While most banks generally adhere to usability best practices, they do not offer sufficient tutorials, according to the preliminary findings of Vox, Inc.'s Banking Mind Model Study. Reassurances about security are prevalent, but it is still difficult for customers to find all the information for which they commonly search. As more consumers turn to online banking features, banks still need to work on improving interfaces to provide a consistent, functional user-friendly experience.
"Customer engagement is critical to ensuring strong, long-term relationships. Online banking is one of the most effective offerings for cementing customer loyalty. Given this fact, it's surprising how many of the major sites don't prominently feature tutorials for online banking and online bill payment" said Luis Serpa, Mind Model Lead Analyst. "Many banks have not fully embraced the opportunity to provide useful contextual content. Another area where banks are behind the curve is screen resolution. Most bank sites are optimized for 800x600 displays, ignoring the fact that approximately 75% of today's customers use larger monitors. Thus, valuable real estate opportunities are being lost."
Vox released these findings as part of its Banking Mind Model Study Pre-Release Event, at the Chicago Regency Hyatt. The Pre-Release Event featured a graphical and usability analysis of 6 of the 17 studied bank sites. Vox's 2006 Banking Mind Model highlights the similarities and differences between selected consumer banking website homepages and how consumers, exposed to the online banking competitive landscape, might recognize and react to a site's distinct characteristics. Vox compared the top 10 U.S. providers and several bank sites from related segments including insurance, financial services and regional banks. The full study will release October 16, 2006. Bank sites assessed include:
Allstate Bank (3, 5) Merrill Lynch Bank USA (4) Bank of America, N.A. (1) State Farm Bank, F.S.B. (3, 5) Citibank, N.A. (1) SunTrust Bank (1) Fifth Third Bank (2, 5) U.S. Bank N.A. (1) Harris N.A.(2, 5) Wachovia Bank, N.A. (1) HSBC Bank USA, N.A.(1) Washington Mutual Bank (1) ING Bank, FSB (4) Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (1) JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (1, 5) World Savings Bank, FSB (1) LaSalle Bank N.A. (2, 5) (1) Top ten U.S. Bank by assets (2) Regional Bank; (3) Insurance; (4) Financial Services; (5) Featured at Pre-Release Event
Vox, Inc. helps service companies increase retention and referrals through improvements in the Customer Experience (C.E.). Just a slight shift in focus and resources from "marketing" to C.E. can have a dramatic impact on long-term profitability. Vox provides marketing, customer service, fulfillment and IT executives with advice and support in developing and implementing customer-focused strategies.