By 28 October 2016 | Categories: Misc



Typically, banks were confined to being tangible places where money can be stored and transacted. Today, customers can carry access to their banks in their pockets and conduct transactions as the need arises wherever they are.

EY’s survey, The Relevance Challenge: What banks must do to remain in the game, found that it is critical for banks to take a fresh approach to the needs of their customers and to gain insights into customers’ complex needs. This data plays a key role to encourage banks to develop a service approach and financial products that are better suited to customer needs.   

“This data creates an opportunity for banks to leverage customers’ digital comprehension. Banks can adjust to an approach that can give their customers financial peace of mind through digital channels,” says Gareth Whitaker, Pre-Sales Director at Software AG South Africa.

The rise of digitisation has caused a rise in other, newer digital banking players, who have fresh approaches to banking, play by different rules, don’t carry traditional costs and don’t fall under the same regulations as conventional banks. These are known as FinTechs. 

FinTechs are powerful competition to traditional banks, and continuously develop a growing and enthusiastic customer base. By providing clients with innovative and flexible solutions, FinTechs are posing a strong competitive threat to all banks that have not adopted digital transformation.

A key finding in EY’s survey was that many banking customers were identified as “digitally savvy”, but not “financially savvy”. In addition to this, the survey also found that there isn’t necessarily a link between how digitally savvy customers and how old they are.  

Technology and data has transformed the way consumers approach banking, and the way banks see their customers. Banks have embraced automated banking by communicating and taking instructions from their customers through telephonic, online, mobile, and social media channels. 

However, when these channels don’t speak to one another, it can cause friction. For example, if a customer purchases a new product on their banks’ website, the customer may find it frustrating if a sales-person from the bank’s call centre might phone them to try and sell them the same product.

“Omni-channel Integration is a way of integrating communicative channels, which allow users to interact with their bank through a number of different mediums. Omni-channel integration can seamlessly integrate with multi-channel systems, allowing you to trace the steps your customer took that led them to you,” adds Whitaker.  

Another key approach is to analyse real-time customer interaction. Thisallows banks to monitor their customers’ interactions with the bank, and provides meaningful insights to their banking habits. Branch and call-centre staff can more readily identify up-sale opportunities and offer superior customer service. This speaks directly to the need outlined in EY’s banking survey. Gaining insight into what your customers need, allows banks to tailor their approach.

Banks are also able to see what their customers need as they walk into a branch. Smart Branch Monitoring is a way banks can use WiFi signals through their banking app and be able to detect if a high-value customer has entered one of their branches. This can give banks the upper-hand in providing excellent service to their customers when they need it, and eliminates wasted time and confusion.

“Digitisation is an opportunity for banks to gain the trust of their customers. By incorporating digital systems that display real-time interactions, a bank can set itself apart from its competitors by delivering time sensitive results to clients,” Whitaker concludes.

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