Infosys Strategic Vision
THE RATIONALE OF OMNICHANNEL BANKING
Let us chart the banking landscape to better understand the significance of omnichannel banking:
Focus areas in omnichannel banking
While a majority of banks understand the business imperatives of omnichannel banking, they are not convinced about the implementation approach. Banks must focus on key areas mentioned below while implementing omnichannel banking
Branch digitization: Even as retail banking reinvents itself, the importance of the branch remains undiminished. Banks must enhance branch digitization and increase customer touch points through a combination of virtual staff and banking professionals. Customer service must shift from a transactional to a personalized approach. Banks can consider specialty branches for the delivery of niche products and services, and virtual branches for conducting transactions through virtual channels. Branches must be paperless, as far as possible. Banks can explore digital innovations such as digital signage, video-enabled kiosk for customer service, video-enabled advice in branches, and 24x7 digital kiosks serving customers in multiple languages.
In November 2013, Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong opened its first ‘digital branch’. Customers walking into the branch could view the latest financial information on a large TV. They could use their mobile phones to scan the QR codes on an ‘iWall’ for information on the bank’s products and services. A virtual queuing system allowed customers to generate a ticket. The bank’s staff walked customers through online and mobile apps using digital platforms such as interactive projectors. Customers signed up for products using e-signature pads.
Video: The appeal and reach of video cuts across customer segments. Video is crucial to inspire confidence when there is a lack of face-to-face interaction. Video can be used for advice from subject matter experts and service-oriented offerings in a cost-effective manner. Banks must use video conferencing to connect customers with financial experts in the absence of in-house expertise. Videos can be integrated with multi-purpose ATMs, banking kiosks and next-generation virtual banking services for an enriching customer experience.
In June 2013, Turkey’s Akbank introduced a video chat service on its website. It connects customers with call center agents through a full HD video banking service integrated with the bank’s Genesys Contact Center solution.
Mobile: It is estimated that over a billion people will use their mobile devices for banking, by 2017. In the journey towards multichannel banking, banks must unleash location-based commerce and facilitate remote deposit capture, account balance check, money transfer, bill payment, and expense tracking. Banks can for example introduce easy-to-use tools/ apps to find the right home and connect a prospective house owner to a local mortgage banker. Banks must enable customers to conduct transactions using the mobile rather than call or visit the branch using a ‘unified front end’ for seamless transaction across channels.
In February 2014, Citibank launched a redesigned Citi Mobile app for Android and iPhone devices. The app empowers the bank’s credit card customers in the U.S. with enhanced mobile account capabilities. A sleek design, intuitive navigation and on-the-go alert features were added. The launch included a beta version of Citi Mobile Snapshot comprising opt-in feature for customers to check their deposit and credit card balances and recent transactions without logging into their accounts.
Social: Banks can explore the possibility of embedding banking transactional capabilities into social networking sites. However, banks must address the challenge of privacy of information.
HSBC responds to over 85% of customer queries and complaints on Twitter with an average response time of 30 minutes. NatWest and Barclays have created social accounts to increase their customer service responsiveness. The banks have over 20,000 followers with high engagement rates. Fidor Bank has an online community of over 250,000 members who share advice, exchange opinions and comments. Fidor offers cash bonuses to customers sharing saving tips or rating financial advisers.