As in this fast paced world everything is developing and emerging in a new form. Especially E-commerce is gaining much popularity in the modern world. Not only organizational businesses are improving, banking sector is also launching its online services centers which are typically called online banking services. Online banking permits clients to carry out financial transactions on a protected website operated by their retail or virtual bank (Klein, 1998). Online banking basically refers to online execution of bank transactions and payments through internet. Internet has made our lives so easier that one can perform any of its business tasks while sitting at his home. One can do online payments, exchange their resources online, and now, one can even do our banking online (Mela, CralF, Gupta, Sunil and Lehman, 1997). Online banking offers different services like making deposits, withdrawals and paying bills all with one click of a mouse.
Online Banking is an inventive online facility that can tailor all banking services which match your exact banking needs. It offers you handy, round-the-clock banking services starting from account transfers to retrieval of important financial information like mini statements, banking records etc (Cronin & Mary, 1997). Now through these online services of bank, you can handle your finances anytime, everywhere. This paper is basically focusing over the marketing strategy to gain more clients for the new online services, how to educate those clients about the way services are being offered and lastly the successful implementation strategy is also included in this paper.
Currently there are a number of businesses which are offering their online banking services. After taking a look at the financial institutions and online banking services being offered by different banks in U.K, a tremendous change has been seen in last few years. Here our main focus is on how these financial operate online and what services they offer within their online banking sections (Lassar, Mittal, and Sharma, 1995). Most of the banks in U.K are now focusing on moving there major portions of workings and services on internet to make it convenient for their clients and themselves too. These services include a number of services but major among them are electronic bill payment, funds transfer, online investment i-e purchase or sale, online submission of loan applications and transactions, retrieving online statements, check links, co-browsing and bank statements etc.
Major U.K banking sector is offering these online services for their clients. And now as our bank is planning to overcome such competitive forces so we have to move our business online to meet up these technological challenges. Each bank operating in U.K is planning to have such structural changes due to internal and external competitiveness, declining customer base, regulation changes, lastly trading and services technological change. There has been an enormous change in the U.K. banking system majorly over the last two decades (Martin, 2000). The revolution of the U.K. banking societies has made the situation really challenging for all others. And we being among those banks require patching up with these competitions by readily moving online.
SWOT analysis is being designed here for two major themes, firstly for the competitor’s strengths and weakness and secondly regarding threats and opportunities present in the environment and lastly how to exploit the opportunities and how we can handle the threats. As number of banks are operating in the U.K and most of them are well established in their businesses. So it’s very important to identify the competitor’s strengths and weaknesses to work on our betterment later on. After analyzing the banks of U.K following are the major strengths and weaknesses of the competitors.
The major strengths of the U.K banking industry are there internal operational plans where the banking industry is excelling. Actually the major names working in the banking sector is moving higher due to the operational efficiencies and lower transaction time (Ostrom, Amy and Iacobucci, 1995).. The major competitor’s strengths of U.K banks include recording high annual returns, diversifying investment portfolio offerings, decreasing transaction and trading fees, increasing the amount of ATM machines and last but most importantly increasing market share.
Mostly the major weakness seen in U.K banks being the competitors was there internal operational elements including those things which they have direct control and they also have the power to change it. These banking industry’s weakness elements usually include low bond credit ratings, high loan rates, an increasing number of outstanding junk bonds, a rise in loan-sharking activity and more and more high-risk investment options.
Opportunity is any internal or external factor which provides you the opportunity to do business and earn profit. There are several different opportunities present in the external U.K environment for banking industry (Winer, 1986). These external opportunities can let you earn huge profits in long run. Majorly the U.K banking industry opportunities are banking deregulation, their growing economy, improved client borrowing, rise in the number of banks, more liquid flow in the money supply, low government involvement in setting credit rates and huge amounts of customer checking account balances.
Threats are usually the factors which are threatening the success of the businesses operating in that particular environment. These factors can harm the working of U.K banks in real terms. The major threats present in U.K for banking sector includes there bigger capital gains taxes, dilapidated economy, enlarged banking regulations, innovative high-risk investment vehicles or superior health care costs. One important thing to realize is that these threats are not temporary. Some of these risks are being catered by banking sector but few have problems in catering such threats. A positive sign is that now banks of U.K are taking these things as there major challenges and they are taking steps to avoid problems due to such threats present in U.K industry.
Whole of the banking market of U.K is covered up by a number of well known competitor banks. The U.K’s initial online banking services were introduced by Bank of Scotland for clients of the Nottingham Building Society and they are still doing their business efficiently.
U.K market has a number of banks which are using the same system for their online banking transactions and there executions. These online banking solutions have many factors and things in common, but customarily also have some that are claim definite. The frequent features come broadly under these categories
• Performing a financial transaction online.
• Electronic bill payment
• Account transfers within same or different banks.
• Paying a bill through wire transfer.
• Applying for a loan through online application facility.
• Online investment, purchase or sale.
• Online retrieval of bank statements.
• Checking links online.
• Bank statements.
Online banking will offer the client with the supreme experience in our Bank by joining together superior banking services with handy personal operational control over all these services. Marketing strategy for our new online banking service is designed according to the needs of our online clients and there level of knowledge about the system. Awareness for such a system can be created through promotional informative ad campaigns. Marketing strategies for online banking may include following approaches:
• Use of Public Relations through newspapers and magazine publications.
• Email marketing campaigns
• Print marketing
• Direct mail marketing
• Offering free seminars to raise awareness among clients about online services
• Approaching web sites to publish our ads.
• Attracting clients by offering discounts to get existing clients to buy the new offering online services of our bank.
• TV commercials
• Posters campaign: posters will show the features and pictures and a message which ae going to give details about online banking services
• Advertising in trade magazines
• Public relations
• Press relations
• Informational ads in newspapers
Measurement & Control
Now the next step involves the measurement and control of the above strategy designed for the successful implementation of online banking services for our bank. As this is the new service being offered by our bank, so intense measurement and control is needed (Laroche, Michel, Chankon & Lianzi, 1996). Check and balance is needed in following things:
• While Setting up and registering client’s new accounts online.
• While accessing and amending their account details.
• View their transactions.
• Exporting their transactions to personal banking applications.
• Setting up one off and usual payments to a chosen bank or numerous third party payees.
• Creating, amending and canceling one off transfers among offshore saving accounts.
• Changing the site to which the interest is paid.
• Creating and maintaining a direct debit to pull money into the offshore account.
• Viewing and deleting direct debits taking money from the offshore account.
• Updating their personal facts and communicating with banking employees via secure email.
Online system of most of the banks is relying on the U.K’s Prestel system and it also needed a system, for example the BBC Micro, or server linked to the telephone system and television set. For the implementation of online system we also need these tools. In that system there should be a link named as ‘Homelink’ which allowed on-line presentation of bank transfers, statements, bill payments and other banking services etc. With the intention of making bill payments and bank transfers, a prepared instruction showing details of the proposed receiver had to be sent to the Nottingham Building Society and who in return set the details and forward them to the Homelink system. Usual recipients were electricity, gas and telecom firms & financial records with other banks. Next step in the system involves the details of payments are to be sent as input into the system by the account holder. In response to this process, a physical cheque was then sent by bank to the payee and an invoice giving details of the sum was sent to the payer who is the one who has his account in the Bank. Later on the physical transfers of funds are being made among the two banks.
After implementing this whole system we would be able to perform these activities for our clients online through internet.
• Credit Card Statement: Clients can easily check their credit card statement to verify their real transaction and there records.
• Foreign Exchange: Clients can easily carry out foreign exchange enquiries and other services related to it.
• E-Statements: All clients are free to download their E-Statements to track their transactions.
• Fund Transfers: Transfer of funds within the same bank accounts and different bank accounts.
• Online Bill Payments: this is to make our client’s life much easier, as they can pay their utility and other bills online.
Safety and Security issues
Although online banking services offer a lot of ease and convenience for the clients but along with that the major issue lies here is of crimes, safety and security issues. Its major solution lies is password protection and strong and proper authentication system. Protection through single password authentication although used by a number of secure online banking sites, is still not measured secure adequate for private online banking applications. So authentication in form of thumb signs or signatures and other tools might be helpful in creating stronger authentication system.
As human resource of every bank plays a very important role in implementing its strategies, so here also our human resource will be playing a significant role starting from, clients request and queries, new accounts applications and ending at the successful execution of each and every activity. Lastly human resource has to take a significant edge in customer satisfaction (Girish, Punj, & Hillyer, 2004). High quality services should be offered by whole combined bank staff. Timely and punctual human resource can create the real image of the bank by making it possible through their efforts. Some of them will be playing role in motivating all other employees so that they keep on working hard for the successful implementation f bank’s overall strategies. Lastly but not the least human resource of bank has to take care of all stake holders involved.
As this plan is for future so we can forecast the future revenues in terms of usage and online transaction capacity of users. A survey done for the purpose of studying the user’s interest in online banking showed that the growth rate of online banking services users is 117% and this is still increasing as people now prefer to manage their accounts while sitting at homes. And 76 % among total sample expressed interest in using online bill payment services of our bank. And other 80 % showed that the safe and secure payment options, if provided online will be preferred by them. So this shows that the major segment of the bank wants the online payment and transfer services and thus it shows huge revenues from online banking services, once offered throughout the bank. In the next 6 months, this group would surely use online banking for a wide range of services, counting bill and mortgage payment, fund transfer, and credit application (Davis, Guiltinan, and Jones, 1979). When asked why these people preferred banking online they told s that this would be due to ease of use, convenience, and safety and security etc. Below is the graph which shows the intensity of these factors.
Monitoring & Control
Last and the most important part of the whole plan lies here. Monitoring and Control is the one toll which is also implemented for the betterment and improvement of the existing system, so similarly here as well we would be using it to evaluate the current performance and operational efficiencies. And then comparing it with the desired performance and if any gap is there then putting efforts to lower tat performance gap. As the online banking client, the ease factor rates high. He may see how longer he has to wait for the bank statement to turn up in the mail to check account balances. One wants to check his balance by just logging in to his account and this is what he requires from the online services of his bank (Darby & Karni, Edi. (1973). Along with that some clients would be demanding online transactions, safe transfers and payments etc. So management of the bank has to take care of all this and has t implement the actions wherever the problem lies.
Another thing which has to be seen and observed by the management team of the bank is to see whether the expenses of physically existing office have reduced or not. As by moving online these expenses should reduce like movement of clients in and out of bank will decrease, expenses of affixing postage, writing checks and redistribution of the payment in the mail is reduced. So the coast of overall bank workings will decrease and thus the overall costs of consumer will also decrease. Although a minimal fee will be decided for the online banking services consumption but that would be really minimal (Crocker, 1986). And that fee would be easily justified with the transportation costs involved in the physical bank services. Now all these things should be properly administered and managed by the monitoring and control team. Because it is very critical for the overall revenues of the bank, once these expenses will start increasing, the revenues will decrease, so a strict check and control needs to be maintained for all such activities.
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