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Omnichannel: the retail bank's new sweetheart

Multi-channel banking is old hat. When it comes to retail banking, ‘omnichannel’ is the new darling of the industry. Omnichannel is far more than a fleeting infatuation. It’s an approach that can deliver serious benefits to banks’ bottom lines. In order to tap into these results, banks need to raise their game to meet customer expectations and keep them on-board. Key to this is the ability to deliver a seamless experience over any device.

The multi-channel approach meant more customer touchpoints with the bank. But with that came mounting IT complexity. By implementing a unified omnichannel strategy, banks can reap the rewards of a 360 degree view of customer activities. This will provide them with a detailed profile for each customer. As a result, banks will be able to better determine how to allocate budgets to providing targeted services to customers across the entire suite of channels.

Research from Google has shown that 46% of people managing their finances online switch between devices before completing the activity. Often customers will start research on a smartphone before migrating to a PC or tablet to dig deeper into the information they need. Customers expect consistent service across all channels. A joined-up omnichannel approach to banking services will introduce a smooth customer experience through several changes in device.

So will banks give omnichannel the attention it deserves? Streamlined, linked up systems, a single customer view and optimal customer experience should go straight through the heart. Banks must change their approach now or risk competing with industry newcomers for customer affection.

 

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 02 October, 2013, 13:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Given that more and more customers are expecting better levels of service from their retail banks, there is also an increasing trend of retail banks trying to serve customers better. In that respect, we see retail banks investing on and improving their banking channels, as a banking channel serves to be the primary mode of interacting with a customer. Embracing an omni-channel strategy works out to be a smart approach – as Alison rightly mentions, the rewards of a 360 degree customer view of their business activities not only helps banks serve their customer better but also helps them pro-actively discover cross selling opportunities.

Speaking to a few EMEA banking executives, I’ve been able to find evidence  that one of the major impediments for retail banks today has been the existence of silo monolithic legacy IT systems. Built and developed over different points in time, these monolithic IT applications are often built in different technologies and that makes it really difficult to correlate & use similar data from multiple systems. (For example, Alison in system A is treated as a different entity say from Alison in system B).  

For an effective omni-channel strategy, it is important for retail banks to invest in re-tooling their IT infrastructure. Although SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) based offerings offer certain intermediate solutions, looking at the way technology is changing around us, a second alternative would come in the form of adopting technological benefits from a public cloud.

Any thoughts on how retail banks could benefit from a cloud for implementing an omni-channel strategy?

 

Alison Wilkes

Alison Wilkes

General Manager, EMEA, Banking Division

FIS Global

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