Building a millennials-friendly banking experience

Hello bank!, the online-only brand of BNP Paribas Fortis, makes banking simple and smooth for mostly-Millennial clients 

Going boldly where no bank has gone before 

In the staid world of banking, Hello Bank! is a breath of fresh air. As an online-only bank designed with Millennials in mind, parent bank BNP Paribas Fortis has taken two radical steps in an industry that is decidedly un-radical, with the goal of creating the bank of the future. 

Few banks have fixed their sights on Millennials, for seemingly good reasons. With young adults in the industrial world struggling to find jobs that pay well enough to allow them to get out on their own, banks hardly view them as a valuable target market. And Millennials largely return this disinterest: Mention finance to tech-savvy under-30 digital natives, and their associations are more likely to be with crowdfunding and Bitcoin than bank accounts and checkbooks. 

In this largely uncharted territory, creating a customer experience that appeals to a population that does not fully buy into the necessity of banks is possibly the most crucial challenge. Hello bank!’s crackerjack team meets this challenge through ongoing website testing and optimization, expertly applying their comprehensive marketing analytics ecosystem to get the answers they need. 

The more things change, the more they stay the same 

To appeal to bank-leery targets who came of age online, Hello bank! took a different approach to presenting its services. First, it eased the way for banking novices to identify the services they want by presenting products such as debit cards and online accounts in a clean, minimalist fashion, with no jargon and ultra-concise explanations. To increase form-fill speed and ease, Hello bank! leveraged social sign-up for their plugged-in customer base.  

Despite these well-reasoned plans, account sign-ups underperformed expectations. To get a better handle on the intent that was driving customer behavior, Hello bank! analysts consulted Clicktale. 

Clicktale revealed clear, if surprising, results: When it comes to banking, Millennials want more detail and more security, surprisingly like their parents. Far from driving clicks, minimal explanations of banking services led visitors to scroll down the page in a search for more detail and more explanation (which they finally found, way down in the footer).  

Extended customer attention to footer text indicates search for more details

Social sign-up, which seemed like a great idea, turned out to be problematic on a number of fronts. Personal data fields were not filled in for a sizeable proportion of customers due to technical failures, leading to frustrating errors. While Adobe Analytics revealed that visitors spent significant time on the sign-up page, and frequently left the site without signing up, Hello bank! needed Clicktale to show exactly where the process broke down.

Only 10% of visitors who tried using Social Connect buttons succeeded in registering with them. 2/3 just gave up.

An equally interesting finding, from a sociological perspective was that many Millennials bypassed social sign-up out of concern for privacy and data security. While they’re ultra-comfortable online, Millennials are certainly not innocent about risks and are knowledgeable enough to take extra care with their finances.  

The Upshot 

The nimble and response Hello bank! team reorganized the main offer page to include concise but informative text for each banking service, adding details that customers sought to above-the-fold content. With information available to visitors at the very first glance, the number of conversions shot up. 

Hello bank! also eliminated the social connect buttons from its sign-up page, for a 44% lift in click-through rate for first step of enrollment. 

To learn more about how BNP Paribas Fortis, a long-time leader in the most traditional of business, is creating a customer experience that appeals to a non-traditional new segment, check out our Hello bank! case study. 

For more about creating a secure banking experience for digital banking customers of all generations, see our Every Financial Services Customer is a Digital Customer 

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