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Demystifying the Omni-Channel confusion

In my day-to-day work I am constantly surprised that no two individuals have the same definition or understanding for key industry trends, so here is my quick guide to three of the most prevalent:



Beginning a consumer transaction experience on one channel – and interacting with one or more additional channel to execute the transaction.  For example: (Financial Services) using a mobile app to pre-stage a withdrawal transaction and completing it using an ATM.  Or (Retail) purchasing a product online, using the mobile app to identify the purchase and picking up in store using click and collect.



This is classically confused with Omni-Channel.  Multiple Channels can share common User Experience and “Look and Feel” User Interface Aesthetics – this does not make them Omni-Channel(!).  In a classical multi-channel environment channels of Point of Sale; ATM; SST; e-Commerce; Online Account Services; Mobile Banking would all have individual channel management – normally routing requests and responses over a variety of platforms.  I expect we will see these channels consolidated in the richer transactional API’s we will surely see emerging and maturing over the next 36 months.


Customer 360

In other words – a complete view of a customer from a Financial Institution or Retailer point of view.  From an FI point of view this involves relating together multiple account relationships to individuals and groups – as well as maintaining persistence of advertising and personalisation choices for the consumers (for example – sharing “favourite transactions” with multiple channels, not offering a rejected advertising offer – offering the next best offer from the centralised CRM).  From a retailer point of view – this often revolves around linking with a loyalty function so that offers can be targeted appropriately – use of BLE Beacons and Push Alerts could offer this on a real-time basis as consumers walk around a large retail environment.  In either case – having a richer data set on consumers allows FI’s and Retailers to make more effective decision-ing around product targeting and credit line extensions (maybe even micro-loans at the Point of Sale).  From a Fraud perspective – suspicious out-of-the-ordinary or extreme transactions can more easily be identified and prevented.  Customer 360 is effectively knowing your customer and pre-empting their wants, needs and requirements now and in the future – based on their past transactional behaviour and financial maturity.


In conclusion, I fully expect the future next generation of Issuance Platforms (Card, Mobile and Account Management Platforms) to offer support for the three key areas outlined above out-of-the-box (to a certain degree) – coupled with richer real-time or near real-time data analytics offered by the new generation NoSQL platforms.



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