The effects of the current economic crisis have undoubtedly generated a feeling of distrust towards the banking industry. However, banks, such as HSBC and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) are now embracing crowdsourcing to rebuild that trust and openly collaborate with their customers and the public on new products and services, thus helping to rebuild the often damaged relationship between banks and their customers.
Crowdsourcing as a collaborative tool in the banking industry was the principle behind the platform Community, launched by Continuity Engine Inc. With regulated U.S banking institutions as the platform’s users, it enables them to openly and freely develop and share content.
Anything created through Community falls under a Creative Commons License and therefore makes sharing easier. The platform is revolutionary in that, in a very strictly regulated industry, it eliminates the barriers of sharing common interests, thus fostering greater development of products and services.
The idea of banks collaborating openly with customers has been the main focus of social media advocate Christophe Langlois. Through his company Vision Media Ltd, established in 2007, Langlois has been working with banks and financial institutions to help them better understand how social media works and incorporating it into their marketing strategy.
Considered to be the first bank to actually crowdsource its customers, first direct, the online banking arm of HSBC, launched the first direct lab. The bank now directly collaborates with its customers sharing feedback, creating new products as well as enhancing existing services with some success. In a similar vein CBA launched the ideaBank which as well as seeking feedback on various ideas, invites customers to suggest products and services of their own, with the most popular ones being awarded a cash prize.
Crowdsourcing encourages openness and collaboration, and the banking industry is now starting to see the results of working with its customers. It also encourages transparency between bank and consumer which goes towards building a much more robust and trusting relationship.
What do you think? Will crowdsourcing be a good fit for the world of banking? Let us know in the comments below.