Commercial Banking is a highly profitable customer segment for global and large regional banks, and a key growth strategy for community and smaller regional banks. New challenger banks are also turning up the heat on traditional brick and mortar banks, as
they are starting to attract business customers to their digital only banks.
As a financial partner to businesses, banks must deliver solutions that introduce new service offerings, eliminate pain points and reduce costs. To meet that mandate, banks must assess and optimize the customer life cycle to exceed the wants and needs of
businesses. Banks view the business customer life cycle as integrated stages of engagement, for example:
- Solution: Develop, price and launch products to customers.
- Onboard: Open accounts and implement the products for customers.
- Process: Receive and clear transactions from customers.
- Service: Maintain, support and close accounts for customers.
- Report: Push, alert and notify customers of transactions and balances.
Banks are listening to their customers' call to action and focusing their efforts on optimizing the customer life cycle. Bank initiatives are centered around the customer experience and internal bank systems and processes, with the intent to deliver better,
faster and easier solutions for their business customers. Examples include:
- Enhancing the customer experience by providing customers what they want, when they want it.
- Providing solutions that are easy to use, while supporting the complexity of a business.
- Enabling customer self-service for onboarding and support.
- Implementing fraud prevention and information security tools.
- Rendering application program interface (API) connectivity to the bank for customers and third parties.
- Partnering and investing in fintechs to bring new technology solutions to their customers.
- Investing in modernization of legacy core banking systems and other processing platforms.
Leveraging Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to automate processes, integrate internal systems and enable real-time processing.
Initiating Merger & Acquisition (M&A) opportunities to generate significant cost savings, which in turn funds new technology.
- Rethinking the business case to buy and partner vs. build in-house for new technology.
- Reducing time to market for product launches.
- Implementing Agile development methodologies to expedite cycle times for technology initiatives.
- Allocating more funds for new technology instead of legacy systems.
- Reacting faster to customer wants and needs.
- Reorganizing to become more customer-focused than product-focused.
- Embracing Open Banking as an opportunity instead of a threat.
Banks must break through the fourth wall and step into the shoes of business owners and Corporate Treasurers. See things through their eyes. Live their day-to-day life. Understand their opportunities. Experience their challenges and pain points. Then provide
the products, services, technology, and expertise to help the businesses (and the bank) flourish. This will differentiate successful banks from their competitors.