Omni-Channel Self-Service Takes Center Stage for Banks and Financial Providers

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According to a recent survey conducted by ING, the use of mobile banking has increased significantly, with an estimated 31% of the UK population now using it, while the use of cash has dropped to 46%. I suspect this trend will continue but at an even faster pace, as British customers seek out the quickest, and simplest way to do business with their banks and financial services providers.

The main thing that customers look for these days is a simple and straightforward solution to their problem, not bells and whistles, or “going above and beyond.” Your customers are busy people who don’t want to have to stop their day to talk to you in order to make transactions, which is why we’re seeing such a massive uptick in mobile banking being used to perform financial services.

It’s quick, as secure as it needs to be, and therefore it’s hassle free – and it’s available to anyone, anywhere. Banking has evolved beyond going in to your local branch and using the bank’s website, to every channel possible.

In 2014 most of us are not without our smart phone in our pocket or bag. Banks and financial services providers therefore need to be where their customers are. We’re talking true omni-channel integration of all mobile channels, with no discrepancy in service during a single interaction or across many. It is only when all channels are perceived as one by banks and financial services that customers can be confident enough to say, “Hey, doing business with you is really easy!”

Of course, one idiosyncrasy of the industry is the constant battle to prevent fraud. With mobile, criminals have another medium to potentially exploit. Matching up ease of doing business with the absolute need to authenticate a user is no mean feat, but self-service is helping to strike that balance.

A typical customer conversation that starts on social media, requesting an account change, then moves to email for identity verification, which then may slip into mobile web to request a call back from a live agent to solve more complex queries, is what truly forward thinking financial services firms should be aiming for. The customer has extended very little effort at all, and they skip the contact center queue. In many instances they may not even need to be contacted by a live person, and the business has resolved the query quickly and satisfactorily, with little resource. We then have a happy customer.

The mobile banking revolution is here, and it will continue to change and grow as the technology develops. It is not a time for fear, change is inevitable and those who embrace it will truly reap the rewards.