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Deliver Exceptional Digital Banking Experience Today Through Intelligent Automation
June 1, 2021 Blog


Authored by: Zakir Ahmed, Senior Vice President & GM – Asia Pacific & Japan at Kofax

The next generation of banking customers is here and they want digital banking on their mobile, desktop, tablet or voice-enabled devices. They are looking for simple, convenient and secure interactions with their financial institutions. With the rise of fintech companies and a growing number of banks providing online and digital services, customers have numerous options to choose from.

Omnichannel was a buzzword just a few years ago. Now, companies recognised that they needed to reach customers on multiple platforms – digital, social media, in-person, on the phone – and provide consistent branding and service levels. Asia has a comparatively young population who have grown up in a world in which digital technology was already prevalent. The region also has the largest interconnectivity of emerging economies and an average gross domestic product (GDP) growth that outperforms its peers in the West.

With this highly competitive market, several questions arise. Can the industry meet the customers’ new expectations? How can traditional financial institutions uncover and identify these needs before the customers realise them? How can banks and financial institutions leverage the available technologies such as automation to remain competitive and deliver exceptional customer experiences throughout the customer lifecycle?

The state of digital banking today

PwC’s study on Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond noted that companies are offering a seamless omnichannel experience, but only 17 per cent of the respondents are “very prepared” to develop a more customer-centric business model.

The problem is that most institutions – and the industry as a whole – have not kept pace with consumer expectations around digital capabilities or digital engagement especially at the initiation of the customer relationship.

In Southeast Asia, many consumers have no bank accounts or have insufficient access to banking services, which propelled the rise of digital payment in the region. According to a Deloitte study, financial systems in Southeast Asia and South Asia are undeveloped, and regular financial services are in short supply. For instance, in Southeast Asia, 60 per cent of the population has no bank account and in Indonesia and the Philippines, the ownership of credit cards is lower than 2 per cent.

Another growing trend is the increasing preference for mobile as the main device for all banking activity. According to FICO’s 2020 Consumer Digital Banking Survey, Malaysians are more comfortable opening bank accounts with smartphones compared to Americans and Canadians in a single online session.  Ninety per cent of Malaysian respondents shared that they would be happy to open a bank account online. In addition, only 50 per cent of respondents from Malaysia are willing to carry out the necessary offline actions as soon as possible, 12 per cent said they would instead go to the competitor and 7 per cent shared that they will abandon opening an account.

The bottom line is that if banks do not make onboarding and other processes easy, they risk losing significant market share. A difficult onboarding process can result in consumers opting out before even completing the new account application.

Moving ahead into the all-digital banking world

Today’s consumers have higher digital expectations and are much more likely to switch banks when the new account origination process has too many speed bumps. With the ever-changing market, financial institutions cannot afford to be reactive. Here are some steps banks and financial institutions can implement today to stay ahead of the game:

  • Make the initial interactions digital and easy. Digitise processes that used to require paper-based documentation so that the customer does not have to mail, fax, or deliver the papers to the branch, especially when it involves opening a new account. Automate identity checks while ensuring compliance and security.
  • Provide seamless, omnichannel banking access. Today’s customers want to start the process in one channel, perhaps their smartphone, then exit and continue the application via other channels if necessary. They expect transparency and speed in all their digital consumer experiences and want it from their bank as well.
  • Know your target customers and what they value most. Which channels do your customers use most often? Mobile, browser, in-person at the branch, or a combination? Which transactions do they want to complete online versus in-person? Use intelligent analytics to observe customers’ behaviour and preferences. Look to cut costs in areas of least importance to your customers while delivering better experiences where customers want them.
  • Replace legacy platforms with technology that streamlines business processes. Stop pouring money into old systems. Streamlining and digitising your processes with intelligent automation preserves the best of your historical IT investment while allowing you to deliver a better experience for customers.

So much depends on the initial onboarding process that it is essential to make it easy and hassle-free. Banks and financial institutions have the opportunity to show today’s tech-savvy customers that the business is looking after their needs and working on improving the system today to deliver seamless digital banking services. By investing in technologies that will help improve the customer’s experience today, banks and businesses within the financial sector have the opportunity to build a solid relationship that extends beyond a simple checking account.