It is irrefutable that as businesses seek to normalise in the face of disruptive wave of change, digital technology is the pathway to tomorrow’s triumphs.
Financial Services Institutions (FSIs) – banks, credit unions, micro-lenders, and insurance companies – have changed how they operate as a result. Banks has the tenuous balance of dealing fairly and flexibly with customers while staying within the guiderails of regulations.
With the pivot in full effect, the questions/answers about the right technology for long-term sustainability bears with it: the recent shifts in consumer behaviour, changes in workforce management as well as the pace of emerging technologies and the impact of that pace on a heavily regulated industry. For leaders within the industry, such decisions contemplate organisational demands of the future and, perhaps most critically, innovation within regulatory and compliance frameworks.
As a guiding principle, when focusing on comprehensive stakeholder satisfaction, it would be prudent to consider investing in a mix of technologies that balance the scale for the customer as well as the work teams.
As leaders within FSI strategise for the future, I will highlight a few types of technology to bear in mind.
Tech for Work Teams
With the acute spread of remote work in recent months, the demands of work teams have spilled beyond the corporate network requiring a range of tech to help support their performance.
Productivity and Collaboration Tools
Ensuring that distributed teams continue to work seamlessly with each other means providing collaboration tools such as Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, Trello, Asana and Bitrix24. Among these solutions are project management, customer relationship management, messaging, task management, file sharing and even document handling. These essentials will help to keep work teams productive.
Digital Workplace Tech Tool Box
Planning for the future requires establishing what Deliotte calls the “digital workplace tool box.” According to the professional services network “business strategy and the goals of a digital workplace initiative will determine what (technology) tools belong to your toolbox.”
As an example, balancing the need to “see” clients while avoiding in-person interactions could result in sales teams within FSIs needing productivity tools such as spread sheet software, presentation software, calculator and core business applications.
Additionally, given that work teams in FSIs are often not allowed to use their own equipment due to safety and other concerns, providing mobility add-ons such as extra monitors to facilitate ease of conducting a meeting one monitor while having the files on another and background screening, preserving privacy while giving the company’s brand extra screen time.
Securing Remote Work Devices
Whether teams are exclusively working remotely or occasionally in office, protecting their devices and the company’s network is a non-negotiable priority. Business leaders should therefore implement security protocols at different layers to secure communications technologies wherever people work. Implementing email, mobile access and social media policies along with detective, preventive and corrective controls will also help safe guard multiple devices.
The ideal device security option should bring together all cyber security layers using threat intelligence and automated orchestration from a single dashboard for the management of firewall, malware protections, security information event management (SIEM) and to integrate all other security controls.
HR & Payroll Tech
Whether the future of a business is a hybrid workforce of teams working fulltime or part time, talent management will benefit from technology that’s optimally suited to the business needs.
The payroll solution that you have as part of your HR support services is going to make a signal difference to the experience that teams have within your company.
We have been helping businesses optimise the team member experience for over 40 years. During that time we have built a variety of solutions that can serve all business types and sizes. Our payroll bureau service is an outsourced end-to-end processor that delivers everything an organisation needs to ensure staff salaries are accurate, tax compliant and paid on time.
This service has been optimised using Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which is a computer software that can be configured to mimic the steps in repetitive, ruled-based tasks. The technology facilitated exponential scaling, as no additional resources are needed for processing even as job volumes increase. RPA allows the business to cut process times by ~90%, reduce OpEx by ~40% and improve team members’ experience through 24/7 access.
Our Payroll Cloud Solutions offer a menu of operational benefits, including lower costs, with the removal of much of the maintenance and licensing expenses. There is also built-in business continuity so in the event of disasters the payroll data is automatically backed up and stored offsite. The mobility feature allows HR leaders and teams to access the system offsite without the need for a VPN connection.
We have also pioneered the region’s first fully digital staff loan app called BizPay Cash. This solution facilitates autonomous processing and disbursement of staff loans, delivering a fully digital experience for team members. And perhaps most critically in this time, it helps you to move money to your team members in a touchless manner, in keeping with the COVID-19 safety protocols.
Tech For Customers
Digital Account Opening
Within the regulatory framework of KYC, etc, it might seem challenging for some FSIs to deliver this solution to its customers. However, Ron Shevlin of Forbes offers an approach we affirm, which encourages such entities to redesign the process to allow for the simplest account opening and funding possible and then work on reducing risk and meeting regulations.
A digital banking experience is not complete without the ability to open accounts, so FSIs expecting to have any value stake in the future, particularly among Gen Zeds and Alphas must begin or accelerate a digital transformation programme in this direction without delay.
Having delivered the fully digital bank in England on behalf of JN Bank UK, we can craft a road map for an entity ready to transform.
Customer Support Bots
More customers are online for more hours at a time than ever before. This has changed their help seeking behaviours, as the integration of more automation technologies are helping companies improve their operations. This is part of the reason virtual agents or chat bots have been able to positively impact the customer experience online.
In simple terms, these ‘bots’ are automated systems, trained to use artificial intelligence to recognize and respond to customer requests whether by phone or chat.
The implementation of an AI powered chat bot, especially to help with the influx in demand on FSIs, could go much further than just answering queries, and onto supporting sign-ups, on-boarding, fault repairs and appointment setting, without the urgency of an agent who needs to get off the phone to support other callers. Nevertheless, the most ideal customer support context is for the bot to support human team members, who can be called on at any point during the service being delivered by the bot.
The bot is very good at pulling insight from many information systems and generating a decision instantly but lacks the ability to detect human frustration and modify the service in ways only a human can.
Whatever the AI-powered future holds for customer support, the human element is just as critical to the transformation of the stakeholder experience.
Payment Acceptance Solutions
As chief stakeholders, FSIs are the natural enablers and the backbone of payment acceptance for the economy.
As Gartner points out: “The global pandemic has forever changed how people think about paying for things.” This means that there are many opportunities that await the sector when it comes to the future of payment.
WhatsApp, phone-in and online ordering, virtual appointments with health professionals and video conferencing for gym sessions featured among the options companies used to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
While some entities implemented e-commerce payment solutions, many opted for the bank transfer alternative to collect funds. No doubt it was those that had a convenient way for people to pay for these products and services that delivered the best customer experience.
The increase in these transaction types led to a waiver of fees from the Bank of Jamaica, very early in the pandemic, with the central bank explaining, in a news article that: “growth in the JMD volume was largely attributed to an increase in participant payments on behalf of household and corporate clients.”
If the new payment methods satisfy the customers, they will have no incentive to change this behaviour. Therefore, if Gartner’s prediction is to be believed, then FSIs, such as credit unions and banks have good impetus to encourage clients to make decisions that “optimize the customer payment experience and build organizational resiliency,” now and for the future.
The tech searchlight suggests that future of payment acceptance includes “modern modalities such as mobile payments and digital wallets for both in-store and online purchases.”
On the health and safety side, contactless options will have to feature critically in solutions that are implemented.
Getting the right payment solution must be a priority decision for organisational leaders in the region at this time. With our recent Payment Card Industry (PCI) professional certification, the team at MC Systems has the capacity to guide leaders in ensuring that the solution they install is compliant with international standards.
Business success and growth is directly related to the effective acquisition, retention, satisfaction and engagement of customers. Customer analytics are a good way to know how effective your business is at this.
Customer Lifetime Value Analytics
This is the process of analysing how valuable the customer is to the business over the entire lifetime of the relationship. Instead of looking at the transaction profitability, focus on how long a customer is likely to stay with a business, how often they are likely to buy during that period to determine how valuable they are throughout that timeframe
This information can impact marketing decisions as well as ways to get more out of the most valuable customers identified. A business intelligence solution along with a KPI expert can help generate this information for your business.
Customer Segmentation Analytics
Using data mining and text analysis tools, a company can find sub-groups within their overall market. This helps to tailor the marketing and communication plans and programmes.
Customer Acquisition Analytics
With this exercise, business leaders are closely reviewing how well they do with acquiring new customers, including how effective (they) are at wooing customers from competitors. Cost per lead and customer conversion rates can help generate this insight.
The available technologies to help preserve business continuity and productivity are dynamic and wide-ranging. Consequently the decision about what to invest in and implement is never going to be a one size fits all approach.
However, within the guardrails of regulations and compliance, leaders within FSIs must resist the urge to prioritise customer-centric technology investments over employee-based one and instead make a considerable, if not equitable, commitment to both.
We are here to support you as your technology consultant. Let’s start the conversation. Connect with us at email@example.com | 876 552-8124 | 876 564-2231.