With the blossoming of AI in the public sphere, consumers have ever higher expectations of what can be done with technology. Increasingly, we expect to be able to organise our lives on a seamless click-and-collect basis. This applies to managing money and foreign exchange for travel just as much as it does to buying groceries.
Financial institutions need to embrace a holistic approach
The implications for the banking and wider financial sector are neatly described in an article by Sridhar Obilisetty, written when he was CEO of mFino, a California based fintech specialist.
An important part of his argument is that consumers, while happily embracing the convenience of technology, will favor suppliers who meet all their needs in a particular field, not just the digital ones.
A nice irony is that for this to happen, most banks and credit unions need to rapidly improve their digital service delivery.
Accommodate multiple channels of communication
Obilisetty rightly emphasises the need for an “omnichannel” approach. Thus, improved digitization enhances the way a bank can improve its face-to-face interaction with its customers.
Some customers will prefer the digital-only world, but those who interact with real employees are then more receptive to other products and services – bringing growth to the bank and greater choice to the consumer.
Engagement with customers works best when transactions are seamless. Combining smartphone, computer and in-person discussion smooths the journey; the customer’s experience is comfortable and informed. They are positive about their choices.
Simplify the journey, improve the service, grow profitability
Foreign exchange is a good example here, provided the right systems are in place. If a customer books foreign currency online via click-and-collect, it’s easier for everyone. It is more convenient for the customer and more efficient for the bank or credit union. Mundane staff tasks are automated; opportunities to discuss and sell additional services are increased. The customer gets a better service.
Critically, the digital investment by the bank or credit union need not be expensive, especially as new software can sit with existing systems. To discover how this could benefit your organisation, watch this introduction about Money 4 Travel
The article by Sridhar Obilisett mentioned above was recently republished. What makes it significant is that everything he sets out remains relevant today – perhaps even more so than when it was written.