Financial institutions continue to struggle with batch processing limitations, but some are making progress with online and mobile banking. With that progress, however, comes a few challenges.
Interacting digitally with customers and employees is a critical success factor for growth. Therefore, transitioning a business’ processes to a digital format is essential.
Unfortunately, many developers have fallen short of meeting increased expectations. In order to stay on top of a digital transition, companies need to use the secret sauce of successful customer-oriented organisations: implement aggressive digital strategies that are powered by cost-effective data and application integration solutions.
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Online and mobile banking is the way of the future, and banks should begin strategically thinking how to:
Satisfy the demand for customer enablement and self-service apps and improve the user experience of existing apps
Customers notice when a company’s actions have their best interests in mind. This is displayed when user-friendliness is improved. Allowing customers to better use mobile banking technology will inevitably allow them to use the bank more often.
Support many types of smartphones, tablets and browsers
What’s the use in having mobile abilities if they’re only available on one device? Being able to seamlessly transition from phone to tablet is imperative to having a best-in-class user experience.
Enhance customer service
Mobile banking opens doors to notify customers when transactions have been made, their debit cards need updating, or even when there is an opportunity to upgrade a service.
Not only do these notifications allow customers to optimally use their bank, the mobile applications allow users to customise their own notifications. If the app incorporates a helpline, any potential needs can be addressed in real time from the comfort of whatever mobile device a user has available at the time.
These digital improvements do not come easy and organisations should take time to consider the challenges ahead of them. If financial institutions work to address the issues below, they will be set up for success:
Integration of applications on multiple devices
As mentioned earlier, the importance of app integration is just as critical as its maintenance. Software updates and new device roll outs are two things a digital team should keep on their radar. By doing so, a company will never be scrambling to retroactively update their systems.
Collection of data for analysis and research
What better way to understand your customers’ needs than by seeing their interaction with your application? Data analysis and research is essential to stay ahead of competitors.
Applications can share the customer usage of a company’s personal app, not just industry averages or dated market research. In addition, usage can be broken down into opportunity.
For example, if your customers love to check their spending ability, that can build a case for a team to expand their budget to improve real-time capabilities for that specific service. Customers will respond to the app enhancement, and there will be a direct impact on your bottom line.
The bottom line is to have an emphasis on continuous improvement
It’s hard to keep your system the best of the best, but that’s where planning comes into play. Financial institutions should consider having a team on hand to navigate any potential crisis situations if systems go down, software updates impede apps or additional upgrades are needed. With any new digital strategy, planning and data integration is essential.
Although many organisations are attempting to or have partially solved the data integration problem, others have yet to learn about new approaches and technologies available to facilitate solutions.
The most exciting and promising digital integration tools have been developed recently and awareness is still building. The top 3 digital strategies companies can use are:
Most institutions have systems and applications in place to support specific business functions that do not integrate well. Many companies are held back from achieving a fully executed digital strategy by back-end data access and integration problems that degrade project timelines and application quality.
A BPM platform enables all of the customer and product information required for today’s diverse product offerings to be delivered from a single hub. The range of business functions that can be enabled or streamlined with a BPM platform is broad and normally includes workflow, case management, and portals.
Newer versions of the technology also include out-of-box features to accelerate user interface development, create process flows, and enable mobile functionality. Predictive analytics, social media and localisation capabilities are also starting to appear in these standard offerings.
API platform solution
A more efficient solution currently employed by informed organisations is the API platform, a server or cloud-hosted software product that connects to back-end database and application APIs.
Moving the connection point up to the API platform gives the Web server or app, access to all other back-end API connections. To implement a new user interface, IT may have to write a front-end application, but with the back-end connections are already in place, it will simplify and accelerate the development timeline.
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Installing an API platform, streamlines the data integration development process, simplifies interfaces, improves testing and provides additional data for managing and monitoring application performance.
Micro-architecture modules run on top of existing architecture to mine information, are rules based, and do not subtract anything from the existing architecture.
Micro-architecture solutions support a variety of IT functions, including query, analytics, predictive, matching, and integration to increase functionality and efficiency.
For example, a bank anti-money-laundering process that required 45 minutes per investigation was shortened to 15 minutes by utilising micro-architecture apps to analyse a database of previously resolved similar transactions. These types of solutions are similar to BPM approaches, but lack the transactional capabilities of an API platform.
While geared towards batch processes, the micro-architecture approach enables the gathering and selection of data along with process rules to position the data for consumption by front-end digital applications.
Regardless of which digital solution they use, banks must deliver their digital capabilities quickly and repeatedly across multiple business units to meet competitive pressures and customer needs. Cost-effective data and application integration solutions are one way to get there.
Sourced by Pratibha Salwan, SVP digital at NIIT Technologies Inc