Banks are well aware that they have lost the trust of consumers in the aftermath of the financial crisis. They also know that they are losing ground to technology companies in the innovation race. What they may not realize is that these problems share a common solution: banks have to start doing a better job of communicating with their customers.

Customers have little faith in their banks' ability to offer cutting-edge, interconnected services, according to a July 2014 survey of 4,000 adults in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France conducted by marketing consultancy Prophet. Sixty-eight percent of respondents agreed with the statement: "Banks aren't very innovative. The most useful innovations come from other companies." And 65% say they can easily imagine "well-known companies and brands from other industries becoming alternatives for daily banking transactions." Meanwhile, 75% of respondents across nations believe banks "only care about their own goals, and don't really act in the interest of the customer." (That sentiment is highest in France, at 85%, and lowest in the U.S., at 63%.)

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