By : Mahesh Alampalli
February 20, 2017 05:00 AM
The best party trick you can learn is how to read a room. During an event, a quick scan for the best appetizers, interesting topics of conversation and those whom you may want to avoid can have a dramatic impact on your party experience.
Determining context to inform our decisions has always been a distinct human capability. In financial technology, we now use this same approach to engage with consumers, and in return, enhance brands and services.
Contextual banking uses smart devices, including voice-enabled attributes, to communicate with us and read our physical and virtual spaces to inform our financial decision-making. Benefits of contextual banking are apparent for both the customer and financial institutions.
Similar to the ideal party trick, bank applications can analyze situations to help consumers make informed financial decisions. For example, a customer might survey his or her backyard and toy with the idea of adding a pool.
Contextual banking can quickly determine if the customer can afford the backyard oasis and provide the best rates for a loan. In addition, analysis could include details about how long it will take to build enough savings for the renovation, and also provide information on the neighborhood comps of homes with built-in pools.
By knowing a customer’s financial status and using voice-enabled, contextual banking, the financial institution’s app acts as a spur-of-the-moment financial advisor that can recommend plans tailored to each customer’s needs. The customer can now feel confident he or she can add a pool and that their bank is a valued financial resource.
Living in a digital age, customers are constantly connected. When banks interact with customers online during purchasing or financial planning, contextual banking can increase brand value through engagement and loyalty.
If a financial institution can demonstrate value through contextual banking, customers will better understand the need to have and use a bank app more often to be financially vigilant. In the same vein, when engagement increases and banks consistently deliver unique services with contextual expertise, they can maintain engagement and build loyalty.
The possibilities of leveraging new technology for contextual banking are growing. These digital solutions can be an on-demand, in-context financial advisor. And the best news? This is only the beginning.
CTO and Transformation Lead at NTT DATA Corporation
Mahesh Alampalli is CTO and Transformation Lead at NTT DATA Corporation, currently dedicated to the Texas Department of Transportation.
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