In this guest blog, Patricia Moore, DXC’s financial services client executive lead, provides insights into how banks and building societies can use technology solutions, such as DXC’s Connected Bank-as-a-Service (CBaaS) solution to help create a truly interactive banking experience that brings agility in design and modularity for customers.
How can banks help to bring a truly interactive human touch to customer experiences, and how can digital transformation help to embrace those experiences?
As we emerge out of one of the world’s worst pandemics, it is clear to see that the impact on the world’s economies has created winners and losers in various industries. The winners have been those who have either had to accelerate their digital transformation efforts due to the pandemic or have truly embraced technology to engage with their end-users. The losers, sadly, have been businesses that were not well-prepared to embrace digital transformation into their infrastructure pre-pandemic. Therefore, if there was ever a catalyst for moving industries towards truly embracing digital transformation, then it has resulted from the pandemic.
Various lockdowns, social distancing, closure of many high-street bricks-and-mortar stores, and the move to working from home (WFH) for many who were not used to it, has taken its toll on businesses and individuals. On top of that, the high number of redundancies have just added more to the injury. While IT vendors and online retailers have experienced success (read: laptops and office furniture flying off the shelves!); it is those who did not embrace moving to digital in the past ten years that have suffered.
Digital transformation still a challenge
The growth of multiple interactive interfaces has meant that customers expect to do their banking instantly and anywhere using multiple platforms. But not everyone is fortunate enough to have that luxury of having access to the internet or the correct equipment. For building societies to be able to provide a seamless customer experience, not only do they need access to data, they also need to make sure that the customers have access to their resources. But are they fully equipped with the correct resources? A recent report by Whitecap Consulting and the Building Societies Association (BSA) found that 67% of building societies identify digital transformation as the primary challenge over the next five years.
People who are not so digitally savvy or those who may not have the correct devices to work or use online services may face further challenges when faced with factors such as the unreliable speed of home broadband and the lack of proper facilities that can enable someone to, say for example, work from a crowded home. On top of this, there may also be the challenge of home schooling. We have seen the generous support provided by individuals and companies to give multiple interactive devices to those who need them most. While children have been provided with laptops, but what about adults, especially those who are struggling with everything “as-a-service”?
Some banks have gradually moved to a “as-a-service” model, simply to cut costs rather than truly benefit their customers. For these banks, a realisation that maybe removing the human touch - which customers engage with via the branches - is perhaps not quite what everyone wants.
Branches are effective channels
According to a recent report by Accenture, almost two thirds of banks realise that the branch is the most effective channel for those customers experiencing difficulties.
Many consumers perhaps do not realise that some of their life’s most important decisions involve a bank (!). For example, as a child, when your parents set up a saving scheme for when you are 21 or saved up for you to purchase your first car at 18, educating sublimely that saving is good! Other examples include planning to get married or getting a mortgage. The former is more about saving and ensuring you have a memorable day but also a great future together, while the latter is perhaps the most important transaction (after the car, of course!). Therefore, the cycle continues as children come on the scene and life progresses.
So, why is it that when these issues are important that so many banks get it wrong? Consumers are used to hearing terms such as ‘digital channels’, ‘omni-channels’, ‘self-service’ and so on, but do the banks actually deliver?
Here at DXC, as an IT company, we are proud to build these systems to be consumed, and it is key we work closely with all aspects of our customers’ teams. Maybe the real test is to engage with those who consume these services, such as internet and mobile banking, mortgage applications, loans, and more? Be on the sharp end when a digital engagement fails to really understand the implications and solutions. After all, we are all consumers.
Review the branch network
While there may not be so many building society branches, but we can help to re-build them to what they are able to deliver to consumers off the street, those who cannot have access to an online process, and to those who just want to talk through these major life-changing decisions with someone.
The human touch
Therefore, if we can help to build the self-service of the future with the latest cutting-edge technologies, then we can work in collaboration with banks to deliver solutions and products that their customers view as being a key part of their life. This approach, which is more intuitive and more engaging can help bring that human touch to customer experience.
Let’s try a little bit more ‘human touch’, as Bruce Springsteen says in one of his songs, and create something that delivers a true end-to-end experience.
*Image by DXC Technology
The views, opinions and positions expressed within guest blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the BSA.