When everything else is on the go, then why should the Banking Industry lag behind? With its inherent riches in terms of resources – financial, technical, human as well as technological, the banking industry has always been at the forefront of implementing positive change in society. It is only natural that the financial powerhouses of the world have sought to make best use of social media and networking opportunities to hone and enhance every facet of the industry.
SERVICE:The Banking Industry’s primary focus has always been optimisation of service. The motivation to provide simple, comprehensive, speedy transactions for customers has led the banking industry into computerising many of their services. Today, almost all leading banks in the world provide online services including monitoring of account activity, online transfer of funds, online stoppage of cheques, payment of taxes and other bills et cetera.
Online Banking Services have made queues for updating passbooks, making deposits or withdrawals, transferring funds, applying for loans a thing of the past. Nowadays, whether it be a home loan, an automobile loan, a gold loan applications can be made online, totally hassle free.
Fixed Deposits and Recurring Depositscan be done automatically so that your money is constantly working for you and not just sitting in your bank account.
Online Account Statementsare available so that you can check your account details any time of the day from the comfort of your home, without having to worry about holidays or working hours. Statements can be printed out and cheque-books can be ordered online without any charge from the banks.
Third-Party Transfers & Tax and Bill Payments can be done instantaneously at the touch of a button. Customers don’t have to spend hours of their precious time standing in queues of government buildings waiting to pay their electricity, water and sewage taxes.
WEALTH MANAGEMENT:Wealth Management is another key area which has benefited a great deal from technological advancements and computerisation. For example, online trading in the stock market through Demat accounts which provide instantaneous buying and selling options have given laypeople powerful tools to save and invest their wealth by the click of a button.
Many banks also provide a wealth of information, guidance and knowledge on varied topics such as
1.Company History: Detailed information about companies and their share market performances over the years are available.
2.Stock Market Trends: Complete and thorough information about stock market trends from around the world including up to date and accurate projections and predictions of future trends.
3. Mutual Fund Information: Accurate compilations of the available mutual funds that are company specific as well as industry specific. With the wealth of knowledge and guidance that is available the customer can easily make educated choices as to which mutual fund to invest in. There are also online staff available to help customers assess degree of risk while investing.
4.Foreign Exchange: Transactions involving exchange foreign currency is also one of the top priorities of banks today.
Challenges Faced by the Banking Industry in Terms of Making Full Use of Social Media Resources
Lack of Vision: Experts say that part of the problem of why banks, given the sort of abundance they possess in terms of resources, have not been able to make utmost use of social media resources is that banks do not understand how to strategically use social media, or have problems ‘selling’ the idea and benefits “internally” to senior executives. “For a surprisingly high amount of banks a convincing social media strategy is still not distinguishable,” recent report states, which analysed the social media performance of leading private banks worldwide. On average the banks only scored one third of the possible total of assessment points for Twitter usage. Facebook scored worse than Twitter however, as just 18 banks (55 percent) with an active Facebook profile reacted to a test friend request, which the firm sees as a clear sign of “insufficient interaction with the users”.
Deeply Ingrained Security Concerns: Money and bank details are perhaps one of the highest priorities for anybody in terms of assurance of privacy. If one cannot trust that one’s financial details are secure the chances of one using the Internet for communicating to the bank or making transactions online are extremely slim and for good reason. Stories of websites and databases being hacked and bank details being stolen, email scams, viruses from the Internet and other incidents have trained many web users to be wary of using money online. To the point this reluctance has manifested itself in communicating with the banks and discussing anything financial online.
Therefore, while the banking industry has come a long way in terms of making use of social media and networking avenues for Advertising and Marketing their products and services, it seems that there is a great deal more can be done. A comprehensive social media and networking strategy can help banks communicate with their customers on a much more personal, exclusive and individualised manner. The latest advancements in social media and networking can be a boon for everyone. Banks will do their customers a great service by making optimum use of all the available resources. The world is looking forward to a simple yet seamless banking system that will sustain an ideal bank/consumer relationship. With the wish, vision, technology already in hand I’m sure it will become a reality very soon! Till then, Happy Investing!