Bank customers are doing an increasing amount of their transactions online, with tablets and mobile devices.
So it should be no surprise that when M&T set out to create a new version of its website, the bank had those kinds of users in mind.
M&T nearly two years ago finished upgrading its online banking functions for customers. The new version of the website represents the next step in its technology investment, updating how customers access content on the site.
“We’re really doing something which is forward looking from a design perspective,” said Peter Eliopoulos, M&T’s chief marketing officer. “For a bank, this is going to be very fresh, and I think the way it’s designed is with the mobile convergence in mind.”
Traditional banks everywhere face a common challenge: maintaining a relevant branch network, while ensuring their digital presence matches customers’ expectations. A survey released earlier this year by Javelin Strategy and Research found that 30 percent of adults used mobile banking on a weekly basis in 2015, compared to just 24 percent for a brick-and-mortar bank location. That was the first time weekly mobile bankers surpassed weekly branch bankers, according to Javelin, which declared mobile banking the “clear winner in the digital battle between mobile and branch.”
M&T’s new website also debuts at a time when the bank hopes to capture more customers, amid a local market in flux. KeyCorp acquired First Niagara Financial Group, and Northwest Bancshares is preparing to buy 18 area First Niagara branches.
M&T has been developing ideas for a new version of its website since wrapping up its online banking upgrade in November 2014, said Paris Roselli, senior vice president of digital banking. “Customer behaviors and trends change, so we’re just keeping in line with what they need.”
The bank made changes based on a mix of research, feedback from users and employees, and industry trends.
M&T wanted to move away from a website that was essentially conglomerate of information, to one that was “cleaner” and easier to navigate, the way someone scrolls through the screen of a mobile device, Eliopoulos said.
The bank developed the website’s new look with input from in-house personnel as well as an international design firm, Pentagram. M&T has worked with Pentagram since 2009, including on projects like branch design.
“Something that is beautiful also has to be useful, and the fact that it’s useful doesn’t preclude it from also being beautiful,” Eliopoulos said. “It must be both,in our view, and we think Pentagram has helped us a lot on that journey.”