We live in a world that is more connected than ever, generating more data than ever. The new age of digital transformation is often referred to as the fourth phase of the industrial revolution that has fundamentally transformed the ways in which financial institutions operate. The banks are no exception to this technological revolution. The arrival of advanced technology along with improved communication networks has forced conventional banks to come out of their shell and open their doors to new innovations. Such innovations have paved the way for community banking, a model that is centered-around building customers' trust in the banks. We are no longer seeing long queues, paper-based transactions or bankers sitting behind glass cabins. On the contrary, what we are witnessing today is bankers having an in-depth view of every customer from different channels, allowing them to offer personalized services to their customers.
The paradigm shift from an operational standpoint for a bank can be attributed to its pursuit of keeping up to date with technology. Technology has also impacted banks' organizational structure, processes and internal culture. Conventional banks are now facing challenges in embracing this change. Employee resistance, designing ergonomic IT artifacts, maintaining data quality, to name a few. However, banks can't bear the cost of not embracing this change as it could translate into a significant decrease of their market share.
This major change in banking is not only driven by the technological advancements. Banks are also trying to enter new markets and acquire new customer segments. These new segments can have different expectations when it comes to services and capability delivery. The combination of technological advancements with the willingness to acquire new customer segments has profoundly forced the banks to develop a new perspective built around IT solutions that are customer-centric.
When we talk about being customer-centric, universal bankers come into play. In banking, there is - more than ever - an increased need for engagement and relationship growth. In addition to performing a variety of tasks associated with transactional customer requests, the universal bankers are also in the key position to develop new business opportunities with the customers who are coming through the branch doors. They are the face of the banks. They can act as tellers and open accounts, handle teller transactions, inform customers of other product and services that meet their needs. Universal bankers are also full time bankers and they aim to develop deep and meaningful relationships with the customers, educate them and strive to make each interaction the best customer experience of the day.
In order to make this happen, the IT system of the banks should be able to provide a clear insight into customer data. This valuable data would enable the universal bankers to make informed decisions and bring out maximum profitability for the bank during any interaction with the customer.
Here are a few tips for the banks to successfully develop and adopt a customer-centric approach while catching up with technological advancements.
Provide a clear insight into customer data
A "single customer view" captures and populates data from different systems. When it's combined with the contemporary Artificial Intelligence and decision driving analytics, the bank can use information about past and current stages of the customer journey and make predictions for the future. Such system would enable the banks to "Sell, Solve and Serve".
Complete transactions in the fewest clicks
With every physical interaction the customer has with the bank, the goal - for the bank - is to generate maximum value in terms of revenue or customer satisfaction.
In a modern banking scenario, if there is a targeted offer for the customer in the customer single customer view and if the banker is able to capture the customer's interest in the offer during the interaction, the IT system should be capable to integrate with the back office allowing for fulfillment of the offer. To handle such scenarios, the conventional blue screens (non-interactive DOS systems). The look and feel of the solution should match up with modern applications of the mobile devices. In a conventional banking infrastructure, the bankers feel more up-to-date with technology while working from their homes, however as soon as they walk into the branch, the conventional UI takes them fifteen years back to ancient systems. Such traditional systems have a causality on the customer's perception of the bank. Bankers feel more confident dealing with applications they can relate to. Such relation triggers the system's adoption intuitively, since it gets easier to understand the flow and functionality of the system.
The tips above are an attempt to list the initial features needed to build a roadmap for the development of such applications, but the list is certainly not exhaustive. Banks are now viewed as a web of forces that come together to provide a modern and seamless experience to their clients. Among these forces, IT capability of the bank certainly stands as a differentiator in this fast-changingu market. Institutions that are quick to adopt such solutions can create synergies with their customers and have an early mover advantage. These institutions that are investing in technology rebuild the way they operate in a digital world and drive innovation to transform overall customer experience.
This article has been written in collaboration by Syed Adil Ali and Selim Hasan.
In 2018, 69% of internet users in the EU shopped online. All the evidence strongly suggests they value the ease and convenience. That customer demand doesn't stop with home delivery of groceries and fashion.
In fact, Doorstep Banking – bringing banking to wherever the customer is, through a team of direct sales agents – is now a growing trend. That's because your customers have hectic schedules. They have careers and a long commute, perhaps a business to run and a family to care for – or a combination of these to juggle. Anything that saves them time is highly valued.
Many people still like to have face-to-face contact with their bank, but simply don't have time to visit the branch. Doorstep Banking combines the convenience of digital technology with a friendly and reassuring human touch.
Why go to the bank when the bank can come to me?
This is the question many of your customers are asking. Perhaps your customer is an ambitious career-minded professional. They're comfortable using digital tools to automate routine tasks and save time. But, what about when they want funds to buy a car or pay for their on-going professional development?
They're perfectly happy to submit a personal loan application digitally. But, it's a complex decision and sensitive issue, so they'd welcome the opportunity to speak to a trusted adviser. Someone they can rely on to give context and explain the available options. They don't have time to go to a branch but they welcome the human interaction of a direct sales agent visiting them at their office. And, they value seeing someone with the time, knowledge and skills to build a strong relationship.
When VeriPark and VakıfBank, one of Turkey's largest banks, worked together to develop an iPad application for their 2,400 direct sales agents, they found that 90% of retail banking operations could be delivered, quickly and efficiently, to the customer's doorstep. The result was hassle-free banking for the customer – and the following three major business benefits for VakifBank:
1. Enhanced customer relationships
Direct sales teams have always been an effective way of maintaining relationships and increasing customer engagement. But, they used to rely on paperwork and manual data entry. They also lacked access to customer information to facilitate up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.
Now, customer onboarding and servicing is easy and paperless. One tablet application provides a 360-degree view of the customer, as well as comprehensive banking features and products. No wonder customers and sales agents love it.
Sales agents can register new customers, open accounts and process loan and credit card applications. They can even help customers set up and use mobile and internet banking. An Eligibility Calculator, synchronized with back office customer information, allows them to gain digital approval for loans and overdrafts.
The ability to carry out transactions instantly, combined with the support provided by the sales agent, has resulted in a significant increase in customer satisfaction. It also allows agents to transition to more of a Universal Banker role. They can provide a holistic service to customers and boost proactive cross-selling initiatives, based on their improved understanding of client needs.
2. Increased processing efficiency
Going completely paperless brings many benefits. Most importantly, it means you can meet your customers' expectations of anytime, anywhere instant access to banking services and information.
When your direct sales agents are spending less time filling in forms, they can spend more time enhancing customer relationships. Digitally streamlined workflows are also much more efficient. VakıfBank, for example, were able to process 600,000 new applications in 18 months and for some transactions, such as loans, the process became eight times faster.
3. Improved sales team productivity
A task management system delivers location-based assignments to direct sales agents. That means they're no longer tied to a specific branch and can manage their customer visits efficiently across an entire city or region, boosting sales performance and employee satisfaction. It also means the bank's management team can monitor the performance of their sales agents and provide more effective support.
Despite the rise of technology, great customer service is still driven by human interaction. By making full use of digital tools, VakıfBank effectively increased their number of bank branches from 957 to 3,500 – but without the expense of operating a huge network of physical branches. However, it's their team of digitally connected direct sales agents in the field that really puts their customer service and relationship banking a step ahead of their competitors.
Change is here, more is coming. Digital banks and fintech startups have brought disruption into the banking industry. There has been a dramatic change in the traditional banking system as banks feel the pressure to match the innovative solutions and services offered by new fintech startups.
On the customer side, the mobile platforms are enriched to provide a variety of transactional features as more and more customers now prefer banking on digital channels. The majority of the population doesn't want to take the time to visit a branch and wait in line. The questions then arise, "What does the future look like for branches in the banking ecosystem? Is branch a thing of the past?"
Surprisingly, the answer is Not Just Yet! There are still many customers who continue to see the value of branches. When we look deep into demographic details, customer preferences and trends, we clearly see that branches remain a relevant part of customers' financial engagements.
Let's take a look at some statistics and consumer responses from the Asia-Pacific region for instance. While the internet penetration has taken the Asian market by storm, the culture of trust remains the main factor influencing customer behavior. Traditionally, the region has been known to value trust and personal relationships the most. This also applies to their financial handlings; half of the consumers still prefer face to face interactions in branches. (PwC 2018).
Similar trends are recognized in the Australian consumer behaviors. A PwC Consumer survey identified that 59% of Australians still prefer branches as their go-to channel when it comes to loan products. So much so that Australian banks chose to re-open branches. 45% of customers who responded to a KPMG survey selected branches as their go-to channel for home loan applications. The statistics clearly show that for Australian banks, where home loans for a total amount of $21 billion were issued in 2018, losing the branch channel is not an option (KPMG 2017). The trend continues with a major impact of branches on customer acquisitions for Checking and Savings accounts (58%), brokerage and investment accounts (43%) and financial advisory services (37%) (PwC 2018).
According to another recent study conducted by Bain & Company, globally 65% consumers are influenced by the presence of branches in their neighborhood. The branches or let's just say the assisted channels with human presence have high value when it comes to meet with the customer's rising expectations. The study also shows that in the US, most of the customers choose channels where they can interact with humans.
While branches maintain their strong position in the banking ecosystem, the operational costs are a serious concern for most banks, especially in a highly competitive financial landscape. The challenge is to find a good balance between maintaining branches cost-effectively while offering high service capabilities and digital offerings. This is where digital teams in a bank need to consider how to shape their digital journeys. An answer to this challenge is VeriPark's Customer Engagement Suite. The Omni-Channel Delivery, Customer Engagement and Branch Automation solutions bring a unique set of offerings that not only help banks to reduce interaction cost but also help to become more customer-centric. Collectively they provide the right tools for the banks to elevate customer experience.
Get in touch with us to find out how these solutions empower banks to develop more engaging interactions with their customers by capturing their needs and placing customers at the core of their digital transformation.
KPMG (2017) 'The Australian home market, winning the fight for customers'
PwC (2018) 'PwC's 2018 Digital Banking Consumer'
Bain and Company (2017) 'Evolving the Customer Experience In Banking'
Digital technology is redefining how customers expect to interact with their banks. And banks are working to transform themselves to catch up and meet market expectations with innovative and engaging interactions and products. But why go through such a transformation?
Although customers embrace digital channels at different levels, they all want consistent, seamless Omni-Channel banking experiences whether they are retail, small business or corporate. Yes, customer expectations are higher than ever and they want simplicity regardless of the channels they use. Yet, they also demand personalization and convenience.
So how can banks gear themselves up to offer rich and engaging experiences across all customer touch points? Here are a few tips:
1. Use one single integrated platform to drive consistent customer journeys
Banks often struggle with different systems in place to manage different touch points. They also want better insights about customers and stronger customer-centricity across the bank's value chain. But, how is this achievable?
By implementing a unified CRM platform based on Dynamics 365 as an end-to-end Omni-Channel solution, banks can eliminate boundaries between digital and assisted channels. It's a great way to deliver unified communications through one single platform and bring out the bank's fullest potential.
2. Offer rich channel coverage to engage more with your customers
Digital technology has empowered customers to expect what they want delivered whenever they want. And while "always-connected" millennials demand more and more digital experiences, many customers still appreciate face-to-face contact for their banking transactions.
The best way for banks to respond to these changes in the digital era is to engage with their customers through their preferred channels at the right time. Whether it's branch, online, mobile, contact center, or virtual assistant, they need to be able to unite all the journeys to offer frictionless customer services. Let's not forget that adopting new technologies including Alexa, Siri, MS Luis and wearable banking is also a huge plus!
3. Go beyond customer-centric
Today's customers want their banks to treat them as unique individuals. It's impossible to provide unique experiences without embedding customer centricity in banks' communications in every step of the customer journey.
By implementing the right Omni-Channel delivery solution, banks can have the tools to know what customers want better than they know themselves. That way they can offer personalized and fulfilling services.
4. Create the best user experience
Put simply, user experience of employee tools and customer experience go hand in hand. Offering the best user experience with a focus on intuitive operations empowers employees.
An Omni-Channel framework that is easy to use and integrate improves the bank's operations and eliminates process workarounds. Allowing employees to have the entire customer interaction history at their fingertips adds value to customer experiences.
5. Maximize the value of Dynamics 365 licenses
An integrated Omni-Channel delivery and CRM solution built on top of D365 enable banks to use the full potential of D365 licenses across the bank's value chain.
6. Make sure you're ready for open API architecture
Banks constantly look for ways to reduce costs, and this also applies to application development and maintenance costs. This goal can be accomplished by implementing an extendable architecture that can be re-used across all channels. An Omni-Channel solution that doesn't require rebuilding legacy applications from scratch helps banks to repurpose them by integrating content, data, and functionality into a new presentation layer or customer experience. The possibilities created by mixing up APIs, financial data, and other tech are endless. It can benefit customers with personalized or tailored services to the individual's behaviors and lifestyle.
7. Select an "out of the box" solution certified by Microsoft and built by its partners
The demand for rapid development of any Omni-Channel solution has never been higher. Banks prioritizing speed and agility want the projects delivered in a very short amount of time. Solutions should be delivered with built-in workflow tools and following industry best practices for the best customer experiences. Choosing the right Microsoft partner is critical for the success of an Omni-Channel project with Dynamics 365. So, choose wisely and make sure they can also provide fast ROI.
Banking has always been about relationships. But now, customers are more likely to reach for their mobile than head to their local branch. Does this mean it's inevitable that the personal touch disappears from banking?
We don't think so. We believe the personal touch is central to all banking channels. The rise of digital and mobile banking, chatbots and AI is not a reason to give up on rewarding customer relationships. On the contrary, when the bank employees are empowered with the right data these become the backbone of sales and customer retention.
An intelligence-driven customer journey
Just because technology drives efficiency doesn't mean it has to be impersonal. An AI-driven end-to-end customer journey can provide a seamless, engaging and frustration-free experience. By capturing customer needs and owning personalized insights, banks are ideally placed to master the art of understanding customers and tailoring offers around their needs, emotions and preferences.
Let's look at one such customer journey. It started with a chance encounter with an AI-powered chatbot. But led to a branch visit, a cross-sell, reduced churn, a deeper customer relationship and enhanced employee experience.
It started with a chatbot
Maybe married life was changing him already, but Sean wasn't as engaged in the football match as much as usual, his team was already close to winning with three goals. From his seat in the noisy stadium, he passed the time checking to see if his new joint bank account was up and running. It was; but he also noticed something else.
He'd received a mortgage offer. This is something Sean's actually interested in. And, it's an excellent rate.
Sean decides to use the chatbot rather than trying to call the bank from the football stadium. After updating the details of his new job and salary, he makes an appointment at a branch of his choice and with an adviser he's met once before. That was easy.
Sean had already set a goal for himself to save for the mortgage down payment by using the personal finance management tools of the application. He didn't have to tell his bank he was in the market for a mortgage. The AI figured it out plus he'd also set up a joint account. And, that triggered the mortgage offer.
AI transforms the branch experience
At the branch, the facial recognition system identifies Sean in the lobby. On his dashboard, the greeter can see that Sean has a mortgage appointment. He also has a complete overview of all his accounts and transactions.
That means he can make Sean feel welcome with a personalized greeting congratulating him on his recent marriage and a new job. While Sean's waiting for his appointment, the greeter takes the opportunity to validate the AI-identified compliance and Know Your Customer (KYC) updates.
Sean's adviser has all the information he needs in CRM. He can see Sean's savings, relationships and upcoming life event predictions. He's even integrated it with LinkedIn and discovered they went to the same university – that's a great icebreaker for their conversation and helps to deepen the relationship.
Everything's in place for his mortgage offer based on his chatbot conversation and interaction with the greeter at the bank. All Sean has to do is digitally sign. He's impressed with how quick and easy it is.
His adviser spots that he has a happy and engaged customer standing before him, so he decides to bring up something he noticed in the financial health check he undertook in preparation for the meeting. Sean's credit card use has reduced significantly. When Sean admits he has a better offer from another provider, his adviser – now operating in 'Universal Banker' mode – suggests competitive cash back and, with Sean's agreement, immediately activates the offer.
AI drives customer cross-selling and retention, and enhances relationships
Sean's had an awesome customer experience. An AI-generated offer convinced him to visit a bank branch. During that visit, the team sold him a mortgage product and retained his credit card business through more AI-generated offers, presented at just the right time.
Facial recognition technology and AI identified compliance and KYC updates saved time. They also allowed Sean's fully prepared adviser to focus on added value relationship building rather than spending time updating financial information. With a holistic view of the customer, the branch team transformed the customer experience with friendly, relevant and rewarding conversations.
Throughout the process, VeriPark's AI-infused scheduling and surfacing of relevant data gave a seamless experience across multiple channels. With one end-to-end interface, the bank provided consistent and integrated offerings, regardless of the channel Sean used. Breaking down channel barriers also transformed the employee experience; no more switching between screens or frustrating duplications and lots more genuine relationship building.
New technology might mean fewer human interactions in banking – but it also enables your branch and contact center teams to capitalize on those interactions they do come across.
Digital and mobile technology is rewriting the rulebook on just about every facet of modern life. Time-poor consumers are using their micro-leisure moments – those minutes of downtime throughout the day – to simplify their daily tasks. They have apps to act as their personal assistant, personal trainer and even to organize their well-being, stress management and sleep rituals.
Money management is another part of daily life that is getting a digital makeover with a range of Personal Financial Management (PFM) tools. These help customers plan, budget and make better financial decisions.
Here's how banks can make the most of the business opportunities.
Deliver compelling data-driven customer experiences
PFM is an integral part of Omni Channel banking, providing seamless and consistently engaging customer communications and service delivery across multiple channels. When banks provide a compelling, rather than overwhelming, PFM experience customers have quick access to relevant, easily digestible tools for improving their financial lives.
Engage customers with relevant communications and targeted product offers
Banks are facing increased competition from a new generation of digital fintech innovators and can't afford to be complacent about customer experience. PFM gives you the opportunity to know your customer better. It tracks financial information so you can automate and personalize your customers' banking experiences in a meaningful way. Crucially, an effective PFM channel allows banks to listen to their customers and really tune-in to what their behavior is telling you they want and need.
With tailored and actionable customer insights gathered with PFM tools, you can create product offers that optimize engagement and drive sales across digital channels. Cross-selling is more successful when based on a deep understanding of individual customer needs. It means you only offer relevant products to customers based on their personalized behavior data, rather than pushing out generic marketing offers that may not mean anything to them.
Providing your customers with user-friendly tools to stay on top of their finances is an excellent way to nurture ongoing relationships. Marketing communications campaigns can focus on 'we're here to help you improve your financial health,' messages. PFM demonstrates that you have your customers' best interests at heart and this enhanced customer experience can increase consumer advocacy and opportunities for brand differentiation.
At the same time, this customer data is valuable information for financial advisers. They'll know exactly how close their customers are to reaching their long-term financial goals and can discuss relevant offers at the right time. For example, if the goal is a new home, the PFM can trigger a mortgage offer and adviser meeting when a certain level of saving is reached.
Customers can also set their own goals, whether saving for summer holidays, a new car, higher education fees or housing funds. This 'design it yourself' approach extends to automatic and manual tagging so customers can see all their transactions. They can set credit card limits by category and get SMS or email alerts if they get close to those limits and banks can issue customized reports help them compare their spending to their budgets.
Acting on relevant customer data
Take Suzanne, as an example. She's a 28-year old digital marketing manager, based in Rotterdam. She's keen to further her career and is hoping to study for a Masters degree at an international university. She's chosen a course that blends online learning with face-to-face weekend seminars so she can continue to work – and earn – while she studies. She added this as a goal in her PFM tool and was delighted when her bank offered her a low interest rate education loan to cover the tuition fees.
Help your customers get started with financial planning
In an attention-starved world, customers have little time for managing their personal finances.
But, they also have access to more financial services than ever. New types of credit cards, savings accounts, and banking products give customers more choice, but also make the decision process more complex.
There is a clear need, and desire, for customizable PFM tools. These can help customers take control of their day-to-day finances. By making better decisions about their money, they improve their overall financial outlook.
VeriPark's PFM channel makes your customers' lives simpler, not more complicated. The platform is customizable to their particular lifestyle, goals, and needs. It's the digital equivalent of the jam-jar approach to money management, where they divide their money into separate pots for different expenses – only with much more flexibility and portability.
For banks, VeriPark's PFM works as a new distribution channel that drives customer acquisition in a smartphone-dominated world. It also provides deep customer understanding to increase loyalty, cross sell and up-sell capabilities.
Today, customers are setting high standards for how they expect to interact with their insurance providers. Customer-centricity is becoming the new game in town requiring insurance providers to make customer engagement a priority. This shift in focus is the key driver to move from long, drawn-out processes to customer-based insights in order to drive the digital transformation journey.
With VeriPark technologies, we help insurers to provide consistent and integrated offerings and services regardless of the channel their customers use. We help them to map customer journeys through analytics and rich datasets. By unifying customer relationship management and Omni-Channel servicing capabilities in one interface, we enable them to break down the barriers between channels and create a new customer-centric ecosystem to engage with the customers in their own terms.
Many of your customers already run their lives in the on-demand world. They download ride-sharing apps, order everything from sushi to dry cleaning and medical prescriptions, and all from the comfort of their home.
This 'uberization' process, where you can turn services on-and-off at the switch of a button, is still novel in the travel insurance market. But, it's gaining traction. Customers like the convenience, while insurance companies benefit by gaining more insight into their customers' habits.
Detailed customer behaviour data is essential for insurance companies in an increasingly competitive market. Traditional and non-traditional players are launching innovative seamless services to meet customer demand for an anytime, anywhere, experience.
Unlike banks, insurance providers tend not have massive transactional data to hand. However, to boost customer engagement with personalized communications and services, they do need the right tools to leverage data, such as customer location.
'Always-on' customers need you to be there for them
Travel trends have shifted significantly in the last decade. Trips now tend to be shorter and more frequent. Millennials, in particular, are adventurous travelers, with some even living the 'digital nomad' lifestyle.
Take Amsterdam-based designer, Mary, for example. She's also a travel blogger with over 10K Instagram followers. When she gets a last-minute invitation to a terrarium design workshop in Barcelona, she has to pack and move fast.
On her way to the airport, she schedules her appointments and books a hotel using her smartphone. She's so busy, travel insurance simply doesn't occur to her.
Giving customers peace of mind when they need it most
Thankfully, Mary has her car insurance with Verisurance, so she has the location-enabled app installed on her phone. Because the app detects that Mary is at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, she receives a notification about "pay-as-you-travel" on-demand insurance.
She's asked a few simple questions, such as who she's travelling with and whether it's for business or leisure. In around one minute, she's given details of the standard coverage, excess and daily rates for the EU and rest of the world. Mary clicks 'accept' and receives her travel insurance confirmation right away. Now, she can relax and enjoy her flight.
Personalized offers based on detailed customer insight
The Verisurance virtual assistant platform welcomes Mary as soon as she lands at Barcelona El Prat airport. It uses geolocation and machine learning to find local insurance rates. When Mary types "yes" to agree, she immediately gets a message confirming her travel insurance coverage.
Creating added value using customer data
Mary enjoys the workshop in Barcelona and, after four days, lands back at Amsterdam Schiphol. Her Verisurance virtual assistant welcomes her home, shows her the total insurance costs for the trip and asks which registered credit card she'd like to pay with. Mary enters the last four digits of her card and the CVC code, and instantly receives a payment approved notice. She also opts to have a costs summary and payment receipt sent to her preferred email address.
Tracking customer expectations and preferences
Finally, Mary gets a message that reads:
Dear Mary, it was a pleasure to assist you during your trip. May I kindly ask you to take a second and give us feedback on how you have experienced our interaction and services? 1 for Excellent, 2 for Good, 3 for Satisfactory, 4 for unsatisfactory
When Mary types in "1" and sends, she's rewarded:
Thank you for helping us improve our service and customer experience. We will definitely express our appreciation soon. Don't forget to check your Verisurance mobile app's "Surprise awards" section regularly. Hope to talk to you again on your next trip, have a safe journey home.
Developing customer-centric tools to improve your value propositions
The Verisurance CRM platform does more than offer your customers convenience and peace of mind when travelling. It lets you manage all your distribution channels, including customer or broker portals and contact centers, on one platform.
Our Omni-Channel Insurance services help insurers provide consistent and integrated services, whatever channel their customers choose. This gives you the opportunity to map the entire customer journey and communication preferences through analytics and rich data sets. The insights you gain into your customers' travel habits can inform new product development, marketing campaigns and personalized offers.
Banking has always depended on relationships. But, as customers demand new and better digital experiences, the way banks build and maintain those relationships is changing fast. Once the branch was the cornerstone of the banking experience; increasingly, that experience is a Digital First or Mobile First strategy.
Your younger customers, in particular, live their life through their mobile. They use it to connect, discover and collaborate on social networks and order virtually anything they want from meals and outfits to music, movies and holidays. They expect their bank to be as simple and accessible as their apps.
Open 24 hours
From the banks' point of view going digital makes sense. Lower costs, faster implementation and more personalized customer offers all boost ROI. But customers welcome it too; in the latest EY research, 64% said they were comfortable switching to a digital-first bank.
It's hardly surprising that the European Central Bank has reported a decline in the number of bank branches (the annual growth rate was -2.3% from 2007 to 2017). Forward-thinking organizations have an unprecedented opportunity to re-engineer the banking experience. With the help of VeriPark's Omni-channel solutions – spanning internet and mobile banking, mobile wallet, chatbots and digital onboarding – they can create a dynamic branchless bank that connects with customers whenever they want and wherever they go.
When was the last time you really needed to visit a bank branch?
This was the question posed by Enpara.com, Turkey's first purely digital bank, launched by QNB Finansbank. Their attitudinal research into the millennial market confirmed that this customer group isn't interested in visiting traditional branches. Instead, they're looking for rich and meaningful digital and mobile experiences.
Enpara.com opted for a digital-only branchless approach. They now have 1.2 million retail customers, a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 75% (the average for banks in Turkey is 8%) and 50% of all their new customers come through referrals.
How did they do it? They focused on creating an outstanding user experience to build exceptional customer engagement. Here are their three digital relationship tips.
1. Use customer insights to give timely and relevant offers
In EY's research, 40% of customers say they would stay loyal to their bank if they provided more personalized service. But, only 24% feel that their bank understands their goals.
2. Pass savings on to customers in the form of free services and loyalty rewards
For Enpara.com this includes no subscription fees or transaction fees on payments and transfers alongside discounts on popular millennial-focused services, such as Spotify and Netflix.
3. Make everything as user- friendly as possible
Enpara.com started by simplifying the standard 20-30 page customer contract document. They created one that's just two pages long and written in simple and easy-to-understand language.
Enpara.com proves that a fully digital bank, with no physical branches, can build rewarding relationships with customers. Using VeriPark's VeriChannel Omni-Channel Delivery Solution was a smart and fast way to fuel innovation and harness this global trend towards frictionless digital customer experience.
In recent years, the financial industry has come under pressure from many angles. While income is pointing downwards as a result of market drivers and regulation, young FinTech start-ups pick elements of the customer journey and innovate heavily. AirPlus, a leading international provider of business travel management and payment solutions operating in over 50 countries, increasingly feel the pressure and decided to pioneer new ways of delivering products and services to customers.
Transforming into a 'Cloud First', 'Digital First' provider
AirPlus has been operating in a traditional and product-centric ecosystem. However, success in the modern marketplace requires companies to put customers at the centre of their operations and deliver excellent customer experience. This shift in focus was the key driver in the company's decision to launch a digital transformation program. It began the digital transformation journey by closely analysing its own operations and the products it delivers to its customers. Planning the course of the journey included designing customer personas, looking at customer behaviour and the actual value delivered to customers.
Based on the internal analysis AirPlus realized that one of the main challenges for the company was a lack of Omni-product, Omni-Channel processes. There were different product-specific systems in place to manage different touchpoints which means that the company needed to maintain different functional sets to serve different channels. This resulted in the fact that the customer experience could differ across products and channels.
'We are transforming AirPlus into a 'cloud first', 'digital first' business travel payment service provider. In order to achieve strengthen customer centricity throughout the organization we needed a central data repository for customer information and interactions,' says Christian Binderbauer, Lead Architect and Chief Product Owner. 'Another goal is to deliver products we currently sell and service through assisted channels only also via self-service channels, which will hugely improve efficiency and make them available to smaller companies.'
VeriPark delivers ready-to-use financial industry-specific processes
AirPlus selected the VeriPark solutions portfolio based on Microsoft Dynamics365 and Azure technology because of the unique set of functionalities it brings along. At its core, the solution delivers a platform that allows to channel services through different interaction touchpoints, thus eliminating the boundaries between assisted and unassisted channels. 'VeriPark's software adds a significant set of ready-to-use financial industry-specific processes. Modern cloud architecture fulfils state-of-the-art security requirements and helps speeding up delivery. Using Software As A Service (SAAS) is a safe and smart way of combining functional elements across boundaries - and it works.' says Binderbauer.
The transition to this delivery was not painless. Moving from a mainframe-centric architecture with a lot of inhouse development to a 'cloud user' with more than 95% of functionality and integration coming from industry-standard platform was tricky and full of surprises. Now, AirPlus successfully integrates customer relationship management and Omni-Channel delivery solutions to its new ecosystem aiming at leveraging cost and time-to-market advantages. 'VeriPark has teamed up with several other Microsoft partners for the digital transformation project including SiteCore for CMS (Content Management System), Pros (CPQ), Icertis (Contract Management), XperiDo (Document Generation) and InRule (Rule Engine)' says Wim Geukens, Managing Director of VeriPark Europe.
The solution will be used by up to 700 internal, 49,000 companies (i.e. 300,000 system users). Customer engagement features of the solutions will be used by AirPlus employees in sales and marketing departments as well as in customer service areas. At the same time, VeriPark products will provide customers with access to their services and products through the new AirPlus portals.
One process through all channels
AirPlus has ambitious goals for the new solution. 'A key driver for AirPlus is efficiency,' explains Binderbauer. 'If you have a process that can be delivered through multiple channels, there is one machine you build and maintain for several purposes.'
This also has a positive impact on time-to-market. 'Implementation of functionality currently happens in record time by the current standards of our organization.', says Binderbauer.
Customer interaction history at users' fingertips
AirPlus believes that the new solution will drastically improve its operations by eliminating numerous process workarounds and exceptions that resulted from a lack of legacy flexibility. Sales and customer service agents will have the entire customer interaction history at their fingertips allowing them to deliver improved service.
AirPlus foresees the implementation of VeriPark's 'Next Best Action' functionality to help agents determine what the most important thing is for the customer at a given point in time considering relevant circumstances. By supporting Next Best Actions with artificial intelligence, employees will have even better insight into customer behaviour, while, on the self-service portal, users can be taken on individualised journeys and improving their experience.
The final goal for AirPlus is to become a fully digital solutions provider. Customers can still choose to interact with the company in traditional ways while also having access to the advantages of the digital era, such as fully digital onboarding processes, digital signatures and digital delivery.
Here is an interview video with Christian Binderbauer, Lead Architect and Chief Product Owner at AirPlus International about AirPlus Business Transformation Project. You can also watch the long version here.