It comes as no surprise to create a banking recipe around this new clientele that thrives on Buzzfeed quizzes, Tumblr GIFs, grumpy cat memes and the random video of a hedgehog getting a tummy rub.

As part of Aspire’s millennial banking campaign, Seham was asked a few questions to understand the dire banking needs of millennials in UAE. Seham Hanif heads the digital banking department at Standard Chartered Bank in Dubai, UAE.

1.There is a lot of talk about banks getting challenged when it comes to Millennials. Is this hype or reality? Why?

Millennials are the most critical segment that all businesses must cater to; this holds true especially for the banking sector. They have distinctive needs that can only be met through nontraditional, digitally crafted tailored experiences.  This segment if groomed well and engaged at an early stage can constitute the future high value segment and loyal client base of a bank and therefore needs utmost attention.

2. Are Banks doing it right when it comes to servicing today’s new millennial clientele?

Focus on the millennial segment is a fairly recent phenomena in the region hence the journey, if only begun is not in its perfect state just yet. There are many banks that have embarked on this disruptive journey  to provide simple , secure and Omni channel experiences whereby this segment can enjoy unified experiences across platforms of their choice and thereby meet their banking needs  anywhere , everywhere. This is just the beginning and there is a long road ahead. The millennial segment is very demanding and used to competitive experiences; we must identify what engages them and offer customized solutions to onboard them. This is not where it ends. To keep this distinguished set of users enticed, the institution must continuously offer various reward programs that have multiple and easy redemption options. While there are several institutions that claim to be fully digital, truth is that there is not even one bank in the market that has fully cracked the  digital puzzle/code.

There is always a manual interaction involved somewhere along the chain. We must break away from this and adopt the mindset where we are willing to think innovatively and offer customers the ability to manage their banking needs without having to meet anyone or visit a branch or wait for a person to manually process their request. Banking for millennial s must be evolved to a stage where it’s simple, easy, fun and rewarding.

3. What according to you is the perfect millennial banking recipe?

There is no perfect recipe or a simple formula that can be applied. We must constantly think ahead and design solutions that offer a rejuvenated UI/ UX and that result in simple yet exceptional customer interactions. Additionally this experience must be uniformly available across multiple channels and devices. Customers must be able to open an account or apply for any other banking product or service within a few clicks from the comfort of their home without needing to call or visit any branch or sign any physical documents. The bank must be contactable via various social and online touch points such as Video, voice, chat bots or other social channels. Banks must go big on Artificial Intelligence where Personal Assistants such as Siri or Amazon’s Alexa can take care of day to day payments, order food delivery, book tickets and provide saving suggestions. We must offer integrated experiences whereby banking services are not a standalone requirement but a part of our daily routine . In UAE, while we have cracked some of the pieces we must bring all of this together and go digital all the way. As it stands today we are digital on the onset but the final leg and the works behind the scene are manual. We need to review all process pieces, dissect and redesign them. Also this is a continuous process, where there is no end destination. We have to move, think ahead and keep evolving to ensure we are not left behind.

We must always be aware that millennial’s are spoiled by design and will never settle for sub optimal and non engaging experiences. They will keep shopping till they find the perfect solution that will fit their needs. This never means that they will stay. They will, if we run ahead of the curve, anticipate their own needs and be more enticed with gamification, offers and more.

Join Aspire’s Millennial Banking Community and Submit your recipe here

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