The 3 modern bank client types

According to a 2017 Accenture study, today’s bank clients can be grouped into three distinct personas: Nomads, Hunters and Quality Seekers. The study, which included over 32’000 banking customers in 18 markets, makes it clear that banks need to create real-time synergies between digital and traditional services to attract and keep modern clients.

The different wishes and priorities of the three identified personas serve as insight into how banks may need to rethink their value proposition in order to attract new customers and strengthen the loyalty of their existing customers. Below follows a summary of the personas:

Nomads – the digital frontrunners

29% of the survey participants were characterized as Nomads. This bank client persona is highly digitally active, want technologies that put power in their own hands and state that they would be ready to bank with Google or Amazon. They would like real-time offers based on their location, person-to-person payment tools and face-to-face advice via mobile. Furthermore, they are very willing to share their personal data but expect something in return including faster, easier services and specific, timely advice on how to reach their financial goals.

The Nomads are fully ready to take advantage of all opportunities offered by digital products and do not see an issue with the replacement of human interaction if the service offered is specific, cost-efficient and timely. Banks can win them over by combining new ways of communicating through mobile and wearables with timely advice and context-specific deals.

Hunters – the cost-driven planners

17% of the respondents were grouped as Hunters. This bank client persona prefers traditional providers and is skeptical as to whether a non-bank provider would be fit to offer quality banking products. Above all, Hunters are cost-driven and their loyalty comes at a price. They also expect measurable monetary gains for sharing their personal data and would be interested in tool that help them manage their monthly budget.

Like the Nomads, the Hunters want digital services that are specific and real-time. However, they want them as an on-top service to the traditional face-to-face counseling and they remain skeptical about replacing human interaction with robotic advice. Banks can reach this segment with low-cost offers for basic services, good deals and real-time financial advice.

Quality Seekers – the trust-based

The last bank client persona identified through the study is the Quality Seeker (44%). Like Hunters, Quality Seekers do not trust non-traditional providers to offer quality banking products. They are driven by a high quality of customer service, a secure handling of their personal data and a trust that their bank is acting in their interests. They want priority service in return for sharing personal data and are less concerned with costs. Even though they have some interest in digital innovations, they also state that branch location remain crucial to their choice of bank. What they do want from digital services is real-time data-driven assistance (e.g. real-time mortgage deals when house hunting) as an add-on to valued human advice in the branch.

The Quality Seekers are the least cost sensitive group. However, they are also the group most clearly demanding high-end customer service including costly face-to-face advice in the branch. Banks can increase their profit from these clients through a digital strategy that clearly prioritizes data security and optimizes their experience in the branch.

There’s no time like real-time

The common denominator for all three bank client personas is that they want specific, real-time advice through the appropriate digital channels. Some want to act independently on this advice (Nomads), others want to combine it with human advise (Hunters and Quality Seekers). In order to provide personalized advice in the very moment a client needs it, banks need client permission to process their data. For this privilege, clients demand clear benefits in the form of faster services (Nomads), cost-reductions (Hunters) or a superior data security and quality of service.

In conclusion, banks will do well to build services that make it attractive to clients to share their data while remaining a trustworthy custodian of this very valuable data – it is on the basis of a superior trust and access to information that banks can offer a superior value proposition in the fierce competition for all three bank client personas.