More than ever, the banking and finance sector is feeling the pressure to innovate. Having an ATM machine and a couple of computers with accounting applications does not cut it anymore. More and more consumers are looking to do more with their banks, beyond the traditional role cash of cash deposits, withdrawals and savings.
While some institutions might consider an investment in technology a waste of precious resources at such a time when there is a serious economic downturn all over the world, the truth is that with time, people will realize that it is actually a wise move, which will result in huge business growth. These are the key technological trends that every financial institution should look to implement:
Online customer technology
Customers want to be able to buy goods and make payments in the comfort of their couches. They want to be able to transfer money from one account to another in a simple, hassle-free way.
A financial institution that has invested in online banking will experience great gains. Not only will their market share and consumer base improve, they will also be able to make great cost savings.
An average of a couple of dollars or more is spent on each face-to-face banking transaction, but if done online, this figure reduces to a few pennies!
Online banking technology gives the customer the ability to make payments online, scan deposits and checks and even invest in the stock market.
Today’s younger generation is made up of people who would rather contact the bank on social media rather than make a phone call, people who consider voice calls to be almost redundant. To effectively lock on to this generation and thus continue in business, banks and financial institutions need to keep up.
This is also closely related with online banking as with the influx of technologies such as the tablets and smartphones, more consumers will want to do their banking using these devices. The development of applications to facilitate this should be among the main agendas of financial institutions.
Customer care services
While all financial institutions do have customer care services, this point is referring to the integration of these services with technology. It is an accepted fact that less and less people are going to be visiting banking halls as time goes by. It is already happening; it is not absurd to hear that a customer of a particular bank for many years has no idea where its branches are.
This is because more and more people are interacting with their banks through only one medium, the internet. There are fewer phone calls being made to these institutions too. This means that financial institutions that are gearing all their customer care efforts towards training the personnel at banking halls and call centers are still missing it.
Customer care needs to be integrated in the online banking experience of the customer. It includes making the interface easy to understand and simple to use and software that can pre-empt what the consumer needs and makes the process of getting it easier. It could even go as far as software that can keep track of every consumer transaction and then generates emails, which it sends to them afterwards to get their feedback on how their experience was. Banks need to embrace that more and more consumers are going online and make it a good experience for them.
Although this is taking off quite slowly considering the delicate nature of financial institution’s data and the security concerns that are connected with cloud computing, it is slowly being recognized as a strategic move by many banks.
Cloud computing involves the transfer of the company’s infrastructure into that of the service provider. It results in massive cost savings, from the reduced need to keep buying software licenses to the shifting of the burden of having to maintain your own servers. More and more banks are taking to it especially for some non-critical roles such as management of client relationships, non-critical development projects and some collaboration deals.
The successful implementation of technology the banking and finance sectors results in reduction of operational costs per unit and an enhanced customer experience. Technology is the new face of banking and finance and smart institutions are embracing it.
This guest post was written by Nick Thomas from debtconsolidation.com.au. Nick is a technology buff and loves that fact that banks are adopting new technologies very fast.