With so many banking delivery options, channel innovation should have run out of steam or new ideas. But it’s amazing that its run is still sustaining, fuelled by new technology, consumer evolution and other market forces.
What is the secret behind the success of banking technology and innovation? Simply that it passes the acid test of consumer acceptance, by delivering tangible value to users or improving their experience in other ways. And there’s no end to the list of benefits
of channel innovation – convenience, ubiquitous and uninterrupted service, self-help, financial independence and empowerment, lower costs (for both banks and their customers) and the ability to do more than routine banking, being the most obvious.
But, beyond that, technology and innovation (really, it’s hard to separate the two) have also enfolded those on the fringes of the financial mainstream by making banking accessible and easy for them, which was quite unthinkable some years ago. So, now rural
farmers and urban daily wage earners can own and operate bank accounts, using that other technological marvel, the mobile phone or draw cash on their own at a local-language enabled ATM.
Meanwhile, advances in NFC hardware, RFID/ location-based technology and convergence of TV, Mobile and Internet etc. are things to look forward to. These will give consumers more freedom of choice in their transactions; enable them to choose a channel based
on the context; switch seamlessly between mobile, Internet and other modes and; do all the above in a more secure environment.
Banking products haven’t remained immune to technology either. If the information revolution minted a new brand of aware customers, with big demands of transparency, choice, convenience and personalisation, modern core platform technology made it possible
for banks to address them. Hence, banking products have become simpler, yet more imaginative; are more flexible and may be bundled together in a number of ways, at the behest of consumer expectation. They’re also taking greater cognisance of individual needs,
based on direct consumer insight gathered from networking sites. But perhaps, the biggest advantage of social technology is that it allows the average consumer to be heard and have a definite say about what he wants from his banking products, services and