National Australia Bank Tops Our Australian Bank Content & Functionality Benchmark

A few months ago I wrote here about our benchmark of the sales content and functionality of UK banks' sales sites. My colleague Vanessa Niemeyer has just published a benchmark of the big four Australian banks' sales sites. Crushingly for an Englishman, the Australians beat us. The four Australian banks achieved an average score of 56 (out of 100), compared with an average of 48 for the British banks.*

National Australia Bank (NAB) came top, just ahead of Westpac in second place, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia not far behind. The Australian banks demonstrate a series of good practices in their application processes, such as cross-selling during the application and automated confirmations. We highlight many of the good practices that the eBusiness teams at the Australian banks have developed in the report which is available for Forrester clients here.

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A Useful Framework For Discussing Personal Financial Management (PFM)

I have had various discussions with banking executives about whether they should invest in personal financial management (PFM) during the last months. One thing that often hinders the discussion is that people think of  different functionality when discussing it. Some refer to PFM mainly as account aggregation; others think of it as transaction categorization and budgeting tools. Still others think of savings goal tracking or peer comparisons. Discussion like “shall we invest in PFM” are therefore not very constructive.

A framework that Forrester developed nearly a decade ago provides a useful structure to guide a more constructive discussion. Instead of asking whether they should offer PFM, executives should instead ask whether they can help their customers with four main questions:

  1. What do I own? (account aggregation, total financial status)
  2. How am I doing? (transaction categorization, budgeting, savings goal tracking, peer comparisons)
  3. What should I do? (personalized recommendations based on transaction data)
  4. How can I take action? (personalized recommendations that are directly actionable)

If you are a Forrester client and want to read more about our take on PFM from a European perspective, I encourage you to read my latest report about this topic.


SNS Bank Is A Showcase For The Future Of Multi-Channel Retail Banking

With more customers migrating from branches to the Web, bank’s Web sites are gradually becoming the heart of the customer relationship. Despite this, many banks’ multichannel strategies are still branch-centric.

As a medium-size retail bank with ambitious growth plans, SNS Bank in the Netherlands has developed an innovative multichannel banking strategy that clearly puts the Web at the center of the customer relationship.

It launched an integrated public and secure site with state-of-the-art functionality; reorganized its branches into a network of lean, cashless banking shops where customers can buy simple products from the bank’s Web site; introduced a mobile sales force that specializes in selling complex products from both the bank itself and other providers; and implemented a state-of-the-art cross-channel marketing campaign management platform.

With this new strategy, SNS Bank has adapted to changing channel behavior, eliminated channel conflict, and increased marketing effectiveness.

Those of you who are Forrester clients can read more about SNS Bank’s new channel strategy in my Case Study which was published earlier this week.