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Why banks need to go omnichannel

Why banks need to go omnichannel

Banks need to provide an optimised and consistent user experience across all channels

Digital technology is drastically changing the financial industry by influencing the way people bank and by turning money into a fundamental digital service. To be successful, banks require an innovative digital banking strategy supported by a variety of channels to attract and keep customers while competing against traditional and nontraditional players in the field. Banks need to offer a strategy that synchronises consumer interaction points and provides an optimised and consistent user experience across all channels.

Omnichannel banking helps banks accomplish this goal. It helps banks to focus on providing a consistent channel that offers a seamless experience and meets customer needs. In addition, banks can also deliver a personalised experience to customers regardless of the channel or device the customer chooses to use. Banks can take this opportunity to fully understand their customers and combine individual digital channels with detailed and sophisticated analytics. This insight will help banks to focus attention on activities that drive value.

Consumers today are increasingly sophisticated and accustomed to personalised targeting from brands that provide recommendations across all devices. These consumers are the modern day banking customer and expect the same experience. Through omnichannel banking, customers have a consistent experience whether they choose to interact with their bank online, on their mobile device, in the branch or on the phone.

The main job of banks is to own the customer relationship. However, most customers believe their relationship with their bank is only transactional. This poses a risk to traditional banks if they cannot provide a personalised service to customers. To succeed, banks must offer innovative strategies that differentiate. Customers that are engaged across multiple channels are proven to be more loyal to a brand and more likely to convert, whether that be to purchase additional products or sign up for a campaign.

An omnichannel banking experience will encompass sales, marketing and analytics to effectively utilise and make the most of new digital channels. There are three key elements to consider for an omnichannel strategy.

First, the customer experience needs to be seamlessly integrated across all channels (branch, digital, online) to combine interaction across all the different customer touch points. This strategy should provide consistent access to applications across all channels. Mobile is arguably the most complex with several different access types such as SMS, the mobile web and so on.

Secondly, a 360 view of all customers is needed. A bank’s ecosystem must be extended by offering a greater range of services for customers. These services must be tailored to meet customer needs to create a highly personalised and relevant offering.

Finally, they must offer digital personalised finance advice and planning services and help customers manage their finances more efficiently.

In today’s increasingly digital world, the future of digital banking includes offering customers an optimised and engaged experience on whichever channel they are more likely to interact with at any certain time. An omnichannel platform allows financial institutions to embrace the concept of ‘everyday banking’ and deploy innovative digital strategies across different channels to meet customer’s needs right when they want them.

Alexander Rauser is chief executive officer of Prototype

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