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Published on October 29th, 2015 | by Pete

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Can Banks learn anything from Ryanair?

There are some companies which have had a bit of a mixed lot when it comes to publicity and Ryanair is one of them. A company who have been heralded for making flight affordable for thousands but equally whose super-budget profile doesn’t always lead to the best customer experience, they’re a company who are both loved and loathed in equal measure. Elements of the Ryanair model work, they must do considering the company has been operating since 1985 and it’s these elements which the banking industry may well be able to learn from.

This article published by the Misys powered FinTech magazine FusionWire takes a light-hearted look at what might happen if Ryanair ran a bank, concluding it may not be the best idea but are there elements of the Ryanair model that the banking industry can learn from?

Ryanair: The Good

There are good and effective elements of the Ryanair model which could work for the modern banking industry. The most effective element of the Ryanair model is their approach to streamlining. It is a company which has worked in a constructive and effective way to deliver a streamlined service which is fully transparent and makes absolute sense to all customers, with nothing hidden and nothing more than what is advertised offered. The modern banking industry can learn from this in many ways, if not in the least with the transparency customers expect. The modern banking world is viewed suspiciously by customers so the banks need to respond by being as transparent and honest as possible. No more hidden fees, payment protection insurance customers aren’t sure they have signed up to or any other hidden charges which aren’t clearly and plainly explained.

Ryanair offer a mixture of free (included) and fee-based services and they make this clear and in the banking world there is no reason this can’t be adopted too. A mixture of both inclusive services and those which incur a fee is something that most banking customers will be more than happy to accept and will be able to work with, as long as it is made plainly clear to understand. Offering a service which is clear to understand from the off, will convince many people who may be distrustful of banks in general or who may have had bad experiences in the past. If a bank has specific charges these should be explicitly outlined and explained to new customers on signing up for an account and where fee-paying services are optional (such as insurance) they should also be explicitly explained. Ryanair keep it simple on paper and online and there is no reason a bank can’t offer a similar transparent service.

Ryanair has also been heralded as offering exceptionally good customer service for the price and banks too can get their customers back on side with a transparent approach. Yes, much of Ryanair’s popularity is down to its ability to keep things cheap but value for money is an ethic everyone can adopt, in any price bracket.

Ryanair: The Bad

Some elements of the Ryanair model are completely untenable in the banking world. The most customer wants a service tailored to their needs and which can adapt with their requirements and the super-budget style of the Ryanair service simply doesn’t adapt this way. Yes, you can upgrade to a degree with additional fee-paying services but you can’t change the basics and you can’t add in the personalisation that banking customers now demand.

RyanAir has had low points in its thirty years of business with 2014 seeing their first drop in profits in five years, with rivals competition considered behind the fall and also work that needed to be done on their customer service, which has all but been solved now, with many more customers experiencing positive service before and during their flights. Even at their lowest moments though, Ryanair saw concessions they could make to benefits their customers and accepted that whilst their budget model works, they needed to offer some premium elements, customer service being one of these.

The modern banking industry is at a disadvantage in many ways, as so many customers are wary and suspicious but as Ryanair have showed, an image makeover is entirely possible and customers like a company which is honest, transparent and learns from its mistakes.

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