By Jeff Mills, Vice President, EMEA, Messagepoint, Inc.
Banking today continues to undergo far-reaching changes due to the adoption of digital technologies, particularly when it comes to customer communications. Surveys show that for most customers, digital devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops have become the primary means of communicating with their bank, lender or financial advisor. While these technologies offer significant advantages in customer communications, such as the ability to deliver immediate responses or establish a two-way dialogue, they also present challenges to organisations seeking to provide a cohesive customer experience across all channels and platforms.
For banks, mortgage lenders, investment firms and other financial enterprises where establishing and nurturing a trusting and long-term relationship with clients is important, finely-tuned, interactive communication capabilities can be invaluable.Commonly in the adoption of digital communications platforms and technologies, however, the focus is on the technology and channel itself, with little attention being paid to the content.While Marshall McLuhan may have believed that “the message is the medium,” research has shown that it is the content and the message itself that has the power to influence a customer’s emotional reaction to a communication and build or destroy the loyalty that financial services firms rely on to add to their bottom line.
Centralise content management
Many large banks and financial institutions have volumes of content that have been created over the years but are unable to harness this in order to improve consistency and quality of customer communications. One key reason for this is that the content has been generated by different departments within these organisations and is stored in isolated silos. This also leads to a cycle of authoring and re-authoring the same content over and over again, wasting time and resources across an enterprise. The adoption of digital technologies has only exacerbated this issue, as content is now often created and stored, not only in departmental silos, but also now in technology silos, with print being separate from email, which is separate from chatbots, and so on.
For any organisation seeking to create a cohesive customer experience and digital experience, they need to turn their attention to how they manage the content that is the foundation of customer communications. Ideally,organisations should adopt a means of centrally managing the content and pushing out the communications from a central hub. Many organisations are looking to modern customer communications management (CCM) solutions that both support omnichannel communications and offer advanced content management capabilities to act as this hub. More advanced CCM solutions will also enable content sharing across communications so that you can centrally manage logos, content information, calls to action, legalese, product descriptions, etc. This not only makes it easy to create consistent omnichannel communications but it also greatly streamlines change management processes to rapidly increase time to market.
Optimise your content
As organisations look at centralisation though, a key barrier is the overwhelming idea of sifting through an enormous volume of legacy content that exists. Often the content has not been maintained over the years and while some of it is relevant, someone needs to sort through what is still relevant, up to date and useful. This is no small task for most.
The first step is to understand what you already have in those silos. Reaching a clear understanding of that content and migrating it into a modern environment will make managing and utilising it across channels more manageable.We recommend organisations begin by analysing the content to eliminate outdated information, identify inconsistencies in messaging, branding and formatting; and identify duplicate content and similar information. It is critical that content authors and experts from your internal departments participate in reviewing the results of the analysis and lead the cleanup effort to ensure consistency across the enterprise, clearly define brand and messaging standards, and align the content to the standards. While you can execute this step manually, it can take months of hard labour to sort through the content. It is far more efficient and cost-effective to utilise purpose-built content analytics tools.
Another consideration is reviewing your content to ensure it is clear and concise, and whether it’s appropriate for the various channels for which it needs to be used. Many aspects of your content can be shared across print and various digital channels and this helps to create consistency in your customer experience. That said, it is key that your teams examine and re-think other aspects of the content to create channel specific versions. When examining the content, you should also ensure it is written in plain language. Consider whether you are using legal jargon or technical terms that need to be defined?. Is it concise?Are you sending the right message,the right sentiment and does it resonate with your audience in the way you want it to?
Intelligently manage your content
Once your content has been updated and is ready to be centrally managed in a hub, consider even more advanced ways to intelligently manage your content and customer communications to avoid simply duplicating past activities.One key strategy is to deploy a parent/child type communications touchpoint structure in which multiple communications share and are built from a single common template. For instance, you may have a library of 90 written and approved customer-servicing emails which share a common base structure. Typical approaches would have you manage those emails as separate templates and communications. Instead, by creating one “parent” template that can pass down its core structure, format and key pieces of content to 89 “children” that each contains its own unique content you can greatly streamline change management and the creation of new communications. This type of content management also supports the overall goal of creating a consistent customer experience.
As banking and financial services migrate increasingly to the use of digital technologies, simply keeping up with the competition is a significant concern. Customer convenience and satisfaction has become critical to remaining in the game and differentiating your organisation from others.By focusing time and attention on your content and not just the technologies used to deliver your messages, you can ensure successful digital transformations and the consistency that is essential to driving substantial increases in customer trust, loyalty and revenue for your financial institution.
RegTech 2020: The rise of Open Banking
This month on the RegTech 20:20 podcast, host Alex Ford is joined by industry experts Gavin Littlejohn, Chairman of The Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) and Jamie Leach, Regional Director of FDATA ANZ and Founder of Open Data Australia, to discuss developments in Open Banking, and the place of RegTech.
Today, the focus is on the digital customer experience and the insight offered indicates that there has been a major shift in the FinTech ecosystem as a source of potential innovation for banks, rather than being a direct competitive challenge.
In the podcast, Alex quizzes Jamie on the concept of sharing data and the impact of the introduction of Open Banking rules under the Consumer Data Right (CDR) in Australia. Jamie shares that it is an exciting time to be involved in the sector:
“…what we really need to consider is that Open Banking in Australia is very different to Open Banking in the UK. Really, what has spurred Open Banking in Australia under the Consumer Data Right is the pursuit of creating greater competition and greater innovation, while allowing consumers to do more with their data.”
Gavin, who has many years of experience in the industry and, as well as his role with FDATA is also a key member of the UK Open Banking Implementation Entity, speaks on the theme of advocating Open Finance in the UK.,’
Delving deeper into Open Banking, he highlights the fact that it has been an interesting journey and states that “the important thing to understand is the difference between the UK’s Open Banking order and the wider payment services directive.”
Not only concentrating on Australia, Jamie also works across the sector in the UK and, also looking at its evolvement here, she suggests that the people creating the rules are now taking notice, adding: “We are just getting started – the UK has been at it for nearly three years and it is still gaining momentum.”
With regards to future predictions, Jamie believes “It’s going to take 12, 18 or 24 months before we see any mainstream major adoption and where the potential of Open Banking can go in this market”
Moving to the differences between Open Finance and Open Banking. Gavin defines the latter as “payment initiation and access to payment data, which enables a third-party provider or fintech with a customer relationship to initiate a payment and get access to the data relating to transactions.”
“…the concept of Open Banking is a bit like electricity – you don’t use it directly; you use an appliance that uses it. This could mean loans, money management apps, or cloud accounting platforms, which all use Open Banking.”
Throughout the episode, both guests provide interesting insights and hint at the significant potential of Open Banking.and the connection to RegTech within this domain.
It is clear that what we see today is only the beginning. Despite the industry still being in the early stages of implementation in almost all cases, there is increasing interest in moving beyond this to include a far broader spread of financial products.
You can listen to the full episode at https://www.encompasscorporation.com/regtech2020-podcast/ or across all major platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify.
New digital first bank – Monument – announces its key technology providers
- Monument selects Mambu, Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, Persistent Systems and Accenture as key providers for its technology build
- Monument is the first challenger bank in the UK to service the unmet demands of more than 3.5 million mass affluent clients: professionals, property investors and entrepreneurs
- It is building a modern, unique, lego-like technology platform which takes best of breed SaaS providers and integrates them in a cloud based microservices architecture
- This will deliver an exceptional client experience and enable Monument to innovate and to introduce new components on a frequent basis
- Monument today announces that Mambu will be the central core banking engine in the platform alongside Salesforce for CRM, and AWS for cloud services
- Monument has also engaged Persistent Systems and Accenture Interactive to support the platform build
Following receipt of its banking licence with restriction on 6 October 2020, Monument has now signed agreements with a number of key technology providers to enable the build of its bespoke technology platform.
Monument wants to deliver exceptional client experiences by using technology solutions that are modern, flexible, easy to integrate and ultimately, if necessary, able to be replaced should the need arise. The design of its lego-like technology platform is Monument’s solution to the huge challenges faced by the legacy systems of established banks. Having assessed the market over many months, Monument concluded that no appropriate single solution existed in the market for the products and services that Monument will launch in 2021.
In addition, Monument only wishes to develop its own technology where it can deliver significant competitive advantage, for example in the mobile and web services to be used by clients. Much of the technology platform is therefore based on best of breed solutions from modern, cloud-based providers.
Mambu has developed the leading cloud banking engine which is an excellent fit for the platform that Monument is building. Similarly, Salesforce provides an industry leading CRM (customer relationship management) solution which can easily be integrated with Mambu and other solutions. AWS, as a leading provider of cloud-based infrastructure, provides a range of components to ensure the platform is reliable, scalable, secure and flexible.
To support Monument in building and integrating a platform with more than 18 different components/providers, Monument has chosen to work with Persistent Systems, a leading global solutions provider specializing in digital with extensive experience in software as a service (SaaS) solutions. To support Monument in rapidly building its mobile app and web-based channels, Monument has chosen to work with Accenture Interactive, which has significant expertise in building innovative digital experiences in both the financial and non-financial sectors.
Steve Britain, Monument’s Chief Operating Officer said:
“We have been working closely with our chosen providers for some months now, to lay the foundations for the build of our platform. We are delighted at how much we have already achieved, particularly as much of the work has been done by a highly distributed team because of COVID-19. We are now focused on completing the work to build a unique configuration of best in class software components that will make us highly flexible for the future and deliver market leading client service.”
More announcements will be made shortly as other key components of the architecture are confirmed.
Sudip Dasgupta, Monument’s Chief Technology Officer added:
“It was essential to me that we selected the strongest providers available. Those that offer us modern technology solutions with the best degree of integration that we need, together with flexibility for the future and proven operational reliability. In Mambu, Salesforce and AWS we have certainly achieved that objective and we are excited about our future engagement with them. Equally, as we rapidly build our platform for launching with clients in early 2021, we wanted support from providers who have been on this journey before and in Persistent and Accenture Interactive, I am delighted to say we have found that.”
Monument will be the only bank to offer its clients an entirely digital journey for buy-to-let and property investment lending of up to £2million. It will offer market leading, top quartile savings rates and its model is designed to reward loyalty. So, if a saver deposits money for a subsequent fixed term, they will get a better rate than a new customer. And a borrower who renews their loan will also be offered a favourable rate.
UKRSIBBANK, part of BNP Paribas Group, announces a strategic partnership with financial wellbeing startup Dreams, to enhance the digital user experience of its 2 million customers in Ukraine
- The technology powering popular consumer app, Dreams – which has helped 460,000 users save over 440M EUR – will be made available to UKRSIBBANK’s users in Ukraine.
- Through the integration of the Dreams platform within UKRSIBBANK’s own digital tools, customers of the bank can set and achieve money-saving goals, track and improve their financial lives.
Dreams (https://www.getdreams.com/en/b2b/), the Stockholm-born fintech empowering millennials to save and feel better about their money, today announces a strategic partnership with Ukrainian commercial bank UKRSIBBANK, a subsidiary of French international bank BNP Paribas Group.
This partnership follows the announcement earlier this year of Dreams’ first enterprise partnership with banking software provider Silverlake Symmetri, and the recent unveiling of a new department in Stockholm dedicated to the development of Dreams’ B2B partnerships. The announcement marks an expansion of the company’s business model as it consolidates its B2B offering and evolves its services as a provider of white label solutions for financial institutions.
Through the integration within UKRSIBBANK’s own digital tools of the Dreams Platform – which is rooted in scientific principles – customers can set and achieve money-saving goals through clever, automated saving features, in addition to nudges and saving hacks.
The Dreams Platform will be included as part of UKRSIBBANK’s digital banking offering for its 2 million+ customers, and is set to grant millions of potential consumers across Ukraine access to products which will help keep their finances on track and improve their financial lives.
The rise in digital self-help tools has long been anticipated by Dreams and forward-thinking financial institutions. The current global economic uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has also placed significant strains on people’s finances, and the demand for better personal finance tools has only accelerated. The partnership with Dreams is welcomed by UKRSIBBANK which is currently striving to equip its customers with the best possible banking solutions whilst helping them achieve a more sustainable lifestyle.
Dreams is firmly established as an authority in its industry, having launched its consumer-facing app in its native Sweden in 2016 and Norway in 2018 – where it has already achieved a 16% market share of all 20-39 year olds.
Henrik Rosvall, CEO and founder of Dreams, comments: “It’s a true honour to be partnering with UKRSIBBANK and BNP Paribas Group, and we’re incredibly excited to be introducing the Dreams solution to UKRSIBBANK’s customers and the wider Ukrainian market.
“Dreams and UKRSIBBANK can now lead the charge, with BNP Paribas Group’s corporate strategy having shifted in recent years to focus on guiding customers towards responsible consumption and sustainable personal finance management. I’m confident that our mission of helping millennials save more and feel better about their money makes us the ideal partners.
“Our financial wellbeing platform – which is built upon behavioural science and personal finance management principles – will provide the perfect tool for UKRSIBBANK to help its customers make better financial choices and become more sustainable in the way they handle their finances. This partnership will also help UKRSIBBANK safeguard the loyalty of its customers and futureproof its digital banking offering against a growing number of challenger banks and fintechs.”
Konstantin Lezhnin, Head of Retail at UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group, comments: “I believe that banks have a role to improve their customers’ lives. Planning and saving for important life events improves our quality of life by reducing stress levels, and we wish to make our customers feel more confident and in-control of their lives.
“UKRSIBBANK has always applied innovative ways to assist our customers in financial planning, so we are very happy to now be working with Dreams, the best European player in behavioural savings. They have an extremely solid track record in Sweden and Norway based on scientific research, so we are confident that this partnership will work positively for our customers in Ukraine. This also demonstrates our strategy to cooperate with startups and innovative companies that seek ways to expand their operations.”
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