The bitcoin bubble might be deflating, but that doesn’t mean banks can afford to ignore the larger growth of cryptocurrencies.
Even if they’re not the world-changing disruptor that some advocates trumpet, cryptocurrencies are changing the way that consumers think about currency, investment, and the influence of blockchain on our financial system.
Customers are finding new sources of financial information. If you fail to have an opinion on the cryptocurrency craze, it gives them another reason to question your bank’s commitment to their financial health. Although your bank is unlikely to enter this volatile market, your position as a thought leader means your customers expect to hear what you have to say on the subject.
Here are three ways your bank can leverage the notoriety of cryptocurrencies to increase consumer trust in your brand.
1. Partner with Trusted Providers
Investing in new, digital currencies probably isn’t right for most of your banking clients. But there will definitely be some customers who will want to dive headfirst into this brave new world – or at least dip their toes in the water.
Cater to those customers by forging strategic partnerships with trusted cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinsquare, Coinbase, or CoinSpot. By offering preferred rates, or even just access to cryptocurrency advisors, you’re letting your customers know that while you might not be experts, you have a clear idea of who the experts are in this complex new realm.
(As an aside, if you’re a cryptocurrency exchange looking for a name that stands out in the coin-crowded marketplace, we do that.)
Partnering with trusted exchanges can also mean bringing experts in to help train your staff, offer workshops and information to your customers, and working together to make the complicated world of cryptocurrencies more accessible to everyday consumers.
2. Offer Informed and Knowledgeable Advice
We write a lot about the importance of offering trusted financial advice. A lot. Clearly, we believe that helping customers understand their financial lives is one of the key ways that traditional banks and credit unions will stay relevant in a future of digital-first financial services.
The popularity of cryptocurrency is the perfect opportunity for banks to demonstrate their expertise and authority on a topic that many consumers don’t understand, let alone trust. Aside from forging strategic partnerships, it’s necessary for your bank to commit to offering advice on this hot topic, both online and in branches. Your customers and potential customers have questions, and if you don’t have answers for them, they’ll quickly start looking elsewhere.
What sort of questions are they looking to have resolved? The basics – what is cryptocurrency, how does blockchain work, etc. – are important, but beyond that, clients want to know:
- The risks associated with cryptocurrencies.
- How cryptocurrency investments are regulated.
- Whether investing in cryptocurrencies is right for their individual portfolios.
If your bank can be the go-to resource for information on timely topics, customers will start to consider you the go-to resource for all of their financial concerns.
3. Invest in Educating Your Team
I mentioned the importance of being able to offer in-branch advice, and that comes down to the most important asset in any financial institution: your team.
When customers come in with questions, they don’t want to be told they’ll need to make an appointment to speak with the one advisor well-versed in the latest news and trends in cryptocurrencies. Every customer-facing staff member in the branch should know enough about cryptocurrencies to answer basic questions and to direct clients to more detailed, reliable information.
The teller who responds to a question about Ethereum with a blank look will only inspire skepticism and erode trust in your bank’s status as an authority on financial matters.
Why Does Any of this Matter?
Frankly, banking is not an industry that most of us associate with hot trends. But as anyone on the front lines knows, different products and investment offerings can cause quite a stir among customers looking to make the most out of their money.
While cryptocurrencies might be causing an unusually big stir, staying on top of trends and ensuring that your bank is well-equipped to meet emerging customer needs should always be top priorities. And with the compounding speed of technological innovation, it might be time to start expecting big stirs more and more frequently.
Prepare your bank by embracing change, forging strategic partnerships, offering top-notch advice, and investing in continuous education for your team.