Investment in customer self-service technology set for take-off

Investment in customer self-service technology set for take-off

Pioneer global banks are pushing ahead with customer self-service for interbanks and corporates despite perceived technological obstacles among service users, according to a new study conducted by LMR on behalf of SunGard eProcess Intelligence.

LMR surveyed departmental heads and senior operations professionals within the global top 500 banks. The balance of the survey audience comprised almost equally of users (55 per cent) and interbank service providers (45 per cent).

The research shows full transparency and granularity for customer self-service is provided by just 20 per cent of settlement service providers. A wider proportion (36 per cent) say they currently provide some level of real-time customer self-service. SunGard predicts this number will rise to 58 per cent in the next two years.

Provision of customer self-service came in as the lowest postition of key operational objectives. But SunGard points out that automated exception processing occupied a similar low awareness status in the global banking community five years ago. The report also highlights the rising demand for customer self-service in the front office to improve customer service, customer retention and bring in new revenue streams.

Respondents to the survey say security issues, access to statement and transaction data, or sending payment instructions, will not be technologically difficult for self-service providers to deliver. Instead, the majority of interviewees see real-time reporting capabilities as a currently insurmountable technological obstacle. However, SunGard suggests many banks are simply unaware of existing end-to-end customer self-service solutions which are already available.

The vendor also says that the more sophisticated exception management and processing solutions have been gathering data in a single data mart internally for some years. Extending an operational platform to make that information available to interbank customers across a secure network should therefore not be a vast technological leap.

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