RIGA, LATVIA, October 27, 2003 – Metasite, a leading Baltic management consulting, marketing communications and technology solutions firm, took part in the 9th annual international conference Banking and Finance in the Baltics 2003 held in Riga by the Latvian Business School, presenting the preliminary findings of the research report titled Triumphs and Failures on the Baltic E-banking Scene.
“As all the retail banks are offering principal financial products on nearly identical terms, product features and pricing cannot help banks to attract new retail clients or even keep the existing clients loyal,” said Aldas Kirvaitis, Managing Director of Metasite. “Already today, client attraction and retention mostly relies on two pillars: brand – or image, if you like, and superior customer service. At the same time, Internet banking user numbers have skyrocketed in 2002 and 2003. With the public bank websites and internet banking systems rivaling the regular customer service branches and ATMs in popularity, e-channels are turning into the next arena for competitive battles and wars. To have a chance of winning those battles, a bank needs a clear understanding of how its internet properties compare to those of rival banks at the moment, where it is leading and where it is lagging behind.”
The research report analyzes the strengths and weaknesses in every Latvian and Lithuanian retail bank’s Internet offerings, answering two principal questions: Where are we today? and Where are our competitors?
“This report is not an evaluation of e-banking IT platforms, neither it is a contest for the best graphical website design, nor an e-banking system security test,” emphasized Mr. Kirvaitis when addressing bank representatives. “It is a systematic analysis of every Latvian and Lithuanian retail bank’s offerings from a retail client’s perspective, covering four important areas: functionality, clarity, ease of use and customer service responsiveness.”
While some of the report’s highlights were presented to the conference participants, the final 120+ page report will feature analysis of every Latvian and Lithuanian retail bank’s internet offerings according to 110 criteria in multiple categories and subcategories, providing comparison benchmarks in every category in the forms of data tables and color chart diagrams. Interested parties will be able to order the full report online at www.metasite.net.
In the second presentation, titled One-to-one marketing done right: squeezing cross-selling and up-selling deals out of your bank’s website, Metasite shared its insights and experience on adding personal touches and personalization to the Internet offerings of financial services firms, techniques for tracking customer behaviour, and emerging challenges of handling channel conflicts.
“We are indeed happy with the results of the event,” commented Mr. Kirvaitis after the conference. “As Metasite gradually expands its activities in Latvia, an opportunity to meet representatives from a number of Latvian banks was invaluable, and we have already started productive discussions with a couple of Latvian financial services providers.”