Research commissioned by Unisys identifies real-time sharing of information as the top challenge for banks looking to optimise cost-savings and link the Web with other customer channels.
Two seperate studies conducted by the Global Future Forum and Gartner show banks worldwide are grappling with interactivity issues and the integration of Web-based services with traditional customer touch-points.
Just over half of the 121 US and European financial institutions surveyed by Gartner cite channel integration as a key initiative that they are either currently addressing or are planning to address in the short term. The top three priorities for data sharing across channels are: delivering consolidated product information (including sales quotes and account information); providing a single view of all of a customer's accounts and interactions; and providing data about the customer's financial and life-event situations. Respondents ranked billing and transaction information, fraud prevention, product quotes, and customer profile and account information, as the top targets for real-time information flow.
While US banks lead the way, the industry still has some way to go in delivering a quality service to customers online. The Unisys-Global Future Forum survey shows that while seven of the top 10 banks globally provide a customer contact mechanism on their Web sites, only four responded to an inquiry, demonstrating the need for more integrated service.