In this blog I am going to ask you the reader two questions:  

  • How important is digital-first engagement to your customers? 
  • How many digital platform login or access failures will you accept prior to moving to a new institution? 

How Important is digital-first engagement to your customers? 

The ability for a customer of a financial institution to be able to engage digitally and simply has never been more important than it is today. The rapid expectation to manage your finances digitally during the pandemic created an immediate shift in how the world expects to conduct business. I have family members and customers that prior to the pandemic had never met with their wealth manager over video. Now they don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment digitally via their financial institution’s website or through their mobile application.  This change in behavior has forced financial institutions to immediately respond, train, and scale a response that 18 months ago was something they thought “may be a good idea”.  Today, no one is questioning the importance of being able to complete most, if not all, functions of financial services remotely.

How many digital platform login or access failures will you accept prior to moving to a new institution? 

I would like to talk to you about a recent experience I had in my personal finance experience.  I have been a member of a large financial institution in the US since I first opened an account when I arrived at college in 1996.  This past year my wife and I were having issues with failed login attempts on the mobile application of our financial institution.  Whenever I was having issues with a login attempt, I would follow up with accessing my account via the website.  As this issue continued, I spent some extra time troubleshooting and, at times, even had issues with logging into my account via the website. 

As part of my job I am constantly reviewing financial services applications, and I started to think about what would make me switch to a new financial services company after such a long and trusted relationship. Recent studies indicate that when it comes to mobile experiences, 50% of customers will change after a single poor experience.  While that may be true for a mobile application that has very little impact on your life, I do not think the same principle applies to the financial institutions we trust with our life savings.

In my experience when it comes to financial institution selection, the risk of changing institutions is much higher for the following reasons:  

  • You are so familiar with the institution it almost seems impossible to change after you have been with them for 20+ years.  
  • In my situation my spouse & kids would also need to change.  
  • The amount of work to update all the bill pay, loan payment, auto deposit, and auto withdrawals happening from different bill subscribers turns this into a sizable body of work.  

Even so, continued poor mobile experience diminishes the confidence you have in your financial institution.

What is the end of my story, from experiencing 10+ failed logins between my wife and I? Our digital experience eroded the trust we had with our financial institution. Without trust it is impossible to partner or do business, and that sealed the deal for us.  The very next day I scheduled an appointment with a new financial institution.    

We spent the next week transferring all of our information to the new accounts and the next two months ensuring that no bills were left behind and that auto payments were adjusted accordingly.

Sure it took more than one poor digital experience for my wife and I to look elsewhere for our financial needs; however, the story still ended in our financial institution losing customers they had maintained for 20+ years. With nearly 80% of global respondents listing mobile as the primary way they access their bank account (Business Insider, 2021), and stories like mine becoming increasingly common, digital-first engagement has to be top of mind for every financial institution.

In closing I will finish where I started: How many login failures before you leave your financial institution? Feel free to leave your response in the comments below! 

For more information on digital-first engagement – check out our financial services portfolio explorer and website!


Brian Velazquez

Global Business Solutions Architect for Retail & Financial Services

Global Industry Solutions Group (ISG)