Features Every Bank Website Should Have
The collection of features that your CMS offers will make or break the success of your bank's website and digital transformation strategy.
As marketers, it is easy to get stuck on creating flashy features and widgets on our website, but it is also important to consider how these features impact the efficiency of your work. Can you make updates quickly? Is a developer required every time you need to make changes?
Site features that boost engagement and user experience are great, but if they aren’t easy to manage and update, then you will eventually stop using them or settle with a band-aid option that may not integrate well with your site.
It is important to choose a content management system that supports the features that your bank website needs to be successful now and into the future, especially as the trend continues toward a digital-first approach to banking.
1. Enterprise-Level CMS Security and Data Privacy
Security is the number one feature on this list because it is something that will always be a top priority for banks and other financial institutions. This is because banks, credit unions, and other websites in the financial industry are top targets for hackers, scam artists, and other types of online exploitation.
Institutions in the financial sector are one the most regulated due to the type of information required from customers who business with them. Customers typically share personal information like social security numbers but another common reason why financial institutions are on high alert for cybersecurity threats is the constant handling of money.
For these reasons, your bank should consider an enterprise-level website platform that makes security and privacy a priority.
2. Easy Management of Bank Locations
There is no reason that you should be spending a lot of time trying to manage your branch locations on your website.
There should be no reason you should have to contact your website developer to update any information about your branch locations. Bank hours, services offered, contact information, and other location details should be quick and easy to update in your site’s backend.
Your team should be able to update all the information on your site and even create new pages of content without having to know any code.
At Smooth Fusion, we built a website platform specifically for banks that has a location module that is easy to manage on the backend of your site and gives customers an intuitive user experience while searching for their nearest branch location.
3. Data Integration for Personalized Experiences
Integrating your customer data to create personalized experiences on your website is not only an important feature for banks, but for any company looking to provide custom digital experiences for their customers.
Customer data should be used in ways that benefit your customers, and one way to do that is by providing personalized experiences that help them easily get the information they are looking for. You can use this data to help in the account management or account creation process or to provide rates, exclusive offers, or branch information specific to their location.
4. Integration with Online Banking and 3rd Party Applications
Being able to integrate your CMS with online banking or other 3rd party financial apps is a must-have in today's digital-focused environment.
Everything from secure log-in, two-factor authentication, account opening, mobile banking, etc.
All the apps that help your bank should be able to be integrated with your CMS to create a fully integrated digital experience for your customers.
5. Ease of use
An easy-to-use CMS is one of the top priorities for banks and credit unions, especially for those who are in the backend of the site creating content daily.
Marketers and content editors want to easily manage and update content on their websites without having to deal with any complicated code. When you are constantly reaching out to a developer to add content or create new pages on a website, it takes time and also decreases the efficiency of your marketing team.
6. ADA Compliance
Making your website accessible to all users needs be a top priority. Website accessibility is not specifically a feature that is offered by your CMS, but it is determined by how your site is designed, developed, and implemented.
Having a website that is not ADA compliant could cost your business legal fees and fines. You might find it difficult to get details on how to design a website that is compliant or specifics on rules for website compliance with ADA because the guidelines are subjective.
You do not want to be scrambling to make your website compliant after receiving a letter from an attorney. Be proactive and make your website compliant with ADA guidelines now.
7. Banner Alerts and Notifications
The ability to display banner alerts and notifications was a feature made more popular by the pandemic. It seemed like every website you visited had something to say about how COVID was impacting their business operations. During this time, banner alerts made it easy to share time-sensitive information with customers when they landed on a bank's website.
You don't need to be in the midst of a worldwide pandemic for banner alerts and notifications to be useful, they also allow your bank to highlight exclusive offers or important news that impacts your customers.
8. Collecting User Data with Forms
Just like any other business, banks need a way to collect user information. Forms need to be easy to create and manage on the backend and need to be secure.
Forms can serve multiple purposes on your site. They can be a tool for lead generation, gathering email addresses for a newsletter, or for internal business needs like submitting job applications.
Forms can also be a source of frustration, especially for banks and other organizations in the financial sector since they are a common target for spammers.
Banks handle a great deal of sensitive customer data, so it is important that security is a top priority when capturing and storing data from their website.
When you are collecting user data via a form on your website, first make sure it is as secure as possible and then ensure that it is user friendly, seamlessly fits with the design of your site, and is properly configured to your database and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.
9. Live Chat
Banks should also be looking at their website to improve customer service. Sure, forms will help with providing a way for site visitors to contact you, but live chat is the most effective way to help customers that are needing an immediate response.
Here are a few statistics on live chat:
- 41% of consumers would rather use live chat for contacting support over other channels of communication.
- 79% of consumers prefer live chat because of the immediate response it provides.
- 63% of consumers who visited a website and used live chat were more likely to return to that site.
Data sources: https://99firms.com/blog/live-chat-statistics
People have a lot of questions when it comes to their money, which is why it is important to be there to answer these questions as quickly as you can. Live chat allows you to do this.
10. Site Search
Site search is when a user is doing an internal search of your website - think of it as a search engine for your website.
Let's look at some stats on on-site search usage and why it is important.
- An average of 30% of your site visitors will perform a site search.
- Those who use site search are almost twice as likely to convert
Data sources: eConsultancy, ConversionXL
Banks have a lot of informational content and forms that customers may be looking for on their site. One of the main ways they find this information is through site search.
It is important to have a site search function that is easy to use and provides the most relevant results.
11. User Journey Analysis
If your bank is genuinely wanting to modernize your website and take steps towards digital transformation, then you need to invest in a customer journey mapping software like Sitefinity Insight.
Understanding the patterns and behaviors customers take on your website can help you better serve your customers the information they need through personalization.
You can also get interaction data across multiple channels, define touchpoints and user engagements, create lead scoring models, identify user segments and personas, and learn how to optimize the customer journey to increase conversions.
12. A/B Testing
It is easy to assume that the content we put on our website is helpful and beneficial to our customers but with A/B testing, you do not have to just hope for the best when publishing new web pages.
A/B testing allows your team to create variations of a page with different layouts, content, and call-to-action and then test those pages to see which one performs the best.
13. Content Attribution and Conversion Tracking
Do you know what content on your website is contributing to the most conversions? Content attribution and conversion tracking provide visibility into the content items that are impacting conversion rates.
Having this information can tremendously help with your marketing and sales efforts. It tells your sales team what content is converting and allows your marketing team to improve the effectiveness of website content and marketing campaigns.
14. A Digital Experience and Website Platform Built for Banks and Credit Unions
A digital experience platform or a DXP is a collection of products, services, and features, like those in this article, that are integrated together to create a cohesive digital experience across your business that can be managed on one platform.
We won't go into the specifics of a DXP since we wrote this article to explain what a digital experience platform is.
Smooth Fusion also made it simple for banks to start their journey to a digital experience platform with DXFusion Financial, a modern digital experience solution and web platform for banks and credit unions.
The Cornerstone of Your Bank's Digital Experience
All of these features are important as your bank continues on the road of digital transformation. Digital transformation really is a never-ending road that will continuously adapt as technology advances and consumer demand for digital experiences increases.
It truly is the cornerstone for the digital experiences you provide your customers, which is why it is important your website has all the features and capabilities to grow with your bank into the future.