August 05, 02:08

Key Trends Revolutionizing the Customer Experience in the Banking industry. – Chris Tsounis, Foundation

Digital technology has already transformed almost every aspect of our lives

Digital technology has already transformed almost every aspect of our lives and subsequently is transforming the banking industry as well. Innovation that takes advantage of data, advanced analytics, digital technologies and new delivery platforms has never been more meaningful.

This digital transformation poses a challenge for banking institutions in terms of experimenting with new technologies and further promoting the ability to respond to consumer expectations where products are aligned with the satisfaction of the emerging customer needs.

As customer experience in the banking industry is expanding and evolving, along with the developments in IT, the optimisation of the banking experience of customers becomes fundamental.

Let’s have a look how will these developments are expected to evolve in 2019.

  • Your Personal Assistant

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has fundamentally transformed most of the economy sectors, and it was only a matter of time before banks turned to AI for smarter automation solutions.

Chatbots are AI enabled conversational interfaces that conduct smart and compelling conversations on behalf of the bank regarding customers’ concerns or queries providing an instant answer and are on continuous rise.

A report by Juniper Research claims that for every query that a chatbot handles, banks save 4 minutes of an agent’s time. By 2022, this will amount to billion in annual savings.

Even though the majority of the banks have adopted this solution, there is still room for improvement. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that although chatbots today are programmed to handle simple and redundant queries, in order to handle those more complicated and unique, they have to be developed in a relevant way.

  • The “Mobile” Branch 

Mobile app is not a buzz word, but rather a necessity. Today, there are more than 2.6 million Android and 2.2 million iOS apps available to meet every human need, including the need to stay up to date and have on-the-go access to banking services.

Digital self-service is a high priority for consumers and therefore banks slowly move away from branches and turn into more technological enhanced solutions such as mobile apps for banking and finance that allow customers to do real-time banking transactions anytime, anywhere. Who is queuing today after all?

  • Omnichannel banking

Omnichannel approach appeared in retail almost a decade ago and since then it’s been making its way into industries like telecommunications, media, and retail banking.

Οn the contrary, in multitasking banking, customers access the bank via diverse channels (mobile, online, call center, branch etc.) but with a completely different user experience.

Omnichannel is about making the same set of services available to customers in a seamless way across all the channels, both digital and offline. In practice, that would mean that someone can initiate a transaction in a one touchpoint and complete it in a different one due to the convergence of virtual and physical banking channels.

With omnichannel banking, financial institutions can cut costs through process automation and boost revenues due to superior customer experiences.

In fact, many companies have realised the importance of meaningful and personalised interactions and started to prioritise online banking, as 65% of businesses think that a live engagement platform that supports a variety of devices and operating systems, is the most important feature to have.

  • Closely associated with startups 

As technology is evolving and the customers’ expectations are expanding, it’s difficult for traditional banks and financial planners to stand out from the crowd in the minds of consumers. The key question is how they can still be appealing to their customers and attract new ones. The answer is by using emerging and cutting-edge technology as well as smart design to provide high-touch, customized customer service. And how they can do this? By collaborating with startups.       

Fintech start-ups are revolutionising the customer experience sector and at the same time they are becoming a huge asset for financial institutions. Today, banks are seeking to take advantage of the opportunities presented by digital technologies by partnering with fintech companies. These partnerships are beginning to re-shape the financial services landscape globally. It is worth mentioning that the services the startups provide are agile and customer-oriented and are therefore essentials.

  • Faster payments

They say time is money, and financial institutions take that into account. One of the main competition points in banking is how they can offer faster payments and a diverse range of digital payment methods. RTP (real-time payments), is at the top of their agenda, while blockchain and digital currencies follow.

The next decade will bring both evolution and revolution in the banking sector and tech giants need to reinvent themselves to adopt and respond to the world of tomorrow.