The e-Statement Blog
e-statements part 1 – getting customers to give up paper!
19th Feb 2011 by Niresh Shao
We want to share some of our observations from our client engagements that focus on e-statements. The topics we will cover over the next few posts are based on our experiences of areas where our clients had been missing golden opportunities to improve their results or reduce their costs.
We hope our observations help you find areas where you can make improvements, extract additional savings or simply increase your results!
What do we mean by e-statements?
On the simplest level they are transactional account statements delivered over the internet either as PDF attachments to e-mails (we will ignore the security implications of that for this discussion) or as online web pages where a client can view and download a PDF as part of their online banking.
One of the main drivers our clients cite for moving to e-statements is that e-statements reduce their overheads whilst ‘improving the client experience’ – which is wonderful we agree, but misses the full impact that an e-statements project can deliver as part of an intelligent client communication approach.
Overcoming the ‘so what’ factor
Why do e-statements look the same as paper statements? This is where we see a lot of initiatives fail before the project has even started. E-statements have none of the restrictions of paper statements – e-statements can use full colour images, text and the full power of your designers’ imaginations – within tastefully set boundaries of course. So why not make use of the chance to truly enhance the power of the statements?
Creating a perceived value gap between e & paper statements is easy when you have a medium that encourages change. on each envelope. Differentiating your e-statements from existing paper statements through clever design is a starting point but online banking is more convenient and the information in the e-statements can be more easily understood if it is presented using the full power of internet standards. So don’t hold back – you may even want to undermine you paper statements by printing the CO2 cost
Give people more! Barclaycard have a wonderful spending analysis tool. It displays charts with splits based on basic categories (food, entertainment, music etc). VISA is doing most of the hard work as they provide the transaction categories in the data feeds. This interactive chart is useful, in a small way – but it engages the customer which is far more important. The client can perform simple drill down on their monthly and quarterly spending which allows them to feel more in control of their money.
The perceived value gap can be used to drive an uptake in the numbers of people switching to e-statements and online banking. The savings our clients typically see come from three key areas:
reduction in the paper being sent to the customer
reduction in branch usage
reduction in call centre account queries
Those reductions are wonderful things – but the real value is derived from where they see increases:
increase in customer satisfaction
increase in opportunities to deliver targeted offerings to individual clients
increase in response rates to targeted offerings
increase in measurability of marketing spend
We have worked with a bank that is using the above approach very aggressively and they have doubled the monthly sign-up rate to online banking. In the future, as part of their corporate sustainability programme, they plan to charge clients for paper statements and these will be identical to the e-statements and produced in full colour – with the additional cost being covered by a subscription payment that includes carbon offsetting for the production and delivery of the statement. That should happen within 18 months and will effectively move their statement run to a revenue generating activity.
That’s it for this post – feel free to send me your questions about any of the information covered here or leave a comment below – you can reach me through the office on +2731 566 4596 or contact me through the website.
Until next time…