Empowering Banks Via Mobility
Efficiency and customer experience are key for Banks in today’s competitive market. Although regulation may be growing in the banking sector, there is still plenty of freedom for banks to innovate and expand the services they offer. Across the world, this is leading to growing competition among banks. This increased competition, financial innovation and the demand from customers for personalised services are just some of the factors driving change in the financial market.
Institutions with the appetite to drive fundamental transformation in processes and adopt new technology can increase market share by responding to these changing market demands. The increasing focus on customer experience and customer relationship management will also demand a better understanding of customers and the market, which will push business intelligence initiatives.
Banking today is no longer restricted to branches; a lot of selling and servicing is done outside of bank branches. Today, products (like cards, loans, mutual funds, insurances etc) are sold and serviced at dealer showrooms, in customer’s homes or office.
Customers drive the agenda
These are exciting and challenging times in the global banking industry. Customers are redefining the agenda – excellent customer service has replaced financial stability as the primary reason for maintaining banking relationships. With the rapid development of mobile technology and widespread usage of mobile phones, customers’ expectations have risen significantly.
Instant access is the key here. Be it responses, decisions, information or options, today’s customers expect it immediately. Factors such as trust, perceived service quality, perceived customer value, including functional value and emotional value also contribute to generating customer satisfaction. In the face of evolving customer behaviour and expectations, banks must listen to customers and interpret such input to shape their strategies.
Starting with the advent of the ATM, followed by phone, Internet and mobile banking, the last couple of decades have been characterized by the emergence of anytime, anywhere banking. At Nucleus Software over that period our strategy has been to leverage each wave of emerging technology as an enabler to help banks and finance companies enhance the value and operational experience they can deliver to their customers.
The mobile revolution
Mobile devices are ideal channels for empowering sales and servicing teams on the street to deliver instant service to the customer. Banks are no longer looking at mobility as just another channel for banking services. With a sharp rise in smart phones and their increasing capability, mobility has already become a strategic channel for banking services. Mobility is set to take virtual banking to the next level with ever more customers using mobile devices for banking services and demanding more from these services. Over the past 3-5 years, mobility applications have been transformed from tactical to enterprise applications. Banks are creating separate budgets for mobility banking. This is not just the latest access channel, it is revolutionising how banks deliver services and how their customers consume them.
Nucleus Software works continuously with the global BFSI sector to understand the diverse needs of their customers and provide robust solutions that empower them to stay ahead of the curve. That’s why we were an early player in the mobility space and have an extensive offering today.
Of course, an intuitive self-service experience for customers not only delivers instant service but also saves costs for Banks. A good example is the value delivered by Nucleus Software’s mobile product, mCollect which is aimed at enabling Collection Agents to execute their activities more efficiently while improving the overall customer experience. It is part of the mobility suite of products for our award winning lending solution, FinnOneTM. Agents who go door to door to follow-up or pick up payments can now view their daily plan on the mobile, view information regarding the customer, record payments received (informing the bank instantly) and printing a receipt on a Bluetooth printer. They can also service the customer beyond this, handling typical queries like balance inquiry, foreclosure simulation, earlier payment status. Not just that but on request, Agent can email the customer’s statement or tax certificate instantly. With our mCAS solution, credit decisions can be taken anywhere anytime by the Underwriter from his/her mobile. Decisions are not dependent on his availability at his desk. A strong IT backbone is key to ensuring that banks are able to serve their customers smoothly, anytime anywhere and that is exactly what package players like Nucleus Software ensure.
The most important component of implementing the mobility solutions piece is the security aspect. Since most of the data is transferred, security should be the topmost priority. Financial institutions in India, for example, have already come up with stringent security guidelines that dovetail with those released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and hence help the institutions practise the concept of a high level of security with respect to the mobile applications.
For instance, most mobile applications are mapped with the handsets; a loss of the handset and subsequent deployment on a new handset requires a full registration again – as a security measure. The rapid expansion of this concept among the Banks and Non – banks (NBFCs) is steadily growing. Just like internet banking, customers are starting to adapt to the concept but will eventually be buoyed by the convenience it offers and hence will only be motivated to undergo stringent security checks to unleash the power of the mobility services offered by their banks.
NOTE: This article is an updated version of one that appeared on CIOandLeader.com in 2014.