Omnichannel: it’s been the banking industry’s buzzword for the last couple of years as financial institutions strive to deliver the five-star service that offers customers a holistic end-to-end approach spanning products, service and channels of delivery.
Digital innovation is seen as a critical pathway to engaging customers, increasing loyalty and driving value to the business. For banks, perfecting the customer journey, through the delivery of new services and frameworks, such as Open Banking, is critical to attracting new, and retaining existing customers.
However, despite the significant digital transformations occurring within banks, and the investment of both time and money, have banks actually nailed what customers want when it comes to great service?
The challenge banks face
People increasingly want to bank in a way that fits in seamlessly with their lifestyle. They want to know that the services and products they need are easily accessible, as and when they choose to use them.
In fact, with ‘Embedded Banking’, customers expect to be provided with financial services support and products at the very point of consumption. Customers may already be interacting with merchants, service providers, or third-party Apps as part of their everyday spending habits. An extreme example of this is WeChat in China – but we can expect to see other such ‘SuperApps’ emerging in the near future.
While banks have made significant headway as they evolve their products and services to keep up with digitalised service expectations, customers still have their frustrations when it comes to the service they’re receiving.
Historically, the frustrations for banking customers across the Asia Pacific region have heavily focused on long queues in branches and inconvenience when credit cards have been frozen due to suspected fraudulent activity.
However, the 2019 Unisys APAC Banking Insights report uncovered that one in three customers in Australia (29%), New Zealand (32%) and Taiwan (30%) have grown increasingly tired of having to repeat themselves to a different service consultant or channel, such as phone, branch or internet.
These findings are just one of the indicators that reveal banking services are yet to capture the frictionless experience customers are looking for. In fact, the reality is that current systems rarely capture or unite every touch point or interaction in end-to-end customer journeys, and for banks getting this insight is essential to creating a true omnichannel experience.
This seamless experience will become even more critical with Embedded Banking, where banks will have to provide, or be part of a financial services ecosystem.
Embracing new [customer] experiences
Customers are looking to their banks to step up their game when it comes to providing the real-time access and/or consumption that other suppliers offer them.
To support this, and fundamental to the overall customer experience, is embracing the concept of Open Banking frameworks and the role of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in the banking experience, which will give customers the opportunity to have greater access to, and more control of their banking data.
APIs also make it possible for banks to create, and participate in, the ecosystems that make embedded banking possible.
Banks should be aware that if they don’t explore the benefits of this new ecosystem, they not only risk losing loyalty and favour with customers, but business growth too.
A seamless, effortless interaction
While banking technology has yet to become as intuitive and seamless as consumer technology there are still options available to banks to improve the visibility into the customer journey, and in turn, enhance the delivery of their customer service.
Banks remain central to the lifestyle of customers around the world. As the technology, environment and expectations change, banks need to be ready to take the customer experience to the next level. For more insights on how to achieve this, read the 2019 Unisys APAC Banking Insights report available here.