This post was also featured in BFSI Vision, Dec 2014
“Branchless Banking” is a channel strategy that offers real and significant advantages to banks as well as to their customers. For banks, it means improved handling of customer transactions at reduced costs. For customers, such channels offer a vast improvement in convenience and flexibility, enabling 24×7 access to their funds. It is no wonder that a majority of today’s banking customers prefer to bank via a technology-led Alternate Channel, and avoid visiting their local branch to the extent possible.
Alternate channels like ATMs, Mobile Banking and Internet Banking have only been made possible, thanks to the underlying technology platforms they are built on. The burgeoning adoption of smartphones and increased Internet access across demographics has resulted in a significant spike in the demand for such tools. Technology provides a robust, safe and easy-to-use platform for a customer to access their funds in real-time, transfer money to and from accounts, and review dashboard reports of their portfolio. Security measures like instant SMS on usage of ATM or credit cards have only added to their peace of mind, since they are now assured of an immediate notification, in case of any misuse.
Banks planning to roll out Alternate Channels need to ensure that they focus on security and speed, above all else. Once that has been addressed, it is vital that the service offers the best User Experience possible, and one that is consistent with the brand values of the organization. Very often, organizations make the mistake of re-inventing the wheel instead of imbibing best practices. However, the reality is that today’s customer is far more attuned to international standards in design, thanks to the global canvas of apps that smartphones offer. As a result, a less-than-optimal experience in an Alternate Channel will only harm the brand in the long run.
The right technology platform, and making choices that are in the interest of your customer, ensures that Alternate Channels deliver RoI on your business objectives. Across the globe, the trends that are shaping the adoption of such channels include an ever-increasing access to Internet & smartphones, and an ever-decreasing availability of time.
The key to success in a multi-channel strategy is to prioritize Security, Speed and a Superlative user-experience for your customers, regardless of the channel they choose to interact with.