increased with the recession. eBusiness leaders plan to spend $23 million on technology on their customer-facing online sites to detect and combat fraud, and they currently attribute losing 0.6% of their sales to fraud. You can read more here: The State Of Fraud In eBusiness.


This quarter, we’re surveying our panelists on their eBusiness teams’ multichannel sales and service strategy and how well their companies meet customers' needs across channels.

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Bank of America seeks to evaluate user experience, not technology, with mobile payments pilot

Later this month, Bank of America will roll out a mobile payments trial to its employees in the New York metropolitan market. One of the primary goals of the pilot is to understand the user experience expectations of potential mobile payments customers, according to Michael Upton, Bank of America’s executive leading the initiative. The trial involves outfitting users’ phones with a microSD card that supports contactless payments based on near field communications (NFC) technology.

This is not the first large trial of contactless payments. Citi, Chase, and other large US banks have invested millions of dollars in trials of NFC programs launched by MasterCard and Visa. These efforts, though, have relied primarily on chips embedded in the user’s credit or debit card. Citi earlier this year also introduced an NFC sticker that users can apply to their mobile phones, alleviating the need for a physical card. The Bank of America pilot takes this a step further by including a mobile wallet application that can support multiple payment cards. Users could, for example, make contactless payments from their Bank of America, Citi, Chase, and American Express accounts all through a single mobile app.

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