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VeriPark Blog

Feb 14
7 ‘must-haves’ for an effective commercial loan origination platform

Commercial loans are often low volume products for many banks but they are also high value. However, they can be complex and costly to deliver, particularly for specialist lending such as for a commercial mortgage or real estate loan. It's not always possible to simply adopt a purely digital sales and onboarding process.


As well as web portals and mobile apps, clients may choose to use their bank branch or third-party brokers. This means the commercial banking loan origination process can involve multiple steps and channels. Corporate Relationship Managers will usually need to navigate between internal and external stakeholders, including CEOs or CFOs, treasury departments, product teams and credit committees.

Too often, Corporate Relationship Managers also have to contend with broken commercial loan origination systems. These can involve laborious, paper-based manual form filling and outdated legacy systems. That's not simply inefficient and frustrating; there is also a very real risk of Relationship Managers' missing valuable business opportunities.   

The commercial loan origination process is ripe for innovation

Here at VeriPark, we are convinced that effective commercial loan origination systems for banks and commercial loan origination software for brokers can deliver massive benefits. When banks achieve straight-through processing in their commercial mortgage or real estate loan origination software and commercial banking loan origination processes they will see significant improvements in customer experience, speed of decision making and, ultimately, profitability.

With numerous commercial loan origination system vendors in the market, deciding which one is right for your business isn't always easy. To help, here's a simple checklist of seven features to consider when making your commercial loan origination software comparison.

Best-practice commercial loan origination systems and software should include:


1. End to end Customer Lifecycle Management

Whatever channels your commercial loan client chooses to use, their customer experience is enhanced by managing the entire customer lifecycle in one, unified customer relationship management (CRM) platform. An effective CRM solution will cover everything from prospecting, qualifying leads and onboarding to loan approvals, after-sales service and collection management. This helps make your commercial loan origination process flow seamless and efficient.

2. Credit Policy Rules

Most commercial loan origination systems provide some form of customer credit scoring and rating. But, it's important to conduct an in-depth commercial loan origination software comparison. VeriPark's VeriLoan, for example, uses Inrule. This is a powerful rule engine that fully automates credit policy with minimal, or no, human interference. With the help of Inrule, business users can easily change policy rules and calculations without the need of programming. It empowers your organization to calculate the customer's eligibility based on your specific product's credit policy. This helps make your loan origination process more transparent and easy to use.


3. Data Quality

High quality, consistent and manageable data is an essential part of the commercial loan origination process. Banks need to evaluate customers' liabilities and credit scores across multiple lending institutions and credit bureaus. That's why VeriLoan has real-time integration capability with internal and external data sources.

4. Customer View

When you can effectively and automatically calculate exposure with crucial percentages, bank staff are empowered with data and a broader view to assess the customer. This improved understanding of a customer's history with parent and related companies and shareholders allows for a better understanding of the risk level. It enables the bank to offer the best loan structure with appropriate pricing and term.

5. Risk and Compliance

Many corporate loan origination software vendors integrate with the host systems to evaluate the credit decision-making process. VeriLoan, however, also has real-time integration capability with watch and black lists, such as AML List, Bounced Cheques list and PEP List. By simplifying KYC and AML check processes, the banks become more comfortable with calculating global exposures and mitigating risks. The process is very quick so you can improve risk management without slowing the commercial loan origination process flow.

6. Document Management

Commercial loan origination will always require strong document management skills. However, as much of the process as possible should be completed digitally.  This should definitely include DocuSign to enable digital signatures – it's a simple way to improve the customer experience and free-up relationship managers to focus on higher value activities. It also eliminates hassles, costs and lack of security in printing, scanning and overnighting documents for signature.

7. Exceptions Management

Of course, automation across the commercial loan origination process is great for efficiency. But, it should never put valued customer relationships at risk. For example, many loan applicants may not fully comply with the bank's defined credit policy. However, that customer is still likely to be a valuable asset to your bank. VeriPark's VeriLoan commercial loan origination system takes this into consideration, as the software allows for exceptions in the approval process. This gives you the opportunity to evaluate the loan application and customer relationship holistically and reduces the risk of your relationship managers missing new business opportunities.

The best commercial loan origination process will always involve operational complexity and strong relationship management skills. It is critical for banks to improve efficiency to help them reach decisions faster, mitigate risks and make the most of business opportunities. Finding the best commercial loan origination software for your needs will help you achieve some easy wins.

Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


Jan 31
Bridging the loyalty gap in banking

We know that it costs a lot less to sell to existing customers than to acquire new ones. That's why many companies across industries invest in loyalty and reward programs. As well as an effective brand differentiator that inspires loyal customers to become brand ambassadors, they're a proven tactic for increasing revenue and market share and reducing customer churn.

Customers have come to expect rewards. They get points, discounts, free gifts, limited edition products and cash back offers whenever they go shopping or buy a coffee. They can even get rewards for posting an online review or a selfie posing with their favorite brand.

"Reward me for my business"

In the latest Gartner research, 76% of banks said customer relationship management and building sustainable customer loyalty was their top priority. Yet, customers are now demanding services that go beyond basic banking needs to ones that enhance the quality of their lives. When global consultants, CGI, asked consumers, "how could your bank improve your lifestyle?" 81% cited "reward me for my business" as the #1 factor.   

Customers are aware that their bank holds a huge amount of information about them. They know you see all their transactions not just their spending with one retailer. Just like when they go to the supermarket, petrol station or bookshop, they expect their bank to reward them for their spendings.

Banks can't take customer loyalty for granted

Banks are at a competitive advantage when it comes to delivering loyalty boosting services. They already have all the behavioral customer data they need. With the right tools, such as VeriPark's loyalty management module which is a part of our VeriTouch Customer Engagement CRM solution, they can learn even more about their customers and deliver campaigns that transform the consumer experience, and drive satisfaction and loyalty.

Our loyalty management module enables banks to create highly flexible campaigns, integrated across all channels from online and mobile to kiosks and POS terminals. Campaigns can be multi-tiered and cumulative; as customers engage more with your services, they can earn more rewards. You can also run joint marketing campaigns with selected merchants or employee loyalty programs.

The campaign management functionality combines centralized customer data with advanced customer segmentation profiling to create personalized campaigns across all channels. This streamlines the process and makes running omni-channel campaigns with multiple partners much quicker and easier. Advanced targeting techniques allow marketing teams to target specific customers, products and merchants on particular days of the week or hours of the day. 

Turning customers into loyal fans

Ivan loves his bank's loyalty program. He's just started a new life at university. As he was browsing the internet (he probably should have been paying more attention to his lecture) he clicked on a banner ad that offered discounts on some well-known brands.

The ad was from a bank, but the online gift catalog had offers for travel, restaurants, electronics – and his favorite sportswear store. He'd get points just for opening an account. That sounded like a good deal so he went ahead.

As soon as his account was verified, he received a text confirming he had 5,000 points that could be redeemed at many of his regular shopping and eating places. He also discovered he could get more points for using the mobile app to pay his bills each month and every time he uses his debit card, his bank sends him a text to confirm the reward points he's earned. On a trip to the shopping mall, he received push notifications for discounts at the bookshop and – this is where he got really excited – for the new climbing wall he'd been so keen to try.

Ivan had a great time. On his way out, he bumped into some of his new university friends and told them all about his bank's fantastic loyalty scheme. He also knows he'll get more points for referring a friend!

A world of customer benefits

Ivan's a perfect example of how banks can increase customer loyalty and retention by offering relevant and personalized gifts and incentive programs. He feels his bank is special. They're constantly updating their offers and they use gamification techniques that allow him to earn extra rewards and reach new levels; browsing for new deals has become part of Ivan's daily life. 

His bank benefits from his loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations. They can also analyze his spending and channel preferences, and boost revenue and ROI by selling him more targeted products and services.  The varied reward programs have encouraged Ivan to use his bank's services more often – and he's very unlikely to switch to another bank.

In fact, reduced customer churn is a major benefit of reward programs. When a leading bank, introduced a loyalty program, using VeriPark's loyalty management module, they reduced customer churn by 40%. That has been a key driver to their sustained profitability.

How will you reward your customers? Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


Jan 17
Digital Branch: 3 ways to create digital-first engagements in bank branches

Many customers love the convenience of running their lives from their smartphone or other device. Now, there's an amazing array of high-tech tools to help them make the most of their money. From budgeting to managing multiple accounts and comparing rates – there's an app for everything.


However, for many customers, money can also be an emotional and even stressful issue. Even the most tech-savvy millennial can feel overwhelmed when it comes to complex financial decision making and welcome the reassurance of face-to-face service and advice. This is where banks with a digital branch network have a significant advantage. Unlike a traditional branch, a digital branch introduces interactive digital experiences where there are no tellers, no lines, but digital screens, self-service and assisted service terminals instead.


When customers need you, can you step-up to the challenge?


Although many have predicted that the days of the bank branches may be over soon, we believe they have a bright future.  They offer banks the perfect opportunity to really be there for customers – just at the point when they need you the most.


According to Deloitte's global digital banking survey, even many younger customers (48% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Z) prefer to visit a branch at some point in the onboarding process.


That's not to say the bank branch landscape won't change. In fact, technology, new competitors and changing customer behavior are already driving a significant shift from traditional to digital branches. If branch banking is to remain relevant to customers in the 2020s, staying the same is not an option and the pace of change needs to increase rapidly.


Nearly every consumer activity has shifted to digital in some way; from listening to music, to shopping and booking restaurant reservations. In this constantly connected world, customers want better value from their banks as well as personalized and directly relevant offers and communications. They might love digital but they also demand for a human touch at key financial moments. As such, improving digital customer engagement and creating frictionless and seamless customer experiences at branches is now high on the agenda for many banks. It's time for them to reimagine the ways to deliver the knowledge, interaction and value that is relevant to each customer. 


Technology changes everything


For business leaders in the banking world it's no longer about 'managing branches'. Instead, future-ready banks are rethinking the branches' role and managing omni-channel distribution strategies that balance customer needs with efficiency. They are also focusing on value-added activities and relationship building. In this new business model, the role of the digital branch is to deliver a differentiated customer experience through branch designs based upon a deep understanding of customer needs, behavior and usage. At the same time, there's a need to minimize the cost of delivery.


3 ways to create digital first engagement in branch


The design, capability and function of branches need to appeal to a diverse range of customers, from the digitally savvy to the more cautious. They also have to fulfill a broad spectrum of financial needs from simple deposits to complex financial arrangements, such as mortgages or business loans. Here are three ways customer-centric banks can boost engagement in branches.


1. Integrating digital customer experience with physical presence in the branch


A digital customer experience often begins with online or mobile account opening capabilities. Smart banks can extend this digital onboarding into an engaging digital branch experience.  A new branch layout that encompasses self-service terminals, kiosks, digital touchscreen walls and virtual Meet & Greeters provides an enhanced banking experience to digitally savvy customers.


2. Provide face-to-face alternatives


Customer centric companies live and breathe their customers' needs and are laser-focused on creating amazing experiences. An effective digital branch design gives customers the option to immediately transition from self-service to human engagement and interaction at key moments. As technology frees branch employees from repetitive transaction handling, they can focus on guiding customers that are more cautious on how to make the most of the innovative self-service capabilities of the digital branch.


Even mobile banking customers sometimes welcome the reassurance of a branch. Maybe they're making a more complex financial decision, such as choosing a mortgage, for the first time. Or, perhaps they're stressed over an unusual transaction on their account and want to speak to someone urgently.  


At some point in the journey, most customers face a situation where they value face-to-face help and advice. Digital branches can meet this customer need. They also offer the opportunity to exceed expectations.


As tellers are no longer behind intimidating glass screens, they can become friendly advisers. Bankers and customers can sit side by side, looking at the same tablet screen with a consolidated user interface for all banking functionalities, to answer questions and solve problems. We call it hip-to-hip banking.


3. Ensure a seamless omni-channel experience


Louise is generally quite confident with using technology and she's perfectly happy starting her account opening process online. But, when she's asked to provide documents she prefers to take them into the branch rather than uploading them and scanning a digital signature. She has a busy work day ahead so she's happy when she discovers she can 'take a ticket' using her mobile app queuing system to make an appointment at a convenient branch – no-one likes to spend their lunchtime in a bank queue!


A virtual Meet & Greeter at the branch directs Louise to an assisted kiosk. The adviser has all her details on screen and takes care of everything in a matter of minutes. Louise is delighted with how quick and easy it is.


Her adviser also offers to show her the other digital tools available in the branch. She still has plenty of time for lunch, so why not? There are interactive screens, touch-tables and tablets. Even smart ATMs that give Mobile Cash withdrawals if she doesn't have her debit card, and Easy Card terminals that can process, verify and issue a credit card application in a matter of minutes.


Seamless omni-channel capability is all about allowing customers to choose when and how to complete any financial process. If they choose to start a transaction using digital channels and then pick up their request face-to-face in the branch, that experience should be easy and engaging across every channel.


Louise is impressed with the joined-up customer service at her digital branch.  It was convenient, personalized and friendly. And, she'll probably be back.


Digital branch platforms, such as VeriPark's VeriBranch, can transform branch effectiveness.  Many people, like Louise, are hybrid customers. They find smart, sophisticated self-service terminals convenient for day-to-day transactions but still value the reassurance of face-to-face support.


Digital branches leverage technology to become added value advice hubs. They offer banks valuable opportunities to build profitable customer relationships alongside enhanced operational efficiency.


Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


Jan 06
Customer experience is everything. Here’s how AI can help insurers get it right

Give customers a great experience and they'll buy more, be more loyal and share their experience with friends. It's what every insurer strives for. But, what makes a good customer experience?

For insurance customers, it's about more than speed and convenience (although they are essential). A good experience should also leave your customers feeling cared for and appreciated during what can often be difficult and stressful times. To achieve that, you not only need technology to minimize friction and maximize efficiency along the customer journey – it also has to maintain a personalized element.  

Artificial intelligence (AI) is moving insurance towards this ultimate customer goal of personalized, convenient service at every interaction. Getting a personalized insurance plan, requesting immediate assistance and resolving claims - they are all now possible, within a few minutes. And, without customers ever having to leave the comfort of their homes.

In the digital world, everything's just a click away – so what's your excuse?

Your customers now expect friendly, personalized, relevant and enjoyable experiences across multiple channels. And, they want to be in control. That means choosing their preferred channel depending on their specific circumstances at any particular time. They also tend not to distinguish between industries.

In your customer's mind, if everything's just a click away in retail, media and travel – why not in insurance? What's your excuse? Insurance may be a more complex (and regulated) sector but customers still expect you to provide similar experiences to those they enjoy from other brands.

Customer expectations and behaviors are changing rapidly. The use of multiple channels to make a single purchase is becoming the norm. To attract and retain these customers, insurance companies need to innovate with omni-channel delivery models.

How AI can help

As part of our VeriTouch Customer Engagement (CRM) and VeriChannel omni-channel delivery solutions, VeriPark leverages AI to understand individual customer's needs and create highly personalized and tailored customer experiences. For example, our Next Best Action (NBA) solution uses predictive analytics. This enables insurers to predict and react to specific customer needs and create more meaningful and relevant interactions.

Adam's a good example of what we mean by this. He's a tech-savvy 30-something. He's married with two young children so has several policies with his insurer.

When he needs to make a claim, he logs in to the self-service portal. His claim is resolved quickly and efficiently. That's good – but it's also something Adam has simply come to expect!

VeriTouch takes this positive interaction a step further. The analytics-based Next Best Action (NBA) engine presents Adam with a highly relevant Personal Accident Insurance product offer that includes an element of dental care to protect his family. 

It's a great deal and it's arrived at just the right time. Adam clicks to say he's interested in the offer. He chooses to chat with Faraday (a transactional chatbot).

Faraday explains the advantages and coverage details and Adam indicates that he's happy with that. Faraday then asks a few further questions, such as "do you work in any of these dangerous occupations?" Adam answers and Faraday immediately confirms that he is eligible for the policy.

To make his payment, all Adam has to do is enter the four digits of his saved credit card. The policy and payment receipts are then sent to his preferred email. It's all done – a new sale and a happy customer – within a matter of minutes.

Technology doesn't replace personal service – it amplifies it

Using AI-powered analytics, the insurance company has been able to retrieve and present the Next Best Action (NBA) to suit Adam's personal circumstances. Such targeted, event-based offers boost conversion rates. They also significantly enhance the customer experience.

Combining a NBA engine with a chatbot, was a great way to provide Adam with intelligent, human-like conversations through his preferred digital channel. It also enabled the insurer to provide a personalized, engaging customer service, available 24/7, efficiently and cost effectively. Adam was certainly impressed; Faraday asked for feedback about the service and instantly captured Adam's 'Excellent' response.

NBA uses sophisticated rules, analytics and algorithms to better predict customer needs, and leverages Azure Machine Learning capabilities to recommend contextual actions and offers. In essence, it's about getting the right product to the right customer at the right time. At the same time, it helps insurance companies to create new, meaningful customer relationships.

Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


Dec 23
From touchpoints to journeys: single customer view for insurers

A single customer view involves bringing together all of a customer's data across every channel and interaction point into one single source of detailed customer insight. The insurance industry is one sector that could really benefit from this. The key to providing fast, convenient, personalized services across multiple channels, is a detailed and easily accessible understanding of your customers' needs and preferences.

However, insurers face barriers to achieving this ideal. Typically, they sell policies on a case-by-case basis through multiple touchpoints. Customers supply lots of personal information, but it's in individual product lines held in separate databases.

Customers over products

It's essential to bring this data together to achieve a true single customer view. If your customers are receiving different messages from each business line, product type or channel, that's going to leave them feeling confused and inconvenienced. It's also going to limit your business performance; you won't spot the gaps in your customer data or be able to use that data to understand and model the best action for each individual customer.

Relationships = Revenue

Insurers can feel at a disadvantage when it comes to forging long-term relationships with customers. Unlike banks or retailers, interactions tend to be limited to renewal notices and claims procedures. Until we have to pay for it or need to make a claim, most of us don't give our insurance that much thought.

But, with Single Customer View data as the foundation, insurers can create individual, relevant customer communications and build positive engagement.

Single Customer View: Serve, Solve and Sell in one place

Unified, accessible and reliable customer data opens up many opportunities for insurers. For example, when Carl calls to renew his home insurance, the contact center agent, Jennifer, can immediately see all his policies and interactions on one screen with VeriPark's VeriTouch CRM system. That makes the renewal process fast and efficient and leaves Carl feeling satisfied; he's got a good deal and it hasn't been a hassle.

Jennifer takes this opportunity to have a more meaningful interaction. From the interaction timeline, she can see that Carl had a query about his car insurance three months ago. It was resolved quickly and Carl had sent a text to confirm he was happy, but Jennifer decides to check that's still the case. After positive feedback from Carl, Jennifer notices he has travel insurance as a 'Next Best Action Offer' so, with his permission, she emails him the details. Finally, she notices from his pet insurance that tomorrow is his dog's birthday, so she wishes Oscar many happy returns!    

This type of fast, effective service and problem solving really comes into its own during the claims process. Typically, this is a difficult time for customers. For example, their house has flooded or their dog is poorly. The last thing they want is to have delays, inaccuracies or be forced to repeat the details again and again at different touchpoints in the process. 

Single Customer View offers major opportunities

Single View of the Customer – part of VeriPark's VeriTouch CRM solution - plugs into all an insurers' legacy systems and surfaces the data into a single front-end screen or customer card. This is how Jennifer is able to provide Carl with an exceptional customer experience. She has a full interaction history, so can take the time to ensure the interaction is meaningful and engaging. She even has the opportunity to cross-sell a relevant, personalized travel insurance offer.

Customers now expect this level of fast, convenient, personalized experience – across all channels. VeriTouch can give all front line teams, such as sales, marketing, call centers or brokers and intermediaries, an understanding of the full context of the customer relationship. When your teams know more about your customers, their needs and preferred channel of contact, they can communicate more effectively, boost loyalty and nurture longer, more valuable customer relationships.

VeriTouch is already boosting customer engagement and reducing costs for leading retail and corporate insurance providers. It offers a ready-to-use data model encompassing many insurance related fields, such as policies, claims and payments, that can quickly and efficiently be built onto the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM system.  The results can be transformational – insurance companies can serve their customers, solve their problems and sell them targeted, personalized products and services all in one place. 

Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!

Dec 16
10 reasons why you should use the Dynamics 365 Banking Accelerator

The demand for reduced hassle and personalized experiences has already made customer-centricity a priority on many financial institutions' agenda. But to create value with each customer interaction, financial firms need to re-assess their strategies and capabilities around gathering and understanding the data that underpin customer engagement. Customer interactions and data points are created every second, and financial institutions need to leverage this information to boost overall efficiency and productivity to enhance customer experience and build meaningful relationships with the customers.  

The Dynamics 365 Banking Accelerator empowers financial institutions with consistent, well-structured data that can be deployed across disparate systems to provide new insights and deliver outstanding customer experiences. In this article, let's take a look at ten of the top reasons why financial institutions and ISVs should use the Accelerator

1. It's free

The Banking Accelerator extends Microsoft's Common Data Model (CDM) to include concepts for retail banking and commercial banking and is offered free for all financial services customers and partners on Microsoft AppSource. It is provided under an open source creative license, available on GitHub, and there is no additional licensing requirement for any part of the accelerator. And the Banking Accelerator comes with sample apps and dashboards that can be installed in D365, Power Platform and Azure Data Lake Storage. This gives the opportunity to understand how the Accelerator works before applying that knowledge and start building banking industry-specific applications.

2. Built with industry expert partners

Microsoft has built the Banking Accelerator in collaboration with industry partners including VeriPark, Fiserv, and Wealth Dynamix, creating it in-line with the open standards defined by the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN). The partners shared their industry-specific expertise and knowledge with Microsoft to help building a common data structure on top of D365 Customer Engagement.

3. Build solutions and add additional capabilities quickly and easily

By using the banking data model, ISVs can easily build new innovative and powerful solutions themselves and quickly bring them to the market. They can also add features in areas like artificial intelligence and customer experience management.

4. Reuse data in different apps

The Banking Accelerator helps to provide a unified view of the data across sources. It enables customers and partners to easily extend and build different banking applications on the same data model while improving processes and insights. It simplifies the process of storing data and running analytics across different platforms such as D365, Power BI and Azure Machine Learning Service.  

5. Learn from the sample apps and dashboards on GitHub

The Accelerator contains sample apps and dashboards that are available on GitHub to show customers and partners how easy it is to develop new apps and solutions.  These include:

  • Sample Power BI dashboards that support data modeling and visualization
  • Sample model-driven apps to demonstrate how D365 and the banking data model can be used for customer engagement
  • Know Your Customer (KYC)
  • Onboarding
  • The sample Proposal Manager app built on the Microsoft 365 platform, which helps corporate and commercial banks to streamline and automate the lending process and create great proposals.

6. Stay up to date with the new D365 releases

The first version of the Banking Accelerator became available on July 16, 2019. Following the general availability of the Accelerator, Microsoft has released an API sample implementation on GitHub for interoperability with the BIAN API service domains in September. In addition to that, Microsoft released an update to Banking Accelerator on AppSource bringing additional use cases for retail banking. The Accelerator will be kept up to date by Microsoft and evolve with the new D365 releases which will continuously empower partners and customers to build accessible and open solutions.

7. As a customer, take advantage of solutions already built to work on the Accelerator

Customers using the Banking Accelerator can also take advantage of additional innovative ISV solutions that are built on this accelerator and use the same common data model.

8. As a partner, use the banking data model to build your own ISV solution

There is a large window of opportunity for partners using the Accelerator to quickly create their own transformative solutions that can work together. Since the Accelerator comes with a ready-made platform and data model, partners can actually build apps in a matter of days.

9. As a partner, do a demo to a bank

By using the Banking Accelerator, partners can easily demonstrate the banking-specific data model and out-of-the-box solutions that can be used to improve business processes, speed up development and deliver meaningful customer insights. When bank employees are powered by the relevant data, they are more able to offer engaging personalized interactions.

10. Test drive the Banking Accelerator

The Banking Accelerator, including data samples and Power BI examples is available with a single click on AppSource and GitHub where you can easily "test drive" for eight hours and discover how easy it is to build and integrate apps and processes while gaining powerful insights. This is a perfect way for financial institutions to stand out from the crowd, enhance their customer acquisitions and build loyalty.

For further information about the Banking Accelerator: Download the Microsoft Whitepaper: Transform Banking with the Microsoft Banking Accelerator

Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!

Nov 25
Digital onboarding for bank customers – what's yours like?

In many industries, customer onboarding is as simple as downloading an app, inputting a name and email address, and clicking to accept terms and conditions. How would your customers describe the process of opening a bank account with you?  It's an important question because a customer can be won – or lost – during this first, essential experience.

Customers are now demanding fast and flexible interactions with their banks. And, they expect to be able to interact and transact at any time, regardless of location or channel. Yet, for too many banking customers onboarding is a frustrating experience with multiple friction points.

These commonly include being re-routed to different channels, needing to provide physical identification or having to answer the same questions several times. In fact, the latest figures suggest that 38% of banking customers drop out during onboarding. That's mainly due to frustration with the process or the volume of information required.

Customer onboarding is a journey, not a transaction

How you onboard your new customers sets the tone for your ongoing banking relationship with them. Get it right and you increase customer lifetime value (LTV), reduce churn and turn new customers into brand ambassadors. Most banks already recognize the operational efficiencies and cost savings of automated digital processes over in-branch paperwork.  But, creating a digital onboarding experience that delights will add much more value than simple cost savings.

So, are your customers delighted by your onboarding process? Are they served in a personalized manner with the flexibility to switch seamlessly between channels of their choice? Every customer is different; some are happy to do everything digitally, others prefer to visit a branch or combine the two.

In a frictionless and engaging onboarding process, a single platform is able to serve different customers via their optimized channel. Here's how, for customers like Andrew, Zoe, Michel and John, VeriPark's VeriChannel digital onboarding solution can make that work.

Delighting tech-savvy customers

For a tech-savvy customer like Andrew, everything has to be digital. He's happy with downloading a mobile app and scanning or uploading all the required documents for identification. He's even comfortable with a liveness detection which asks Andrew to make some random facial movements such as blinking, smiling, looking at his left or right so that the bank can identify him and make sure that he really is the person who says he is. At the final step he digitally signs the account opening contract.

Zoe's also fine with most digital processes. Like Andrew, she uploads documents and her digital signature. But, to verify her ID, she prefers to have a video call with a real-human agent.  This way her details are verified directly via video chat which saves her the time and effort involved in visiting a branch. It's a win-win for both Zoe and the bank as the ID verification through video banking enables the bank to still get a "face-to-face" interaction while providing the convenience Zoe demands.  

A reassuring helping hand

Michel on the other hand is more conventional. Once he's input his personal and contact details online, he opts to present physical documents rather than uploading them. He schedules an appointment at his preferred branch, where they pick up where he left off and upload the documents for him. Crucially, this switch between channels is seamless with the VeriChannel platform; his branch representative can see his details captured online, so he doesn't need to repeat those in the branch.

John is a different type of customer. He's an entrepreneur with a manic schedule, so he's asked Nancy, his direct sales agent from the bank to visit his office. Once they've agreed on the account and services that best meet John's banking needs, Nancy takes a photo of his passport with her phone. This automatically populates John's personal details so all he has to do is digitally sign the application and Nancy submits it on his behalf.

VeriPark drives seamless digital customer onboarding with Dynamics 365

Industry research suggests that banks (and their customers) face four key challenges during the digital onboarding process. These include: Abandoned Pages, Account Opening, Uploading Documents and Signing Documents. VeriPark's VeriChannel digital onboarding solution smoothes the account opening process and overcomes these frictions with features such as easy document generation, easy document signing with DocuSign, and video banking capability.

That enables banks to happily accommodate tech savvy or tech literate customers like Andrew and Zoe, as well as more conventional customers like Michel and super-busy executives such as John. Importantly, it also feeds this essential customer data into a back office CRM system, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365.

In addition to the Dynamics 365 integration, VeriPark's digital onboarding solution also works closely with Microsoft Cognitive Services, which provides AI-powered identification technology that helps to reach a broader set of new customers while increasing revenue and differentiate in the competition.

The platform works in a similar way with corporate customers. Micro businesses and SMEs can input their details and complete a business needs assessment that recommends suitable products and services, such as international trade finance, cash management or a corporate card. The system can also instantly check credit ratings and blacklists – a process that traditionally takes several days.

Real life transformations

ING Turkey used VeriBranch (VeriPark's integrated branch automation solution) to transform their customer onboarding experience. The results have been great. For example, the time to onboard a retail or SME customer within a Branch decreased from 25 minutes to just 6 minutes. This has enabled ING Turkey's employees to spend more time on the things that matter more to their customers and deliver personalized services and offers.

In the banking industry, 38% of customers said User Experience (UX) was the most important criterion when choosing a digital bank. Yet, too often, the onboarding process involves stacks of paperwork, branch visits, overnight mailings, and repeated data requests. Banks that get customer onboarding right can improve customer satisfaction, lower churn, and gain better insights into customer preferences and desires, all while reducing costs and enhancing regulatory compliance.

Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


Nov 04
Six steps to accelerating digital transformation in banking

In the mid-90s, Bill Gates said that 'banking is necessary, banks are not.' Since then, the industry has certainly seen plenty of disruption from FinTech startups, particularly in payments, money transfers, and personal finance. Yet, despite it all, banks are still here, still innovating and thriving.

Now, banks are facing competition from the tech giants. According to a recent Bain and Company survey -conducted in 29 countries- on customer loyalty in retail banking, 54% of respondents said they would trust a big tech company with their money more than banks in general. As just one example, 65% of Amazon Prime customers are open to banking with Amazon if offered 2% cashback on their Amazon shopping.

Traditional banks have a Big Data asset


Big tech companies excel at digital customer experience and banks will need to harness the same skills to stay relevant and reimagine themselves digitally. But, one of the biggest advantages and opportunities traditional banks have is the vast amount of data they hold on their millions of customers. That data goldmine has been growing exponentially as customers increasingly adopt digital channels and banks collect more data on these interactions.


Transforming customer experience

The big questions for banks now on their digital transformation journey are around how they exploit and apply their big data assets. This is essential to gain deep customer insight, create exceptional customer experiences, re-imagine products and services, and run a more efficient business. Customers are visiting your website and branches, buying products and commenting on social media. There's data flowing about each interaction, and that's fuel. If you take it and analyse it, you can gain intelligence and learn a lot about. But today, what is lacking is data connectivity.

Many banks have complex legacy systems and siloed data. Forming cross-organizational analytics teams and applying AI and machine learning will start to yield the insight required to transform customer experience. And, those experiences will provide more data to further understand patterns, predict outcomes, improve processes and refine interactions.

Six steps to transforming the banking customer journey to make it a more Amazon or Netflix-like experience

STEP 1: Master Data Management

The applications for data in personal and corporate finance are endless. They range from more accurate risk analysis to real-time personalization. For example, when you book a flight your banking app is now likely to generate a travel insurance offer.

Yet, many financial institutions don't have unique customer IDs with customer data from multiple core banking systems merged into one customer reference. This is one of the foundational steps in digital transformation. VeriPark's 360 Degree View of Customer feature provides a consolidated view of the customer's relationship with you, their transaction history and channel interactions – it normally consists of between 250-500 elements of stored data.

STEP 2: Develop Straight-through Processing (STP)

When banks automate manual processes it saves time, money and meets customers' demands for real-time answers across all delivery channels. For example, we have found it is perfectly possible to consolidate 20 online or mobile applications into one effective CRM system. That means you don't need to maintain, update and train your teams on multiple applications.

STEP 3: Go paperless

Most banks have started this process. Digital operations save time and it is more environmentally friendly. It also creates more customer-friendly service interactions and transactions and avoids unnecessary branch visits.

STEP 4: Embrace Omni-channel delivery

Millennial and Gen Z customers, in particular, expect to interact with their bank anytime, anywhere. Just as they do with Amazon or Netflix. VeriPark's VeriChannel platform, for example, allows banks to add new channels, such as mobile wallet or chatbot, within the same framework rather than investing in the development and deployment of new systems.

STEP 5: Implement Unified Front End (UFE)

This application enables bank branches and contact centers to deliver unified communications, richer collaboration, enhanced productivity and faster business decision making. Teams manage daily tasks more quickly with one login, navigation menu and an intuitive, easy to use application over-laying all existing back-end systems. 

UFE provides much more than cost and efficiency gains. It transforms traditionally product-centric organizations to ones that meet customer needs in an engaging way. And, it creates cross-sell and up-sell opportunities as machine learning models can predict the next best action to present to the customer.

STEP 6: Develop a strong self-service proposition

Bank branches are starting to look quite futuristic. No more tellers sitting behind glass screens. Instead, there are virtual meet and greeters, and self-service banking zones with digital touch screens alongside more private, assisted kiosks. And, good coffee.

Such digital branches are a big differentiator for banks. The research shows customers still value face-to-face consultations, particularly for more complex financial decision-making and advice. They just want them to be convenient, seamless and engaging. Mobile appointment making, for example, saves time and avoids frustrating queuing.

Banks are already deeply immersed in the digital agenda and transforming at a dramatic pace. But, there is much more to do to make banking simpler, more efficient and able to compete with new entrants. Accelerating the time to market of digital banking services will significantly improve business processes and outcomes.

Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you to accelerate your digital transformation journey.


Oct 25
Could AR be the banking industry’s new superpower?

Augmented reality (AR) has come a long way since it was just a science fiction concept in the movies. There are already many AR applications in use or under development for just about every sector, from architecture and medicine to crime investigation and education. And, AR banking is no longer a fictional story either.

We're not talking about suiting-up like Ironman (although that sounds awesome). We're not even talking about having to buy and wear an AR headset. The reality of AR banking is that it's already available on your mobile. That means augmented reality banking services are now a great option for all types of financial institution and their customers.

The potential is huge and could encompass everything from virtual branches and biometric authentication, to streamlined business processes and personalized information embedded in digital ads. But, more immediately, the big question is: how can banks start to unlock some of the benefits of AR right now?

The future of banking is already here

AR can make everyday banking, such as managing accounts and tracking spending, easier and faster. For digitally savvy customers, it's the ultimate user experience. Certainly, Nick is a big fan.

His friend has just paid for their lunch on his credit card. Even though he rarely carries much cash, Nick is keen to pay his share. That's not a problem because Nick has VeriPark's VeriChannel mobile app with AR capabilities on his phone.

AR Face Transfer, ATM Locator and card details

All Nick has to do is take a picture of his friend (he could also use Facebook) and add him to the app as a beneficiary with his name and account number. Now his friend is saved as a beneficiary, Nick can use the AR Face Transfer feature.

He simply points his phone at his friend, confirms his identity, enters the amount to be transferred and taps to send the money. The system immediately lets him know that he's successfully transferred €20 to his friend's account to cover his lunch. It's quick, easy and convenient.

If he decides he needs cash for later in the day, he can also use AR to locate an ATM. He just opens his phone camera, moves it left and right a bit and, if there's an ATM nearby, it shows up in his camera picture. When he points his phone camera at his debit or credit card, he can see his balance and the last five transactions, so he finds it easier to keep track of his spending.   

What's next for AR banking?

This is just the start of an augmented reality banking revolution. The technology is developing rapidly and will bring many benefits. These are likely to include cost savings and efficiency improvements with automated and streamlined business processes, alongside exciting developments in customer experience.

Like all new technologies, AR won't be without its roadblocks to mass adoption. But, that doesn't mean it won't happen. Remember how 10 or 15 years ago many customers could not imagine picking up their phone to do all their banking and shopping? Now, they do it without a second thought.

"Following's not really my style." Tony Stark, The Avengers

The peak of augmented reality is something for the future. But, leveraging well planned and professionally executed AR features and services can boost to your customer service, loyalty and brand recognition – right now. We can't promise to turn you into Ironman, but AR banking is going to be an incredible ride.   

Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


Oct 15
The new world of insurance: AI, Chatbots, human-like conversations

How can an insurer delight its customers so that they share their customer experience with their friends and family?

The answer to this question lies within the rich and personalized experiences the insurer creates for its customers. In today's world, personalized customer experience has become the new normal and it plays a huge role in customers' relationship with the insurer.

The products can be truly amazing, but it doesn't help an insurer to enhance customer engagement or increase revenue unless they turn their attention to their customers' world and add value to their individual experiences.

Customer-centric insurance companies now use data-driven personalization to offer meaningful experiences and it is not about pushing the product sales. On the contrary, it is about establishing and enriching customer-insurer relationships through individual data analysis and predictive analytics.

Going from transaction to prediction

This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes into play. AI technologies are reshaping the future of insurance business by providing a deeper understanding of customers' behavior and life events. They let the insurers tap into this knowledge base to deliver highly-targeted offer and maintain a smart communication with their customers.

When done well, AI technologies bring a real competitive advantage for insurers that goes beyond simplifying existing processes with intelligent automation.

It is the new way of integrating information, analyzing data and using the results to make improved predictions. AI-enabled systems allow insurers to have the ability to learn and adapt as they make decisions. AI-based adaptations improve customer interactions where each customer exchange becomes increasingly personalized.

Human-like conversations with AI-powered chatbots

It's safe to say that AI has already become a part of our world with various technologies including machine learning, facial recognition, voice assistants and chatbots. According to a recent Gartner report, "AI bots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020''.  

AI-powered chatbots have started to change the face of communication as they provide intelligent human-like conversations through all digital channels. They enable insurers to deliver world-class seamless services to their "always-on, tech-savvy" customers right at their fingertips with an instant chat feature which is available 24/7.

What is more, chatbots also drive dramatic cost savings by automating transactional enquiries and redirecting workforce to focus on more complex customer issues that require deeper human insight.

The result: minimal pain points, happier customers.


Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


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