Banking on some fun: It's time to make banks more exciting

By Lucy Clark | 11 April 2014
Sergio Vieira

It's hard to get excited about your bank. Applying for a loan or taking out a mortgage isn't everyone's idea of a top weekend.

But the UK's Lloyds Banking Group is taking steps to turn that around – by rethinking its entire communications strategy.

Speaking to AdNews at ADMA's Data Day in Sydney, the company's director of consumer insights at interaction, Sergio Vieira said: “Consumers will never be excited about banking itself. As banks, what we need to ensure is our communications are always aligned with what the consumer needs. Then the consumer will find them useful, rather than exciting.”

Vieira said banks should overhaul the way they speak to customers.

“For banks to make communications exciting, they need to significantly review their business model,” he said. “Banks still communicate on the basis of product, not solving problems. We communicate the mortgage, not buying the house, but it's buying the house that is exciting. Buying cars is exciting, taking out a loan isn't.

“Lloyds has ambition to get there. We need to find a way to do it in a relevant way from the consumer's perspective. Our new framework will get us increasingly to that point. It might not get us right there, but we will hopefully keep investing and making sure understand more about our customers.”

Lloyds, which has about 30 million customers in the UK, recently introduced its new framework to address issues of trust.

“We have a problem with our customers – our customers don't trust us, and they don't trust us with their data, due to all the mistakes we have made in the past,” said Vieira, citing the payment protection insurance scandal in the UK, when customers were sold insurance they didn't need by banks looking to make a quick buck.

To start to “do the right thing for the customer” Lloyds is investing heavily in consumer insights and focusing on identifying customers' needs and following the journey of interaction between them and the bank.

Lloyds is also closely examining how customers interact with it. “Yes digital and mobile are growing, but customers are still multichannel,” said Vieira. “In any given month, 54% of our customers use all our channels – ATM, digital, branch and telephone. Don't forget how multichannel customers are.”

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