By : Marnie Thorp
March 27, 2018 08:00 AM
As consumers become increasingly accustomed to using various platforms and devices to manage their money, the pressure on banks to deliver maximum convenience and a fully joined-up service across channels – otherwise known as an omni-channel experience – becomes that much greater.
As NCR explored in our “Making Omni-Channel a Reality" whitepaper, there are a number of challenges to overcome on the journey to full omni-channel capability. Fortunately, there are just as many benefits to be gained for both financial institutions (FIs) and their customers.
Some of the biggest upside can be seen with omni-channel transaction processing, which will likely be a vital area of competitive differentiation for financial services providers in 2018 and beyond.
Broader trends and technological developments across various industries have had an impact on what consumers expect and appreciate from their chosen brands.
Take the retail industry, for example. The 'click-and-collect' concept - whereby a consumer places an order online and picks up their goods at a physical location of their choosing - has fueled demand for service providers to offer maximum choice and convenience by unifying digital and physical channels.
Expectations are particularly high in the banking industry. The importance that is so often attached to financial transactions means FIs have very little scope to make mistakes, even when they are managing extremely high transaction volumes in relatively short timeframes.
Furthermore, the nature of physical banking channels (i.e. branches and ATMs) is changing, with technological innovation helping to remove barriers between the ATM and the mobile space, for example. Branch transformation is contributing to a new view of what can be achieved with automated devices and through remote access to tellers.
These trends point to ongoing evolution in what people expect from their banks, particularly where omni-channel transaction processing is concerned. Providers able to meet and exceed these demands will keep their customers happy and, as a result, strengthen brand loyalty. However, it's vital that the proper solutions and technological infrastructure are in place to support omni-channel service delivery.
Arguably the biggest challenge of all for FIs - particularly well-established organizations - where omni-channel capability is concerned, is the persistence of legacy infrastructure.
For many banks, transaction processing is still siloed. Each channel - be it ATM, branch, mobile or anything in-between - has its own tools and processes for handling transactions, with each connecting independently to the core banking system or external services.
To truly meet the modern-day consumer's omni-channel expectations, transaction processing must be seamless across channels. In addition to delivering a better customer experience, this helps to reduce the costs involved in updating and managing a range of technologies and system connections for various channels.
The good news for banks operating today is that they have access to the solutions required to achieve genuinely omni-channel transaction processing. If your business is willing and able to invest in replacing outdated legacy systems, the benefits for your customer base and the organization itself will be clear to see.