A common complaint about banks is that they are just so big they cannot possibly listen to their customers and design their services around what the customer really needs. This is where HSBC in Hong Kong has tried to redefine what we expect from banks. They have launched a new business banking service that was designed in partnership with their customers.
The Innovative Digital Banking Experience featured a pilot group of 2,800 customers. Over 100 detailed interviews were carried out to solicit feedback on what the customers want and need from their bank. During a 12-month period, HSBC carried out 18 different usability tests with their pilot study group. They allowed the customers to really shape the direction of how business banking should work with HSBC.
HSBC calls this a co-creation between the bank and their customers. It features several significant advances on traditional business banking, such as how it is now possible to check your business account balance, incoming fund transactions, commercial card information and receive designated transaction and account maintenance service notifications via WeChat.
In addition, now the HSBC Commercial Banking Voice ID service is available to all commercial banking customers. Using advanced voice biometric technology the Voice ID system verifies the customer identity with a unique voiceprint, providing a safer, quicker, and more convenient business phone banking experience. The business banking service is also integrated directly into the Xero cloud-based accounting system, so customers can easily use accounting software without exports and imports from their bank account.
This is an important initiative by HSBC for a couple of reasons. The FinTech (financial technologies) community has been snapping at the heels of the major banks for the past couple of years. These innovative young startups are almost always designed from the customer perspective because they have no legacy systems or branch networks that need to be managed. Large banks such as HSBC need to respond to their customer needs in a way that really explores what they need in a modern banking environment.
By co-creating the future and working with thousands of their customers the bank not only ensures that they can design new services that the customers want, they really start to shift the entire culture of the bank. This is a major step in moving away from the idea of the bank and their customers to the bank and their partners – the smaller companies that keep the bank in business.
Using your existing customer base to redesign the future is a great strategy that more companies should explore. Your existing customers will all have an idea of how you can improve – why not capture that energy and show them that you can evolve to be exactly the business they want you to be?
Let me know what you think of the HSBC strategy and co-creation strategies between a brand and their customers in general. Leave a comment here or get in touch with me via my LinkedIn.