Head of Simplii Financial says report gathered insight on trends beyond digital banking

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The head of Simplii Financial said the aim of releasing its first ever digital trends report was to ask Canadians how they felt about digital “beyond financial services and to find out if we can honestly say digital and technology is changing our lives for the better.”

Aayaz Pira, who is the senior vice-president of CIBC’s digital and direct banking, said in an interview with MobileSyrup that the report was a great way to get Canadians to talk more about how they are living digitally.

“We thought this would be a great way to get them inside into the world of digital and technology beyond financial technologies and start to soundboard some of the data about how Canadians do want to bank,” he said.

Simplii Financial is the direct banking brand of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

The report, which released on July 11th, showcased information not only about digital tools but also how Canadians utilize apps on their phones, and what digital trends are amongst them.

Banking, investing and budgeting (44 percent) topped the list of the top five digital tools that make the most positive impact in the lives of Canadians,

Forty-three percent of Canadians are using these digital tools to simplify their lives, 40 percent to save time, 38 percent to be able to accomplish tasks and 28 percent to stay organized.

Pira said that it is very impressive that digital banking tools made it to the top of that list.

“We know that Canadians are saying that being able to bank digitally is very important and making a positive impact in their lives, so I think it’s a really interesting piece of information,” he said. “Then getting that data and understanding how Canadians want to interact with their financial institutions…in which, 82 percent are using digital, it’s important for us because we know that Canadians want choice and we know that technology is evolving.”

Simplii Financial wants to create best online digital experience for customers

Pira added that Simplii wanted to ensure that it is providing the best experiences for its clients to interact with its representatives when managing their money.

According to the report, 91 percent of Canadians believe that new technologies have made banking significantly more convenient, and 88 percent of those Canadians say their banks have improved service through technology.

More importantly, 48 percent are online banking using a desktop or laptop, while 34 percent are using a smartphone or a tablet. Only nine percent are going into a branch to do banking, only six percent are using an ATM, and only three percent are using a telephone to get in touch with a representative.

“Our findings show that across the board, Canadians value the convenience of tech-driven banking,” Simplii said in the report.

Pira also noted that as Canadians use digital tools to online bank, Simplii has ensured that Canadians feel secure when their money is managed by someone else.

“We want to ensure it will be easiest and quickest experience providing value beyond just checking the balance, making a payment or a bill. We’re trying to innovate services and capabilities both from keeping it simple to do the banking and as well provide value-added services,” he said.

An example of adding value for customers is recently Simplii began allowing global money transfer services without additional fees. Simplii also began offering a service that allows customers to order foreign exchange cash that can then be delivered to your home.

Pira noted that it was incumbent upon all institutions and organizations to “innovate the way we bring services to the market.”

“Only nine percent of Canadians do everyday banking in a branch, so that means that the majority of people who are interacting with their financial institutions, all their interactions are digital,” he said.

“Using what we know about clients and understanding their needs and wants we are developing and delivering new capabilities that are going to start to complement what they would expect in a banking centre or branch and also start to push the boundaries as to what they can do with their mobile phones.”

Simplii’s report was conducted between May 22nd and 26th and had an estimated margin of error plus or minus 1.6 percent, 19 times out of 20. The report surveyed 3,040 random adult Canadians to help answer various questions about how they use digital tools in their day-to-day lives.

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