Why localisation should trump globalisation in finance

Over the past couple of decades, borderless payments, neobanks and fewer local branches have all resulted in a banking environment that is anything but local.

In our new global world, it’s easy to forget the irreplaceable benefits of local customer service, and what it means for the overall customer experience - especially when it comes to some personal financial products such as home and business loans.

Offshoring is slow and uncontrollable

In our new working from home culture, there’s the argument that working remotely means finance businesses are free to go all-in on their overseas remote teams. However, the reality is that major banks are struggling to provide mortgages in their normal timeframe thanks to the various rules imposed as a result of the coronavirus.

Back in March, the Australian Financial Review reported that Westpac and its subsidiaries, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and St George Bank, had been hit by processing delays in the Philippines after the government imposed ‘community quarantines’ on its Manila operations.

Financial organisations with an international workforce are struggling to cope, with many financial centres not equipped to allow international staff to work from home. With India and the Philippines still in strict lockdown, it’s uncertain if things will ever return to ‘normal’.

Finance should be personal

Aside from the coronavirus-related issues referenced above, there’s also a deeper, more meaningful reason that finance brands should reconsider building their local workforce: finance should be personal.

Finance is about going for your first home loan, it’s building a decent savings account for the first time, it’s starting your first business. In order for finance brands to make their customer feel comfortable discussing what might at times feel like incredibly personal information, it helps to keep customer service local.

If a customer feels like one of the thousands of calls being drafted out to an international call centre, there’s no way that customer is going to feel like they’re receiving any kind of personalised service.

When I’ve got an issue with my bank, if I need to solve something quickly, I can quickly get in touch with my private banking contact almost immediately. He’s local, on the same time zone, and fast. Business owners generally don’t have the time to wait around for issues to get solved, and having a known contact on the same time zone is incredibly important.

Ultimately, banking brands are there to serve their customers. If they’re not able to do that with the ease and efficiency of a local team, today’s customers are more than willing to jump ship to a competitor. In order to win true customer loyalty, local, personalised service is the way to go.

About the author

Tate Zanner is the founder of Insil, an award-winning marketing agency based in Sydney, Australia. Insil’s proven lead generation solution has been a game-changer for clients including 12RND Fitness, Ray White and Toyota, and to date has helped over 730 clients achieve an average 5x return on investment and increase their revenue by an average of 51%. Insil consistently challenges the perception of telemarketing, proving that it can be a sophisticated, successful approach for businesses who want to make a great first impression. insil.com.au