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The tools needed to make omni-channel banking a success

By : Andrew Short

September 05, 2017 08:00 AM

Omni-channel now needs to be a key priority for any financial institution (FI) looking to deliver the high-quality experience today's customers expect when they interact with their bank. But when it comes to investing in the tools and technology needed to make this a reality, where should companies be focusing their efforts?

 

It can be tempting to equate 'omni-channel' with digital. After all, traditional banks will already have a wide selection of offline channels within their mix, so they may assume developing an omni-channel strategy is a matter of bringing their digital channels into line with this and ensuring the experience matches up.

 

But will this leave banks with a true omni-channel solution, or just a collection of disparate systems patched together? To really be successful in today's environment, FIs need a comprehensive package of solutions including hardware, software and infrastructure that can communicate effectively with each other and give consumers the same high level of experience no matter how they choose to interact.

 

Showcasing next-generation solutions
Some of the tools needed to achieve this were on show at an event run by NCR in June, which took place in Mumbai, India. Representatives from over 100 banks came together to get a first-hand look at what it means to be an omni-channel bank in today's environment and the tools needed to achieve this.

 

Central to the event was the 'bank-in-a-box' concept, which features a contemporary design and user interface to provide users with a complete self-service solution that enables them to manage every aspect of their finances.

 

Among the hardware offerings on show to make this concept a reality was the Cx110. This is the first thin-client ATM to use NCR's Kalpana, cloud based, thin-client enterprise software. Banks could also view the latest range of NCR SelfServ ATMs that include cash deposit and recycling facilities - features which will be increasingly important as branch transformation efforts see physical locations focus more on offering value-added services such as expert advice instead of simple transactional services.

 

Attendees of the event could also experience the latest Interactive Teller technology, which provides the benefits of both self-service video banking and the full branch experience in a single solution.

 

Preparing for future needs
Such tools will be essential in helping banks keep pace with the growing demands users have in today's environment. This is especially true in developing markets such as India, where more citizens are being brought into the formal banking system and familiarity with solutions such as mobile banking is high.

 

According to figures from RBR, for instance, the number of ATMs deployed in India is set to reach 407,000 by 2021, representing growth of more than 90 percent compared with the 214,500 in use last year.

 

For FIs to take full advantage of this growing demand for self-service banking, this new generation of machines will need to be fully connected to every other aspect of a bank's network and bridge the 'intimacy gap' between digital solutions and the personal experience that branches can provide.

 

Navroze Dastur, managing director of NCR Corporation India, said the next generation of omni-channel banking solutions will complement person-to-person interactions and help build "an 'always available' banking environment that gives consumers the flexibility and control to manage transactions when they want and at the platform of their choice".

Andrew Short

Mobile and Payments Solutions Manager – NCR Financial

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Andrew has 20+ yrs experience in the software industry covering banking, healthcare and the telecommunications verticals. With past positions in finance, accounting, sales, and prod. mngt, he brings significant mobile and payment expertise to his current role.