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VeriPark Blog

Mar 24
Moving from transactional banking services to customer-centric experiences

Very often, when people interact with their bank, they have a purely transactional experience. They probably get to choose their channel of communication such as mobile, online, call center or branch. But that's about it. Whether they apply for a loan, open an account or dispute a credit card transaction, customers expect to be able to move seamlessly across devices and channels. They also demand to be treated as unique individuals and expect engaging interactions that fit their connected world.

Most banks don't tend to think about being timely and engaging because they have been built on product or function silos with each department executing its part of the transaction.  Typically, customers get in touch with their bank through their preferred channel, make a specific transaction - and then leave. But this transaction-based banking model is changing fast.

How can CRM help banks to differentiate?

With the right CRM solution, banks can become more customer centric. When someone makes a transaction on his/her mobile app for instance, the CRM system could check if there is a relevant next best action for this individual customer. 

Let's say Emma is using Personal Financial Management (PFM) and sets a goal to save for a special holiday. When she credits her designated savings account, an effective CRM system could automatically send her an offer for a travel insurance or discounts from relevant third-party brands.  Crucially, the CRM system shares this transaction information across the bank, with online banking, call center and branch teams. This way, everyone in the bank becomes aware of Emma's target and can help her to reach her goal as quickly as possible.

It's almost impossible for branch staff to build meaningful relationships when they are unaware of customer transactions on other banking channels. But with a single view of the customer they can transform their transaction-based services to customer centric experiences. As well as improving customer satisfaction this also creates cross-selling opportunities, such as Emma's insurance offer.

Single view of the customer also means all channels in the bank can see Emma's current situation and full transaction history.  If Emma decides to call an agent at the customer service center, she doesn't need to repeat her story. Instead, she enjoys a seamless and engaging customer journey.

Banking on CRM to transform processing efficiency

At VeriPark, we put CRM at the center of our banking clients' digital transformation plans. This enables banks to provide uninterrupted connected journeys across all channels with a single CRM system that becomes the central repository for all customer data and transaction histories. This CRM unified front end is available to all teams across all channels.

This is a highly efficient way of working. It allows for faster turnaround times as well as reduced error rates with less data inputting replication. It also improves customer service, as even complex Non Straight -Through Processing (Non-STP) enquiries can be handled more quickly.

Customers love the convenience, personalization and speedy resolution of such enquiries. For example, Emma may want to book an appointment with a Relationship Manager or make an international money transfer. Often, these enquiries are placed in a queue or there's a lengthy approval process. 

With a CRM solution, banks can manage these Non-STP processes much faster. And ensure they add value by offering the right services to the right customer at the right time. For example, if a customer has recently made a complaint, all call center and branch teams will be aware of the issue and know that this is not an appropriate time to attempt to cross sell to the customer.

Meeting ever more demanding customer expectations is a big challenge for banks in a digital world. You can't just have great products. A CRM solution is critical to your success because it gives you the in-depth customer knowledge that enables efficient services and tailored offers.

Would you like to know more about how CRM can transform your bank from a transaction-based model to a customer centric experience? If so, get in touch with us!


Mar 10
Optimizing the insurance customer journey

As you read this article – in the office, at home or on the move – how many internet-connected devices do you have to hand? For most of us, the answer is probably several. As technology takes over more of our daily lives, it is also becoming more integrated and our online and offline worlds start to blur.

As consumers, we no longer think about a desktop experience or a mobile experience. We expect an integrated experience across all channels. It's the same with your customers.

The new insurance customer

The new insurance customer looks much like customers in any other competitive, service industry. They are self-directed and prepared to shop around through various channels to get what they want. According to the EFMA World Insurance Report 2019, almost 60% of customers are showing high interest in new insurance models. They're also looking for unique experiences tailored to their needs. In fact, providing 'add-on' services, such as risk control and prevention, could help insurers boost retention rates for at least half of their customer base. Many of these (37%) are also willing to share additional data and pay more (35%) to receive personalized services.  

Putting customers at the heart of the insurance business

Such competitive pressure is driving insurers to enhance their customer-centricity. This involves a significant cultural and technological shift from product oriented selling to needs-based tailored offers. That means attracting and retaining customers through highly personalized communications. In this new customer centric world, the ability to truly understand customer needs and preferences is essential to loyalty-building customer engagement.

CRM + Omni-Channel = True Customer Engagement

Whether they're using their smartwatch or their contact center agent or broker, insurance customers expect a seamless journey with consistent messaging. A CRM system on its own won't achieve this. You'll have the customer data, but you won't have the ability to leverage that data effectively across all your delivery channels.

Insurance companies need to deliver a frictionless end-to-end customer journey. This is only achievable by integrating a 360-degree view of customer CRM strategy with real-time predictive analytics. It also requires an omni-channel delivery platform that covers all customer touchpoints. This gives sales and marketing teams, customer service agents and brokers all the tools they need to work together and optimize the customer experience across all interactions.


An end-to-end customer journey


By blending different channels into a single experience, insurers can take control of any number of customer journeys throughout the customer lifecycle, across all channels. The key here is to focus on the customers' end-to-end experience instead of individual touchpoints. It's not about implementing a sales system or a claims system; it's about unifying a CRM platform, such as VeriPark's VeriTouch Customer Engagement solution, with Omni-Channel servicing capabilities.


VeriTouch is a vertical Customer Engagement (CRM) solution built o n top of Dynamics 365 which provides extensive customer engagement capabilities while ensuring superior employee experience. It is optimized with industry best practices that enables insurance companies to place CRM at the core of their dig ital transformation journey. It consolidates data from the organization's back-end systems and digital channels and provides a unified front-end with standardized processes to serve customers efficiently.


A single view of the customer allows everyone – from sales agents and marketing teams to contact center advisors and brokers – to see all the customer's policies and activities in a single screen. That data enables contact center teams to provide more efficient and sensitive handling of, often emotionally charged, customer interactions. They can also deal with any customer concerns quickly and professionally; frequently turning a caller with a complaint into a satisfied customer.

Marketing teams, sales agents and brokers can analyze customer's needs and preferences with single view of the customer data. They can then create streamlined, tailored solutions to meet those needs. VeriPark's omni-channel servicing solution, VeriChannel, also ensures this personalized approach is delivered consistently across all customer touch-points.


Even with the proliferation of legacy departmental solutions that often exist in insurance companies, VeriChannel offers a unified transaction front-end to customers and intermediaries. This combination of a VeriTouch Customer Engagement (CRM)solution with omni-channel servicing capability, enhances customer experience. At the same time, it boosts efficiency and productivity and reduces development and maintenance costs.

Data is a hugely valuable business asset

It's no longer a question of 'if' latest technology will transform insurers' business models, but 'how'. The challenge – and opportunity – for the industry is how best to integrate this technology to maximize the profitability of each customer. In an increasingly competitive market, good products alone do not guarantee customer trust and loyalty. That is built by data-driven personalization to offer meaningful experiences that enrich customer-insurer relationships.

Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!

Feb 28
10 digital transformation technology trends for banks in 2020

Most banks began their digital journeys to a more efficient business model some years ago. But, the pace of innovation and disruption is now much more dynamic. Technology, regulatory requirements, evolving customer expectations, demographics and new competitors are shaping the banking industry. We believe 2020 will be a tipping point for digital transformation in banking.

Banks are becoming more customer experience driven and focused on optimizing the customer journey across multiple touchpoints. Digital technologies are boosting banks' unique potential to unlock more meaningful customer relationships and create new business growth opportunities. And, with improved data insight, they are better placed to anticipate what customers want and transform the way they interact and engage with them.

According to the PwC Retail Banking 2020: Evolution or Revolution report, 61% of bank executives say that a customer-centric business model is 'very important'. The vast majority (75%) are already making investments in this area. Yet, only 17% feel 'very prepared' to deal with the combined powerful forces of changing customer expectations, regulatory requirements and new market entrants. 

Most banks don't have to be convinced of the need for digital transformation. They're all doing it at some level. But, the winners in the 2020s will be those banks who leverage the latest digital transformation trends to create stronger and more lasting customer connections.

Here are 10 digital transformation technology trends that will help banks get ahead in 2020.

1. Voice Banking

Voice Banking will increase significantly, as customers become comfortable conversing with digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri. But, as technology improves, customers will expect their voice banking transactions to be a seamless cross-channel experience. That means natural, contextual conversation, flowing from one banking channel to another in real-time.

VeriPark's omni-channel delivery solution, VeriChannel, does this and offers voice banking to customers who don't have access to devices such as Alexa or Siri. By using LUIS, Microsoft's machine learning-based service, VeriChannel eliminates the need to be connected to an additional device. It means customers can make transactions, such as payments, using voice commands only, without a single click.

2. Augmented Reality (AR) Banking

It's early days for AR banking but the technology is developing rapidly. Indeed, AR banking capabilities, such as money transfer with face recognition, ATM Locator and card details, are already available on VeriPark's VeriChannel mobile framework. This is making it easier for customers to track their spending and make payments and we anticipate many exciting customer experience developments in the future.

We will see AR being used for mortgage and loan approvals for instance, where a simple scan of a property will provide essential information such as borrower, lender and loan amount to bank employees, hence reducing mortgage processing and servicing time.

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI-driven Next Best Action (NBA) software is enabling banks to deliver more personalized offers and services to customers. With useful information, such as complete transaction histories, branch and call center teams can give appropriate and timely customer advice. Predictive analytics also means customer service teams and Relationship Managers can make the most of cross-selling and up-selling opportunities with tailored product offers. More banks will adopt this technology in 2020.

4. Biometrics and Face recognition

Currently, facial recognition technology is mainly used for security and identification purposes. For example, it can help banks carry out Know Your Customer (KYC) verifications quickly and easily and confirm customer identity during digital onboarding. Soon, we'll witness more banks using face recognition technology to interact with their customers. It'll eliminate the need for a physical bank card and PIN.  

5. Watch Banking

Watch banking works in a similar way to mobile banking, but without the need to pull your phone out of your pocket. Research suggests that with 5G rollout, consumer uptake of smartwatches will soar to around 115 million by 2022 – up from just 42 million in 2017. Gartner predicts watch banking will grow faster than online or mobile banking over the next few years, mainly because customers will delight in the ease and convenience of making transactions – and even benefitting from geo-location based third party offers – on the move.

6. Video Banking

As customers use video calls for everything from work meetings with remote-based colleagues to consultations with their doctor, they'll also expect to connect with their banking adviser via video rather than trekking to the branch. Frictionless integration with your CRM system allows for an engaging experience that resolves queries quickly and helps build stronger customer relationships. This face-to-face interaction will also facilitate customer verification and document sharing during digital onboarding.

7. Chat-based banking services

Conversational Chatbots are already being used for many banking transactions and day-to-day customer service queries.  We expect usage to increase as improved Natural Language Programming (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) provides two-way human-like communications. This will reduce costs, allow skilled banking personnel to focus on more complex customer interactions and provide actionable customer insight data to boost customer experience, and cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

We also expect WhatsApp Banking to become more popular. With a seamless connection to your CRM system and a single customer view (SCV), customers can interact with their bank and make transactions 24/7 via WhatsApp. This makes banking as easy as chatting with friends.


8. Open API Platforms

Open Banking has the potential to revolutionize how customers manage their money. For banks, integrating content, data and functionality creates endless opportunities for services tailored to an individual customer's behavior and lifestyle. App development and maintenance costs will also lower as legacy systems can be re-purposed into an omni-channel solution with a new presentation layer, rather than developing a new system from scratch.


9. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA is taking burdensome manual tasks from employees' shoulders and allowing them to devote more time to higher-value tasks.  We believe RPA is not just here to stay but set to grow. As it becomes more sophisticated and AI-enriched, RPA will also play a vital role in more complicated processes, such as loan origination, fraud detection and digital onboarding.

Together with UiPath, VeriPark provides the capability to speed up complex processes, clear administrative bottlenecks and minimize human intervention and errors. As a global ISV (independent software vendor), we are also excited to see the opportunities from Microsoft. Their recently announced RPA capability, Microsoft Power Automate UI Flow, is an end-to-end automation platform capable of reinventing a wide range of processes and workflows across the financial services industry.

10. Cloud Computing

The cloud is proving to be a superior option to boost capacity to handle data that provides a high level of agility, security and scalability. For use cases such as customer data analytics, batch processing and data storage, banks can access the cloud as and when required, which means they can utilize such resources more flexibly and efficiently. Its pay-as-you-go pricing means banks and other financial institutions can control costs and become more agile.  Although the cloud computing adoption rate is still rather low in the banking industry, it is clear that some banks are already moving heavily into this new technology.

In summary, digital transformation is a journey or iterative process, not a single destination. Banks have already taken their first steps. But, 2020 is the time to accelerate the next steps or revisit those you may have missed.

Would you like to find out more about where your digital transformation journey could take you? If so, get in touch with us!


Feb 14
7 ‘must-haves’ for an effective commercial loan origination platform

Commercial loans are often low volume products for many banks but they are also high value. However, they can be complex and costly to deliver, particularly for specialist lending such as for a commercial mortgage or real estate loan. It's not always possible to simply adopt a purely digital sales and onboarding process.


As well as web portals and mobile apps, clients may choose to use their bank branch or third-party brokers. This means the commercial banking loan origination process can involve multiple steps and channels. Corporate Relationship Managers will usually need to navigate between internal and external stakeholders, including CEOs or CFOs, treasury departments, product teams and credit committees.

Too often, Corporate Relationship Managers also have to contend with broken commercial loan origination systems. These can involve laborious, paper-based manual form filling and outdated legacy systems. That's not simply inefficient and frustrating; there is also a very real risk of Relationship Managers' missing valuable business opportunities.   

The commercial loan origination process is ripe for innovation

Here at VeriPark, we are convinced that effective commercial loan origination systems for banks and commercial loan origination software for brokers can deliver massive benefits. When banks achieve straight-through processing in their commercial mortgage or real estate loan origination software and commercial banking loan origination processes they will see significant improvements in customer experience, speed of decision making and, ultimately, profitability.

With numerous commercial loan origination system vendors in the market, deciding which one is right for your business isn't always easy. To help, here's a simple checklist of seven features to consider when making your commercial loan origination software comparison.

Best-practice commercial loan origination systems and software should include:


1. End to end Customer Lifecycle Management

Whatever channels your commercial loan client chooses to use, their customer experience is enhanced by managing the entire customer lifecycle in one, unified customer relationship management (CRM) platform. An effective CRM solution will cover everything from prospecting, qualifying leads and onboarding to loan approvals, after-sales service and collection management. This helps make your commercial loan origination process flow seamless and efficient.

2. Credit Policy Rules

Most commercial loan origination systems provide some form of customer credit scoring and rating. But, it's important to conduct an in-depth commercial loan origination software comparison. VeriPark's VeriLoan, for example, uses Inrule. This is a powerful rule engine that fully automates credit policy with minimal, or no, human interference. With the help of Inrule, business users can easily change policy rules and calculations without the need of programming. It empowers your organization to calculate the customer's eligibility based on your specific product's credit policy. This helps make your loan origination process more transparent and easy to use.


3. Data Quality

High quality, consistent and manageable data is an essential part of the commercial loan origination process. Banks need to evaluate customers' liabilities and credit scores across multiple lending institutions and credit bureaus. That's why VeriLoan has real-time integration capability with internal and external data sources.

4. Customer View

When you can effectively and automatically calculate exposure with crucial percentages, bank staff are empowered with data and a broader view to assess the customer. This improved understanding of a customer's history with parent and related companies and shareholders allows for a better understanding of the risk level. It enables the bank to offer the best loan structure with appropriate pricing and term.

5. Risk and Compliance

Many corporate loan origination software vendors integrate with the host systems to evaluate the credit decision-making process. VeriLoan, however, also has real-time integration capability with watch and black lists, such as AML List, Bounced Cheques list and PEP List. By simplifying KYC and AML check processes, the banks become more comfortable with calculating global exposures and mitigating risks. The process is very quick so you can improve risk management without slowing the commercial loan origination process flow.

6. Document Management

Commercial loan origination will always require strong document management skills. However, as much of the process as possible should be completed digitally.  This should definitely include DocuSign to enable digital signatures – it's a simple way to improve the customer experience and free-up relationship managers to focus on higher value activities. It also eliminates hassles, costs and lack of security in printing, scanning and overnighting documents for signature.

7. Exceptions Management

Of course, automation across the commercial loan origination process is great for efficiency. But, it should never put valued customer relationships at risk. For example, many loan applicants may not fully comply with the bank's defined credit policy. However, that customer is still likely to be a valuable asset to your bank. VeriPark's VeriLoan commercial loan origination system takes this into consideration, as the software allows for exceptions in the approval process. This gives you the opportunity to evaluate the loan application and customer relationship holistically and reduces the risk of your relationship managers missing new business opportunities.

The best commercial loan origination process will always involve operational complexity and strong relationship management skills. It is critical for banks to improve efficiency to help them reach decisions faster, mitigate risks and make the most of business opportunities. Finding the best commercial loan origination software for your needs will help you achieve some easy wins.

Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


Jan 31
Bridging the loyalty gap in banking

We know that it costs a lot less to sell to existing customers than to acquire new ones. That's why many companies across industries invest in loyalty and reward programs. As well as an effective brand differentiator that inspires loyal customers to become brand ambassadors, they're a proven tactic for increasing revenue and market share and reducing customer churn.

Customers have come to expect rewards. They get points, discounts, free gifts, limited edition products and cash back offers whenever they go shopping or buy a coffee. They can even get rewards for posting an online review or a selfie posing with their favorite brand.

"Reward me for my business"

In the latest Gartner research, 76% of banks said customer relationship management and building sustainable customer loyalty was their top priority. Yet, customers are now demanding services that go beyond basic banking needs to ones that enhance the quality of their lives. When global consultants, CGI, asked consumers, "how could your bank improve your lifestyle?" 81% cited "reward me for my business" as the #1 factor.   

Customers are aware that their bank holds a huge amount of information about them. They know you see all their transactions not just their spending with one retailer. Just like when they go to the supermarket, petrol station or bookshop, they expect their bank to reward them for their spendings.

Banks can't take customer loyalty for granted

Banks are at a competitive advantage when it comes to delivering loyalty boosting services. They already have all the behavioral customer data they need. With the right tools, such as VeriPark's loyalty management module which is a part of our VeriTouch Customer Engagement CRM solution, they can learn even more about their customers and deliver campaigns that transform the consumer experience, and drive satisfaction and loyalty.

Our loyalty management module enables banks to create highly flexible campaigns, integrated across all channels from online and mobile to kiosks and POS terminals. Campaigns can be multi-tiered and cumulative; as customers engage more with your services, they can earn more rewards. You can also run joint marketing campaigns with selected merchants or employee loyalty programs.

The campaign management functionality combines centralized customer data with advanced customer segmentation profiling to create personalized campaigns across all channels. This streamlines the process and makes running omni-channel campaigns with multiple partners much quicker and easier. Advanced targeting techniques allow marketing teams to target specific customers, products and merchants on particular days of the week or hours of the day. 

Turning customers into loyal fans

Ivan loves his bank's loyalty program. He's just started a new life at university. As he was browsing the internet (he probably should have been paying more attention to his lecture) he clicked on a banner ad that offered discounts on some well-known brands.

The ad was from a bank, but the online gift catalog had offers for travel, restaurants, electronics – and his favorite sportswear store. He'd get points just for opening an account. That sounded like a good deal so he went ahead.

As soon as his account was verified, he received a text confirming he had 5,000 points that could be redeemed at many of his regular shopping and eating places. He also discovered he could get more points for using the mobile app to pay his bills each month and every time he uses his debit card, his bank sends him a text to confirm the reward points he's earned. On a trip to the shopping mall, he received push notifications for discounts at the bookshop and – this is where he got really excited – for the new climbing wall he'd been so keen to try.

Ivan had a great time. On his way out, he bumped into some of his new university friends and told them all about his bank's fantastic loyalty scheme. He also knows he'll get more points for referring a friend!

A world of customer benefits

Ivan's a perfect example of how banks can increase customer loyalty and retention by offering relevant and personalized gifts and incentive programs. He feels his bank is special. They're constantly updating their offers and they use gamification techniques that allow him to earn extra rewards and reach new levels; browsing for new deals has become part of Ivan's daily life. 

His bank benefits from his loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations. They can also analyze his spending and channel preferences, and boost revenue and ROI by selling him more targeted products and services.  The varied reward programs have encouraged Ivan to use his bank's services more often – and he's very unlikely to switch to another bank.

In fact, reduced customer churn is a major benefit of reward programs. When a leading bank, introduced a loyalty program, using VeriPark's loyalty management module, they reduced customer churn by 40%. That has been a key driver to their sustained profitability.

How will you reward your customers? Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


Jan 17
Digital Branch: 3 ways to create digital-first engagements in bank branches

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!


Jan 06
Customer experience is everything. Here’s how AI can help insurers get it right

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.

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Dec 23
From touchpoints to journeys: single customer view for insurers

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. 

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Dec 16
10 reasons why you should use the Dynamics 365 Banking Accelerator

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:

  • Sample Power BI dashboards that support data modeling and visualization
  • Sample model-driven apps to demonstrate how D365 and the banking data model can be used for customer engagement
  • Know Your Customer (KYC)
  • Onboarding
  • The sample Proposal Manager app built on the Microsoft 365 platform, which helps corporate and commercial banks to streamline and automate the lending process and create great proposals.

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

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Nov 25
Digital onboarding for bank customers – what's yours like?

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.

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