ING Direct has made its largest ever single investment, recruiting more than 16,000 customers to help build its new digital platform.
The bank's executive director of customer delivery, Lisa Claes, said an army of more than 16,000 customer volunteers were involved in the project through five key stages, each providing ongoing feedback.
“Our customer volunteers have been instrumental in ensuring we have built a digital platform that is simple, personalised and easy to use to meet their financial needs,” Ms Claes said.
Customers used a test site, attended focus groups, acted as prototype testers and even allowed developers into their homes to understand their preferences when interacting with their bank.
Ms Claes said that one of the design challenges was to ensure both the customer experience and functionality were seamless across all digital assets.
“We must be able to interact with our customers when and how they want us to. Customers expect us to use their data to make their banking easier and to make sure they are getting the best offers at the right time,” she said.
“Years ago the bank controlled how customers did their banking. Today the balance has shifted.”
Ms Claes said that customers also made it clear they want to understand their financial position immediately and see their accounts and balances in real time.
Features of the new platform include real-time displays of all transactions, interest and rewards, digital alerts for “best offers” and notifications when there are insufficient funds for a bill.
The new platform also gives customers the ability to receive and send messages to the bank from any device, to put a card on and off “hold”, and to notify the bank of impending overseas travel.
“Our new digital platform allows us to make continuous improvements in terms of functionality and relevant offers and to help customers get the most out of their banking,” Ms Claes said.
“People don’t want to be challenged by something as routine as banking and as a business we need to be as efficient and relevant as possible. This project has given us the platform for both.”