Jaime Nyberg
4 minute read

If the Royal Commission has taught us anything, it’s that the big banks are losing touch with their customers. Unsurprisingly, shares in some of the major banks such as NAB have taken a hit, while smaller competitors capitalise on the aftermath of the scandal.  

While shares take a rollercoaster ride in this industry’s market, we don’t want to dwell the past, instead taking a forward-thinking approach to understand how those in the finance sector can change their processes to rebuild consumer trust.

What do consumers think?

Roy Morgan’s Net Trust Score survey of Australian consumers earlier this year found that all four of the major big banks have suffered major hits to their trust scores, with some banks reaching the lowest trust scores in the history of the survey.

According to economics journalist Greg Jericho, the primary function of banks to “provide a service to customers [has been] relegated to second place”, and if trust scores and equity are anything to go by, its becoming clear that the customers are no longer quick to put their faith in their banks again. 

This also begs the question as to whether there is there going to be a long-lasting change to the financial services industry, with most of the commission’s findings a mere recommendation. Well, most experts have ruled that no, probably not. Kevin Davis, a finance professor at the University of Melbourne says that there is a large “grey area” on what will truly be implemented, and ultimately, how quickly it can be achieved.  

So, what can be done?

With much of the enforceable legal reform expected to be slow moving, there may be other things that the banks can do to improve their tainted reputation.

Undoubtedly, as the world shifts into a period of digital transformation, the big banks need to learn to keep up with consumer trends. If anything, consumers are now expecting these corporations to go above and beyond as a form of compensation.

With the balance of power now shifted, banks need to make it easy for people to not only access their service, such as new legislation on open banking, but also to stay with their service.

One method for ensuring this ease of access at every step of the customer journey may be through process automation.

Why process automation?

Process automation in the financial sector can be a positive approach from both a business and customer perspective.

The reliance on automation technology in this sector is rapidly increasing, and it is predicted that process automation will now contribute 10 to 25 per cent of all banking processes. As well as this, the financial sector is expected to see a $512B revenue boost by 2020 with the aid of automation.   

While banks should consider the viability of automation from a revenue perspective, perhaps the key takeaway from implementing this approach is from the customer standpoint. 

Process automation can reduce human error, streamline and accelerate business processes and align activities with compliance standards far more quickly than manual actions can. This has a flow-on effect to enhancing the consumer experience by making every touchpoint with your brand quick and easy to deal with. 

Example: A customer’s home loan application process

While there is always a sense of excitement in applying for a home loan, there are also many pitfalls in the application process.

Even if your customer has spent their entire financial journey with your bank, they may still feel overwhelmed at the thought of collecting all the necessary documents, dealing with over-the-phone brokers, and the back and forth between various communication methods, all to have not even reached the pre-approval process.

It is unsurprising, then, that most customers prefer to complete the entire home loan application process online

From a bank’s perspective, the loan application processes can have extremely high overhead costs. This can be largely due to decreased productivity in the time it takes to collate all the relevant information. Most back end systems have various files in different places, all surrounding just one customer’s history. There may be limited visibility for some employees in accessing certain records, and this slow-moving process will increase the time frame between your customer applying for a loan and being able to buy their house.

Some banks are already offering something different. A completely online application process that can be completed in less than 30 minutes. On the back end, their record management system is tidy and compliant. Any employee can easily search and access information on all customers, all completed from an easy to manage, low code, visual workflow. This ease of use is due to process automation. And because the back end is managed efficiently, your customer is happy with your brand because they can move into their brand new home quicker. 


And when you look at the two side by side, which brand is the customer more likely to choose?

If you’re interested in seeing exactly how approval and workflow processes operate, you can watch our Webinar using K2 software here.

Do you want to simplify your business processes through automation? Contact us here to find out more.


Jaime Nyberg

Jaime Nyberg

Jaime Nyberg
Jaime Nyberg is the Marketing Coordinator at Digital First. She has recently completed her Masters degree in Marketing Communications, bringing to the team a keen interest in digital and social media marketing.