By Jim Marous, Modified by Opentopic

Over 70% of financial institutions globally place ‘improving the customer experience‘ as one of their top 3 strategic priorities in 2017, according to a research study done by the Digital Banking Report.

At a time when the number of strategic challenges facing the banking industry seem overwhelming, prioritizing what needs to be focused on is an important exercise. To find out what the most important priorities will be in 2017, the Digital Banking Report surveyed over 500 financial institutions globally as part of the research done for the upcoming 2017 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions report, sponsored by Kony, Inc.

The respondents included included banks and credit unions in every asset range from Asia, Africa, North America, South and Central America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Each respondent was asked to provide their top 3 strategic priorities for 2017. Despite the wide variance in both asset size and geographic location of the respondents, the ranking of the top priorities named by the majority of organizations were surprisingly consistent.

Overall, the top three priorities mentioned were improving the digital experience (mentioned by 71% of the respondents), enhancing data analytic capabilities (50%), and finding ways to reduce costs (41%). The rest of the priorities mentioned were at least 15% less likely to be mentioned. Interestingly, despite a great deal of coverage in industry publications, the desire to partner or invest in fintech relationships is a low priority for all but the largest organizations.

1. Improve the Digital Customer Experience

As was mentioned in Are Banks Really Committed to the Customer Experience, “As consumers increasingly make decisions based on the ease with which they can interact with their financial institution, competition around the customer experience is giving rise to new roles and titles within the banking industry.” The challenge has been that, while a majority of financial services firms are in the process of expanding their CX projects – especially as it relates to both digital and mobile engagement – there is still difficulty in gaining resources to pursue new projects.

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2. Enhance Data Analytics Capabilities

Customer insight and data analytics is at the foundation of virtually every retail banking trend in the coming year. From removing friction from the customer journey, to improving multichannel delivery and exploring the use of open APIs, data is the fuel that will power these initiatives.

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3. Reduce Operating Costs

While all types of organization found the reduction of costs to be the third most important priority, large national banks and community banks ranked this higher than other types of organizations.

4. Increase Investment in Innovation

5. Meet Regulatory and Compliance Requirements

6. Update or Replace Components of the Core Operating System

7. Recruit and Retrain Talent

8. Improve Business Processes 

9. Enhance Security and Authentication

10. Partner With Fintech Providers

Read the original article: thefinancialbrand.com