Many customers love the convenience of running their lives from their smartphone or other device. Now, there's an amazing array of high-tech tools to help them make the most of their money. From budgeting to managing multiple accounts and comparing rates – there's an app for everything.
However, for many customers, money can also be an emotional and even stressful issue. Even the most tech-savvy millennial can feel overwhelmed when it comes to complex financial decision making and welcome the reassurance of face-to-face service and advice. This is where banks with a digital branch network have a significant advantage. Unlike a traditional branch, a digital branch introduces interactive digital experiences where there are no tellers, no lines, but digital screens, self-service and assisted service terminals instead.
When customers need you, can you step-up to the challenge?
Although many have predicted that the days of the bank branches may be over soon, we believe they have a bright future. They offer banks the perfect opportunity to really be there for customers – just at the point when they need you the most.
According to Deloitte's global digital banking survey, even many younger customers (48% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Z) prefer to visit a branch at some point in the onboarding process.
That's not to say the bank branch landscape won't change. In fact, technology, new competitors and changing customer behavior are already driving a significant shift from traditional to digital branches. If branch banking is to remain relevant to customers in the 2020s, staying the same is not an option and the pace of change needs to increase rapidly.
Nearly every consumer activity has shifted to digital in some way; from listening to music, to shopping and booking restaurant reservations. In this constantly connected world, customers want better value from their banks as well as personalized and directly relevant offers and communications. They might love digital but they also demand for a human touch at key financial moments. As such, improving digital customer engagement and creating frictionless and seamless customer experiences at branches is now high on the agenda for many banks. It's time for them to reimagine the ways to deliver the knowledge, interaction and value that is relevant to each customer.
Technology changes everything
For business leaders in the banking world it's no longer about 'managing branches'. Instead, future-ready banks are rethinking the branches' role and managing omni-channel distribution strategies that balance customer needs with efficiency. They are also focusing on value-added activities and relationship building. In this new business model, the role of the digital branch is to deliver a differentiated customer experience through branch designs based upon a deep understanding of customer needs, behavior and usage. At the same time, there's a need to minimize the cost of delivery.
3 ways to create digital first engagement in branch
The design, capability and function of branches need to appeal to a diverse range of customers, from the digitally savvy to the more cautious. They also have to fulfill a broad spectrum of financial needs from simple deposits to complex financial arrangements, such as mortgages or business loans. Here are three ways customer-centric banks can boost engagement in branches.
1. Integrating digital customer experience with physical presence in the branch
A digital customer experience often begins with online or mobile account opening capabilities. Smart banks can extend this digital onboarding into an engaging digital branch experience. A new branch layout that encompasses self-service terminals, kiosks, digital touchscreen walls and virtual Meet & Greeters provides an enhanced banking experience to digitally savvy customers.
2. Provide face-to-face alternatives
Customer centric companies live and breathe their customers' needs and are laser-focused on creating amazing experiences. An effective digital branch design gives customers the option to immediately transition from self-service to human engagement and interaction at key moments. As technology frees branch employees from repetitive transaction handling, they can focus on guiding customers that are more cautious on how to make the most of the innovative self-service capabilities of the digital branch.
Even mobile banking customers sometimes welcome the reassurance of a branch. Maybe they're making a more complex financial decision, such as choosing a mortgage, for the first time. Or, perhaps they're stressed over an unusual transaction on their account and want to speak to someone urgently.
At some point in the journey, most customers face a situation where they value face-to-face help and advice. Digital branches can meet this customer need. They also offer the opportunity to exceed expectations.
As tellers are no longer behind intimidating glass screens, they can become friendly advisers. Bankers and customers can sit side by side, looking at the same tablet screen with a consolidated user interface for all banking functionalities, to answer questions and solve problems. We call it hip-to-hip banking.
3. Ensure a seamless omni-channel experience
Louise is generally quite confident with using technology and she's perfectly happy starting her account opening process online. But, when she's asked to provide documents she prefers to take them into the branch rather than uploading them and scanning a digital signature. She has a busy work day ahead so she's happy when she discovers she can 'take a ticket' using her mobile app queuing system to make an appointment at a convenient branch – no-one likes to spend their lunchtime in a bank queue!
A virtual Meet & Greeter at the branch directs Louise to an assisted kiosk. The adviser has all her details on screen and takes care of everything in a matter of minutes. Louise is delighted with how quick and easy it is.
Her adviser also offers to show her the other digital tools available in the branch. She still has plenty of time for lunch, so why not? There are interactive screens, touch-tables and tablets. Even smart ATMs that give Mobile Cash withdrawals if she doesn't have her debit card, and Easy Card terminals that can process, verify and issue a credit card application in a matter of minutes.
Seamless omni-channel capability is all about allowing customers to choose when and how to complete any financial process. If they choose to start a transaction using digital channels and then pick up their request face-to-face in the branch, that experience should be easy and engaging across every channel.
Louise is impressed with the joined-up customer service at her digital branch. It was convenient, personalized and friendly. And, she'll probably be back.
Digital branch platforms, such as VeriPark's VeriBranch, can transform branch effectiveness. Many people, like Louise, are hybrid customers. They find smart, sophisticated self-service terminals convenient for day-to-day transactions but still value the reassurance of face-to-face support.
Digital branches leverage technology to become added value advice hubs. They offer banks valuable opportunities to build profitable customer relationships alongside enhanced operational efficiency.
Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!
Give customers a great experience and they'll buy more, be more loyal and share their experience with friends. It's what every insurer strives for. But, what makes a good customer experience?
For insurance customers, it's about more than speed and convenience (although they are essential). A good experience should also leave your customers feeling cared for and appreciated during what can often be difficult and stressful times. To achieve that, you not only need technology to minimize friction and maximize efficiency along the customer journey – it also has to maintain a personalized element.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is moving insurance towards this ultimate customer goal of personalized, convenient service at every interaction. Getting a personalized insurance plan, requesting immediate assistance and resolving claims - they are all now possible, within a few minutes. And, without customers ever having to leave the comfort of their homes.
In the digital world, everything's just a click away – so what's your excuse?
Your customers now expect friendly, personalized, relevant and enjoyable experiences across multiple channels. And, they want to be in control. That means choosing their preferred channel depending on their specific circumstances at any particular time. They also tend not to distinguish between industries.
In your customer's mind, if everything's just a click away in retail, media and travel – why not in insurance? What's your excuse? Insurance may be a more complex (and regulated) sector but customers still expect you to provide similar experiences to those they enjoy from other brands.
Customer expectations and behaviors are changing rapidly. The use of multiple channels to make a single purchase is becoming the norm. To attract and retain these customers, insurance companies need to innovate with omni-channel delivery models.
How AI can help
As part of our VeriTouch Customer Engagement (CRM) and VeriChannel omni-channel delivery solutions, VeriPark leverages AI to understand individual customer's needs and create highly personalized and tailored customer experiences. For example, our Next Best Action (NBA) solution uses predictive analytics. This enables insurers to predict and react to specific customer needs and create more meaningful and relevant interactions.
Adam's a good example of what we mean by this. He's a tech-savvy 30-something. He's married with two young children so has several policies with his insurer.
When he needs to make a claim, he logs in to the self-service portal. His claim is resolved quickly and efficiently. That's good – but it's also something Adam has simply come to expect!
VeriTouch takes this positive interaction a step further. The analytics-based Next Best Action (NBA) engine presents Adam with a highly relevant Personal Accident Insurance product offer that includes an element of dental care to protect his family.
It's a great deal and it's arrived at just the right time. Adam clicks to say he's interested in the offer. He chooses to chat with Faraday (a transactional chatbot).
Faraday explains the advantages and coverage details and Adam indicates that he's happy with that. Faraday then asks a few further questions, such as "do you work in any of these dangerous occupations?" Adam answers and Faraday immediately confirms that he is eligible for the policy.
To make his payment, all Adam has to do is enter the four digits of his saved credit card. The policy and payment receipts are then sent to his preferred email. It's all done – a new sale and a happy customer – within a matter of minutes.
Technology doesn't replace personal service – it amplifies it
Using AI-powered analytics, the insurance company has been able to retrieve and present the Next Best Action (NBA) to suit Adam's personal circumstances. Such targeted, event-based offers boost conversion rates. They also significantly enhance the customer experience.
Combining a NBA engine with a chatbot, was a great way to provide Adam with intelligent, human-like conversations through his preferred digital channel. It also enabled the insurer to provide a personalized, engaging customer service, available 24/7, efficiently and cost effectively. Adam was certainly impressed; Faraday asked for feedback about the service and instantly captured Adam's 'Excellent' response.
NBA uses sophisticated rules, analytics and algorithms to better predict customer needs, and leverages Azure Machine Learning capabilities to recommend contextual actions and offers. In essence, it's about getting the right product to the right customer at the right time. At the same time, it helps insurance companies to create new, meaningful customer relationships.
A single customer view involves bringing together all of a customer's data across every channel and interaction point into one single source of detailed customer insight. The insurance industry is one sector that could really benefit from this. The key to providing fast, convenient, personalized services across multiple channels, is a detailed and easily accessible understanding of your customers' needs and preferences.
However, insurers face barriers to achieving this ideal. Typically, they sell policies on a case-by-case basis through multiple touchpoints. Customers supply lots of personal information, but it's in individual product lines held in separate databases.
Customers over products
It's essential to bring this data together to achieve a true single customer view. If your customers are receiving different messages from each business line, product type or channel, that's going to leave them feeling confused and inconvenienced. It's also going to limit your business performance; you won't spot the gaps in your customer data or be able to use that data to understand and model the best action for each individual customer.
Relationships = Revenue
Insurers can feel at a disadvantage when it comes to forging long-term relationships with customers. Unlike banks or retailers, interactions tend to be limited to renewal notices and claims procedures. Until we have to pay for it or need to make a claim, most of us don't give our insurance that much thought.
But, with Single Customer View data as the foundation, insurers can create individual, relevant customer communications and build positive engagement.
Single Customer View: Serve, Solve and Sell in one place
Unified, accessible and reliable customer data opens up many opportunities for insurers. For example, when Carl calls to renew his home insurance, the contact center agent, Jennifer, can immediately see all his policies and interactions on one screen with VeriPark's VeriTouch CRM system. That makes the renewal process fast and efficient and leaves Carl feeling satisfied; he's got a good deal and it hasn't been a hassle.
Jennifer takes this opportunity to have a more meaningful interaction. From the interaction timeline, she can see that Carl had a query about his car insurance three months ago. It was resolved quickly and Carl had sent a text to confirm he was happy, but Jennifer decides to check that's still the case. After positive feedback from Carl, Jennifer notices he has travel insurance as a 'Next Best Action Offer' so, with his permission, she emails him the details. Finally, she notices from his pet insurance that tomorrow is his dog's birthday, so she wishes Oscar many happy returns!
This type of fast, effective service and problem solving really comes into its own during the claims process. Typically, this is a difficult time for customers. For example, their house has flooded or their dog is poorly. The last thing they want is to have delays, inaccuracies or be forced to repeat the details again and again at different touchpoints in the process.
Single Customer View offers major opportunities
Single View of the Customer – part of VeriPark's VeriTouch CRM solution - plugs into all an insurers' legacy systems and surfaces the data into a single front-end screen or customer card. This is how Jennifer is able to provide Carl with an exceptional customer experience. She has a full interaction history, so can take the time to ensure the interaction is meaningful and engaging. She even has the opportunity to cross-sell a relevant, personalized travel insurance offer.
Customers now expect this level of fast, convenient, personalized experience – across all channels. VeriTouch can give all front line teams, such as sales, marketing, call centers or brokers and intermediaries, an understanding of the full context of the customer relationship. When your teams know more about your customers, their needs and preferred channel of contact, they can communicate more effectively, boost loyalty and nurture longer, more valuable customer relationships.
VeriTouch is already boosting customer engagement and reducing costs for leading retail and corporate insurance providers. It offers a ready-to-use data model encompassing many insurance related fields, such as policies, claims and payments, that can quickly and efficiently be built onto the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM system. The results can be transformational – insurance companies can serve their customers, solve their problems and sell them targeted, personalized products and services all in one place.
The demand for reduced hassle and personalized experiences has already made customer-centricity a priority on many financial institutions' agenda. But to create value with each customer interaction, financial firms need to re-assess their strategies and capabilities around gathering and understanding the data that underpin customer engagement. Customer interactions and data points are created every second, and financial institutions need to leverage this information to boost overall efficiency and productivity to enhance customer experience and build meaningful relationships with the customers.
The Dynamics 365 Banking Accelerator empowers financial institutions with consistent, well-structured data that can be deployed across disparate systems to provide new insights and deliver outstanding customer experiences. In this article, let's take a look at ten of the top reasons why financial institutions and ISVs should use the Accelerator
1. It's free
The Banking Accelerator extends Microsoft's Common Data Model (CDM) to include concepts for retail banking and commercial banking and is offered free for all financial services customers and partners on Microsoft AppSource. It is provided under an open source creative license, available on GitHub, and there is no additional licensing requirement for any part of the accelerator. And the Banking Accelerator comes with sample apps and dashboards that can be installed in D365, Power Platform and Azure Data Lake Storage. This gives the opportunity to understand how the Accelerator works before applying that knowledge and start building banking industry-specific applications.
2. Built with industry expert partners
Microsoft has built the Banking Accelerator in collaboration with industry partners including VeriPark, Fiserv, and Wealth Dynamix, creating it in-line with the open standards defined by the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN). The partners shared their industry-specific expertise and knowledge with Microsoft to help building a common data structure on top of D365 Customer Engagement.
3. Build solutions and add additional capabilities quickly and easily
By using the banking data model, ISVs can easily build new innovative and powerful solutions themselves and quickly bring them to the market. They can also add features in areas like artificial intelligence and customer experience management.
4. Reuse data in different apps
The Banking Accelerator helps to provide a unified view of the data across sources. It enables customers and partners to easily extend and build different banking applications on the same data model while improving processes and insights. It simplifies the process of storing data and running analytics across different platforms such as D365, Power BI and Azure Machine Learning Service.
5. Learn from the sample apps and dashboards on GitHub
The Accelerator contains sample apps and dashboards that are available on GitHub to show customers and partners how easy it is to develop new apps and solutions. These include:
6. Stay up to date with the new D365 releases
The first version of the Banking Accelerator became available on July 16, 2019. Following the general availability of the Accelerator, Microsoft has released an API sample implementation on GitHub for interoperability with the BIAN API service domains in September. In addition to that, Microsoft released an update to Banking Accelerator on AppSource bringing additional use cases for retail banking. The Accelerator will be kept up to date by Microsoft and evolve with the new D365 releases which will continuously empower partners and customers to build accessible and open solutions.
7. As a customer, take advantage of solutions already built to work on the Accelerator
Customers using the Banking Accelerator can also take advantage of additional innovative ISV solutions that are built on this accelerator and use the same common data model.
8. As a partner, use the banking data model to build your own ISV solution
There is a large window of opportunity for partners using the Accelerator to quickly create their own transformative solutions that can work together. Since the Accelerator comes with a ready-made platform and data model, partners can actually build apps in a matter of days.
9. As a partner, do a demo to a bank
By using the Banking Accelerator, partners can easily demonstrate the banking-specific data model and out-of-the-box solutions that can be used to improve business processes, speed up development and deliver meaningful customer insights. When bank employees are powered by the relevant data, they are more able to offer engaging personalized interactions.
10. Test drive the Banking Accelerator
The Banking Accelerator, including data samples and Power BI examples is available with a single click on AppSource and GitHub where you can easily "test drive" for eight hours and discover how easy it is to build and integrate apps and processes while gaining powerful insights. This is a perfect way for financial institutions to stand out from the crowd, enhance their customer acquisitions and build loyalty.
For further information about the Banking Accelerator: Download the Microsoft Whitepaper: Transform Banking with the Microsoft Banking Accelerator
In many industries, customer onboarding is as simple as downloading an app, inputting a name and email address, and clicking to accept terms and conditions. How would your customers describe the process of opening a bank account with you? It's an important question because a customer can be won – or lost – during this first, essential experience.
Customers are now demanding fast and flexible interactions with their banks. And, they expect to be able to interact and transact at any time, regardless of location or channel. Yet, for too many banking customers onboarding is a frustrating experience with multiple friction points.
These commonly include being re-routed to different channels, needing to provide physical identification or having to answer the same questions several times. In fact, the latest figures suggest that 38% of banking customers drop out during onboarding. That's mainly due to frustration with the process or the volume of information required.
Customer onboarding is a journey, not a transaction
How you onboard your new customers sets the tone for your ongoing banking relationship with them. Get it right and you increase customer lifetime value (LTV), reduce churn and turn new customers into brand ambassadors. Most banks already recognize the operational efficiencies and cost savings of automated digital processes over in-branch paperwork. But, creating a digital onboarding experience that delights will add much more value than simple cost savings.
So, are your customers delighted by your onboarding process? Are they served in a personalized manner with the flexibility to switch seamlessly between channels of their choice? Every customer is different; some are happy to do everything digitally, others prefer to visit a branch or combine the two.
In a frictionless and engaging onboarding process, a single platform is able to serve different customers via their optimized channel. Here's how, for customers like Andrew, Zoe, Michel and John, VeriPark's VeriChannel digital onboarding solution can make that work.
Delighting tech-savvy customers
For a tech-savvy customer like Andrew, everything has to be digital. He's happy with downloading a mobile app and scanning or uploading all the required documents for identification. He's even comfortable with a liveness detection which asks Andrew to make some random facial movements such as blinking, smiling, looking at his left or right so that the bank can identify him and make sure that he really is the person who says he is. At the final step he digitally signs the account opening contract.
Zoe's also fine with most digital processes. Like Andrew, she uploads documents and her digital signature. But, to verify her ID, she prefers to have a video call with a real-human agent. This way her details are verified directly via video chat which saves her the time and effort involved in visiting a branch. It's a win-win for both Zoe and the bank as the ID verification through video banking enables the bank to still get a "face-to-face" interaction while providing the convenience Zoe demands.
A reassuring helping hand
Michel on the other hand is more conventional. Once he's input his personal and contact details online, he opts to present physical documents rather than uploading them. He schedules an appointment at his preferred branch, where they pick up where he left off and upload the documents for him. Crucially, this switch between channels is seamless with the VeriChannel platform; his branch representative can see his details captured online, so he doesn't need to repeat those in the branch.
John is a different type of customer. He's an entrepreneur with a manic schedule, so he's asked Nancy, his direct sales agent from the bank to visit his office. Once they've agreed on the account and services that best meet John's banking needs, Nancy takes a photo of his passport with her phone. This automatically populates John's personal details so all he has to do is digitally sign the application and Nancy submits it on his behalf.
VeriPark drives seamless digital customer onboarding with Dynamics 365
Industry research suggests that banks (and their customers) face four key challenges during the digital onboarding process. These include: Abandoned Pages, Account Opening, Uploading Documents and Signing Documents. VeriPark's VeriChannel digital onboarding solution smoothes the account opening process and overcomes these frictions with features such as easy document generation, easy document signing with DocuSign, and video banking capability.
That enables banks to happily accommodate tech savvy or tech literate customers like Andrew and Zoe, as well as more conventional customers like Michel and super-busy executives such as John. Importantly, it also feeds this essential customer data into a back office CRM system, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365.
In addition to the Dynamics 365 integration, VeriPark's digital onboarding solution also works closely with Microsoft Cognitive Services, which provides AI-powered identification technology that helps to reach a broader set of new customers while increasing revenue and differentiate in the competition.
The platform works in a similar way with corporate customers. Micro businesses and SMEs can input their details and complete a business needs assessment that recommends suitable products and services, such as international trade finance, cash management or a corporate card. The system can also instantly check credit ratings and blacklists – a process that traditionally takes several days.
Real life transformations
ING Turkey used VeriBranch (VeriPark's integrated branch automation solution) to transform their customer onboarding experience. The results have been great. For example, the time to onboard a retail or SME customer within a Branch decreased from 25 minutes to just 6 minutes. This has enabled ING Turkey's employees to spend more time on the things that matter more to their customers and deliver personalized services and offers.
In the banking industry, 38% of customers said User Experience (UX) was the most important criterion when choosing a digital bank. Yet, too often, the onboarding process involves stacks of paperwork, branch visits, overnight mailings, and repeated data requests. Banks that get customer onboarding right can improve customer satisfaction, lower churn, and gain better insights into customer preferences and desires, all while reducing costs and enhancing regulatory compliance.
In the mid-90s, Bill Gates said that 'banking is necessary, banks are not.' Since then, the industry has certainly seen plenty of disruption from FinTech startups, particularly in payments, money transfers, and personal finance. Yet, despite it all, banks are still here, still innovating and thriving.
Now, banks are facing competition from the tech giants. According to a recent Bain and Company survey -conducted in 29 countries- on customer loyalty in retail banking, 54% of respondents said they would trust a big tech company with their money more than banks in general. As just one example, 65% of Amazon Prime customers are open to banking with Amazon if offered 2% cashback on their Amazon shopping.
Traditional banks have a Big Data asset
Big tech companies excel at digital customer experience and banks will need to harness the same skills to stay relevant and reimagine themselves digitally. But, one of the biggest advantages and opportunities traditional banks have is the vast amount of data they hold on their millions of customers. That data goldmine has been growing exponentially as customers increasingly adopt digital channels and banks collect more data on these interactions.
Transforming customer experience
The big questions for banks now on their digital transformation journey are around how they exploit and apply their big data assets. This is essential to gain deep customer insight, create exceptional customer experiences, re-imagine products and services, and run a more efficient business. Customers are visiting your website and branches, buying products and commenting on social media. There's data flowing about each interaction, and that's fuel. If you take it and analyse it, you can gain intelligence and learn a lot about. But today, what is lacking is data connectivity.
Many banks have complex legacy systems and siloed data. Forming cross-organizational analytics teams and applying AI and machine learning will start to yield the insight required to transform customer experience. And, those experiences will provide more data to further understand patterns, predict outcomes, improve processes and refine interactions.
Six steps to transforming the banking customer journey to make it a more Amazon or Netflix-like experience
STEP 1: Master Data Management
The applications for data in personal and corporate finance are endless. They range from more accurate risk analysis to real-time personalization. For example, when you book a flight your banking app is now likely to generate a travel insurance offer.
Yet, many financial institutions don't have unique customer IDs with customer data from multiple core banking systems merged into one customer reference. This is one of the foundational steps in digital transformation. VeriPark's 360 Degree View of Customer feature provides a consolidated view of the customer's relationship with you, their transaction history and channel interactions – it normally consists of between 250-500 elements of stored data.
STEP 2: Develop Straight-through Processing (STP)
When banks automate manual processes it saves time, money and meets customers' demands for real-time answers across all delivery channels. For example, we have found it is perfectly possible to consolidate 20 online or mobile applications into one effective CRM system. That means you don't need to maintain, update and train your teams on multiple applications.
STEP 3: Go paperless
Most banks have started this process. Digital operations save time and it is more environmentally friendly. It also creates more customer-friendly service interactions and transactions and avoids unnecessary branch visits.
STEP 4: Embrace Omni-channel delivery
Millennial and Gen Z customers, in particular, expect to interact with their bank anytime, anywhere. Just as they do with Amazon or Netflix. VeriPark's VeriChannel platform, for example, allows banks to add new channels, such as mobile wallet or chatbot, within the same framework rather than investing in the development and deployment of new systems.
STEP 5: Implement Unified Front End (UFE)
This application enables bank branches and contact centers to deliver unified communications, richer collaboration, enhanced productivity and faster business decision making. Teams manage daily tasks more quickly with one login, navigation menu and an intuitive, easy to use application over-laying all existing back-end systems.
UFE provides much more than cost and efficiency gains. It transforms traditionally product-centric organizations to ones that meet customer needs in an engaging way. And, it creates cross-sell and up-sell opportunities as machine learning models can predict the next best action to present to the customer.
STEP 6: Develop a strong self-service proposition
Bank branches are starting to look quite futuristic. No more tellers sitting behind glass screens. Instead, there are virtual meet and greeters, and self-service banking zones with digital touch screens alongside more private, assisted kiosks. And, good coffee.
Such digital branches are a big differentiator for banks. The research shows customers still value face-to-face consultations, particularly for more complex financial decision-making and advice. They just want them to be convenient, seamless and engaging. Mobile appointment making, for example, saves time and avoids frustrating queuing.
Banks are already deeply immersed in the digital agenda and transforming at a dramatic pace. But, there is much more to do to make banking simpler, more efficient and able to compete with new entrants. Accelerating the time to market of digital banking services will significantly improve business processes and outcomes.
Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you to accelerate your digital transformation journey.
Augmented reality (AR) has come a long way since it was just a science fiction concept in the movies. There are already many AR applications in use or under development for just about every sector, from architecture and medicine to crime investigation and education. And, AR banking is no longer a fictional story either.
We're not talking about suiting-up like Ironman (although that sounds awesome). We're not even talking about having to buy and wear an AR headset. The reality of AR banking is that it's already available on your mobile. That means augmented reality banking services are now a great option for all types of financial institution and their customers.
The potential is huge and could encompass everything from virtual branches and biometric authentication, to streamlined business processes and personalized information embedded in digital ads. But, more immediately, the big question is: how can banks start to unlock some of the benefits of AR right now?
The future of banking is already here
AR can make everyday banking, such as managing accounts and tracking spending, easier and faster. For digitally savvy customers, it's the ultimate user experience. Certainly, Nick is a big fan.
His friend has just paid for their lunch on his credit card. Even though he rarely carries much cash, Nick is keen to pay his share. That's not a problem because Nick has VeriPark's VeriChannel mobile app with AR capabilities on his phone.
AR Face Transfer, ATM Locator and card details
All Nick has to do is take a picture of his friend (he could also use Facebook) and add him to the app as a beneficiary with his name and account number. Now his friend is saved as a beneficiary, Nick can use the AR Face Transfer feature.
He simply points his phone at his friend, confirms his identity, enters the amount to be transferred and taps to send the money. The system immediately lets him know that he's successfully transferred €20 to his friend's account to cover his lunch. It's quick, easy and convenient.
If he decides he needs cash for later in the day, he can also use AR to locate an ATM. He just opens his phone camera, moves it left and right a bit and, if there's an ATM nearby, it shows up in his camera picture. When he points his phone camera at his debit or credit card, he can see his balance and the last five transactions, so he finds it easier to keep track of his spending.
What's next for AR banking?
This is just the start of an augmented reality banking revolution. The technology is developing rapidly and will bring many benefits. These are likely to include cost savings and efficiency improvements with automated and streamlined business processes, alongside exciting developments in customer experience.
Like all new technologies, AR won't be without its roadblocks to mass adoption. But, that doesn't mean it won't happen. Remember how 10 or 15 years ago many customers could not imagine picking up their phone to do all their banking and shopping? Now, they do it without a second thought.
"Following's not really my style." Tony Stark, The Avengers
The peak of augmented reality is something for the future. But, leveraging well planned and professionally executed AR features and services can boost to your customer service, loyalty and brand recognition – right now. We can't promise to turn you into Ironman, but AR banking is going to be an incredible ride.
How can an insurer delight its customers so that they share their customer experience with their friends and family?
The answer to this question lies within the rich and personalized experiences the insurer creates for its customers. In today's world, personalized customer experience has become the new normal and it plays a huge role in customers' relationship with the insurer.
The products can be truly amazing, but it doesn't help an insurer to enhance customer engagement or increase revenue unless they turn their attention to their customers' world and add value to their individual experiences.
Customer-centric insurance companies now use data-driven personalization to offer meaningful experiences and it is not about pushing the product sales. On the contrary, it is about establishing and enriching customer-insurer relationships through individual data analysis and predictive analytics.
Going from transaction to prediction
This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes into play. AI technologies are reshaping the future of insurance business by providing a deeper understanding of customers' behavior and life events. They let the insurers tap into this knowledge base to deliver highly-targeted offer and maintain a smart communication with their customers.
When done well, AI technologies bring a real competitive advantage for insurers that goes beyond simplifying existing processes with intelligent automation.
It is the new way of integrating information, analyzing data and using the results to make improved predictions. AI-enabled systems allow insurers to have the ability to learn and adapt as they make decisions. AI-based adaptations improve customer interactions where each customer exchange becomes increasingly personalized.
Human-like conversations with AI-powered chatbots
It's safe to say that AI has already become a part of our world with various technologies including machine learning, facial recognition, voice assistants and chatbots. According to a recent Gartner report, "AI bots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020''.
AI-powered chatbots have started to change the face of communication as they provide intelligent human-like conversations through all digital channels. They enable insurers to deliver world-class seamless services to their "always-on, tech-savvy" customers right at their fingertips with an instant chat feature which is available 24/7.
What is more, chatbots also drive dramatic cost savings by automating transactional enquiries and redirecting workforce to focus on more complex customer issues that require deeper human insight.
The result: minimal pain points, happier customers.
Transforming payments at the pump
The way we pay for things is changing – and fast. Do you remember the last time you used cash to make a purchase at a bookstore, a gas station or a coffee shop? Chances are, it was probably a long time ago. With the rise of the alternative payment options, gone are the days when cash – the so-called king of payments – was the only option. In today's world, the payment experience is synonymous with the customer experience.
Delivering the best customer experience is the paramount focus for companies across many industries and the oil and gas sector is no exception. Offering several payment methods built with the customer choice in mind – including self-service options – helps companies to enhance the customer experience and solidify their relationships with these consumers to ensure that they return to the same gas station again and again.
Purchasing gas without leaving the car
VeriPark has recently worked with Opet one of Turkey's largest fuel-oil distribution companies, which has more than 1,300 gas stations and wanted to reshape the way it interacted and transacted with customers by offering them more convenient and appealing ways to pay for their gas purchases.
The goal was simple: to deliver frictionless experiences that meant customers no longer had to wait to make a purchase or leave their car to get fuel. Instead, Opet wanted customers to be able to make their payment without the need for cash or a credit card. To achieve this, the company wanted to implement two new payment options to allow their customers to choose whatever method they feel most comfortable with.
Payment at the pump with a keychain
Working closely with VeriPark, Opet created Otobilim a keychain payment system, which offers its customers the convenience of purchasing gas without ever touching their wallet, taking their credit card out or even stepping out of their car.
Today when a customer enters the Opet gas station with their chip-embedded keychain, all they have to do is open the window and wave the Otobilim in front of a dedicated area on the gas pump. The specially equipped pump scans the keychain with radio-frequency identification technology so the payment can be taken automatically and the whole purchase process is completed within seconds.
Customers instantly receive a SMS message with all the information related to their gas purchase and automatically earn loyalty points that can be used with future purchases. Otobilim provides a highly safe and easy way to make gas purchases, which means it appeals to customers who are always looking for ways to make their transactions faster and more secure.
Bringing mobile payments to gas stations
As many customers' lives are increasingly centred around their smartphones, Opet has also developed a new mobile application by implementing VeriPark's omni-channel delivery solution VeriChannel. Customers can drive to a gas station and make their payments quickly and safely through the mobile app without having to leave their cars, which means they can get back on the road immediately after filling up. In addition, they can use the app to find the nearest gas stations, see current fuel prices, track their previous purchases and view the loyalty points they have earned.
Drivers are often in a hurry and any gas station that provides a fast, easy and convenient way to purchase gas will be the first place they will go. Thanks to VeriPark's technologies, Opet now has a truly competitive edge in an industry where payment convenience is paramount for customer gratification and loyalty. In addition, VeriPark's technologies have enabled the Opet to become more productive, map out the individual customer movements and decrease cycle times.
Together, we have created compelling experiences for drivers during their routine stops at the pump.
Meet Henri. He's set his heart on completing the next Brussels marathon. At just over 42KM it's a tall order, but he's training hard.
An app on his smartwatch tracks his run times and distances, sends him coaching tips and even plays motivational music. But, Henri's favorite smartwatch feature is the payment app that buys his well-deserved post-run coffee each morning on his way to work. Being able to pay for things with his smartwatch is so much more convenient for him than carrying a phone or wallet.
Henri's not alone in his love of smartwatches. After all, they are always on our wrist. That makes them as convenient as laptops and phones for online and mobile banking.
Is your customer experience strategy future-ready?
Research suggests that consumer uptake of smartwatches is likely to soar. That's partly due to improvements in design and functionality, as well as the rollout of superfast 5G mobile networks. Increasingly, banks are recognizing that they need to catch up with what their customers are expecting in terms of convenience – and what their competitors are providing.
Watch Banking works in a similar way to mobile banking. But, without the need to pull your phone out of your pocket to perform tasks. It allows customers to stay on top of their finances while on the move and makes it even easier for them to plan and monitor their spending.
Easy and convenient banking experience with a watch
The Watch Banking interface on VeriPark's VeriChannel platform enables customers to manage all their accounts and credit cards and check balances and recent transactions. They can also find branches and ATMs using geo-location. And, even schedule convenient appointments with tellers or customer service advisers at a bank branch of their choice without having to wait or queue.
Watch Banking also has the potential to make life easier and more efficient for corporate and SME customers. When managers are working on site, for example, they can still receive timely notifications and approve purchasing or finance decisions with a simple tap of their watch. Such streamlined communications can improve productivity and drive more responsive customer service.
Meeting customers' ever-changing needs
Watch Banking is likely to experience faster growth than online or mobile banking over the next few years. In fact, Gartner is predicting there'll be around 115 million smartwatches worldwide by 2022 – that's up from just 42 million in 2017. The true strength of Watch Banking lies in its ability to improve customers' everyday lives; for banks that could include anything from alerts when bill payments are due to geo-location based offers from partner brands.
People now expect their bank to know their individual circumstances and provide personalized services and rewards. And, they expect seamless technology to bring those services to them using whatever channel they prefer.
Many are predicting that, just like with emails and smartphones, once customers realize just how convenient Watch Banking is, they will start to wonder how they ever managed without it.