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Cut costs with self-service tools, banks told

Banks can reduce their costs by giving customers more tools to manage their money, says analyst Gartner.

Adding features and tools to online banking, cash machines and contact centres could help banks to reduce their operational costs and losses from bad debts, said the analyst.

"With banks coming under increasing pressure to deliver a range of short-term cost savings, the ways they interact with their customers will become increasingly important in managing costs downwards," said Gartner analyst Alistair Newton.

He called for banks to introduce more self-service options for customers.

According to Newton, the areas that banks should be looking at include wider access to electronic debt counselling, support for cashflow and money management websites and third-party tools, account consolidation, and the provision of cost-saving data.

Gartner also advised banks to step up their efforts to encourage customers to bank online.

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