In Banks We Trust: Building Trust with Financial Digital Signage

Former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee once said that “Trust is built with consistency.” When a financial organization like a bank or credit union offers reliable information and services in a timely fashion, people tend to trust it. Financial digital signage can help with that.

The financial sector of the past seemed reluctant to adopt too many changes to their business models too quickly – they wanted to be seen as steady and reliable, something people can count on. But expectations have changed. After the 2008 banking crisis, public trust took a steep downturn and the finance world had to make abrupt changes to the way they do things. Rising up from the ashes has been something called FinTech. This is a portmanteau of “financial technology” and is an emerging industry that uses technological solutions to improve financial services.

In recent years, we’ve seen a marked rise in the use of smartphones for mobile banking, online investing services, cryptocurrencies and automation in insurance, trading and risk management. This is clearly the way of the future, and more technological integration is on the way.

While there are certainly plenty of B2B transactions in the world of finance, it’s really still about the public at its heart. A recent article by Kate Rooney for CNBC shows that the younger generation, the millennials, are focused on the customer experience and best value. They trust tech – it permeates their lives every waking hour of the day, and financial institutions that have tech solutions are seen as inherently more trustworthy than those that don’t. Fintech companies “have flourished” since 2008, while there’s still a “lingering distrust in banks”.

An article by Deidre H. Campbell for BAI outlines five ways financial services organizations can build trust:

  1. Transparency
  2. Staying ahead of the technology curve
  3. Human interaction a priority
  4. Expertise and trustworthiness
  5. Content built on existing relationships

Digital signage is a tech solution to help with all of these. Screens and video walls in areas where people wait and walk through grab their attention, so you can communicate both what’s important to them and important to your organization enhance the in-branch experience. A constant stream of dynamic messaging on large screens shows a level of confidence and openness (“Go ahead and take a look – we have nothing to hide”) that helps build a sense of trust.


People won’t just hand their money over to a bank and blindly trust they’ll be taken care of anymore. They want to know exactly where their money is going, what services they will receive and how much it will really cost them. This is a communications issue, and there is no more powerful communications tool than a comprehensive digital signage system.

Messages that succinctly but accurately outline exactly what you offer get displayed in rotation, so people will see a particular message several times while on site, reinforcing the information.

Show people what you stand for, what your driving ideals are, and how you go about serving and protecting their investment. Let people see exactly where their money is going, especially if you’re investing in local projects. Everyone likes to feel like they’ve had a peek behind the curtain, and it shows that you are open and above-board.

Additional details can be provided by supplying a short URL or QR code that takes people out to a dedicated webpage or online form, or you can use interactive touchscreens and kiosks to layer dense amounts of information in clear, understandable chunks that the audience can look though at their leisure, in their own way.

Cutting Edge

Everyone today wants the organizations they interact with to provide them an experience that is familiar. That means tech and information, and lots of it. Even children are used to surfing through volumes of webpages and other data sources to find what they want and need. A good, well-designed digital signage deployment, with high-quality images, looks great and pulls people away from the private world of their phone into the shared information space of the financial institution.

A lot of finance organizations are using video walls in their lobbies to not only inform people but really impress them. Several screens together that show large-scale images and video can be quite breathtaking when first encountered. Large marketboards with striking visuals also give the impression that you have your finger on the pulse of the markets and world of finance.

Using interactive wayfinding is another modern way to give people a way to navigate a facility. People already use a map app to find the newest restaurant, so supplying them with something similar in your building emulates their day-to-day, giving them the sought after “consumer-like experience”. Touchscreens with maps and routes, combined with a directory divided up into different sections (personnel, departments, services, etc.) let people choose what they need and then supplies them with helpful information to facilitate their visit.

Human Interaction and Expertise

People want to know that the people they’re trusting their money to know what they’re doing. Employee spotlights on your digital signs, including a brief CV or list of credentials, can go a long way to assuring customers that these people are the right ones to trust. Accomplishments by the organization as a whole can also be spotlighted with awards, certifications and honors on screens.

There are likely some busy branches where people may have to wait in line. Studies show that digital signage queueing systems greatly alleviate perceived wait times by letting people know where they are in the queue and approximately how long they have to wait. And while they’re waiting, they’re being exposed to your digital signage messages, learning all about what you can offer them.

Interactive digital signage can also stand in for an information desk or concierge in the lobby. People get what they need from the screens, which frees up staff to help with more specialized needs and give more personalized service. This allows more people to benefit from your expertise.

Leveraging Existing Relationships

People tend to trust things they already know. This is why cross-sells and up-sells are an important part of modern finance business models. Easy enough to do with digital signage messages: imagine a message that says something like “Think about our Silver Level package” with a few bullet points and then a way to link out to a webpage with more information (or you could even have a stack of brochures right there, next to the screen).

Localization can also play a part in building trust. People like to trust “people like me”. One way to encourage that thinking is to profile your client base and see who they are. If you have a large number of clients who are ethnically or culturally Filipino, why not have some messages in Tagalog? When choosing images for your messages, put in some Filipino faces. With interactive solutions, you can even let people see everything in Tagalog just by pressing an onscreen button that changes the language.

You can also do community spotlights and testimonials. Local business owners who have benefited from your investment, people who can buy a home thanks to the help you gave them, etc. When asked, most people would be happy to participate in such a thing (and imagine how much fun it would be for people to walk in and see their friend or family member giving a testimonial on your screens).

People like to feel connected to their community, so you should highlight local projects you’ve invested in, or other ways you contribute to the area. Include charity events and initiatives to show that making money isn’t the only thing you care about.

The ways you can improve the customer experience and help build a sense of trustworthiness to your client base are innumerable with a comprehensive digital signage deployment. As Ernst &Young says, “Trust: without it, you’re just another bank”. Your customers don’t want a faceless institution. They want a bank that cares about them and the world they live in, and that are experts in their field. That’s who they will trust with their money.