By Adam Oldfield, Business Development Director at Unisys

We are firmly setting our feet on the grounds of a digital realm. Everywhere you look, you’ll see the dim glare of mobile devices reflecting onto faces of colleagues, loved ones and passers-by. On-the-go access to personal and professional worlds keeps us addicted. Generations after us will have technology running through their veins and this digital DNA has huge implications on what we expect as consumers and how the financial sector operates.

Take a look at the retail world, for example. For years the likes of Tesco invested heavily in understanding the customer through analytics. Possibly the greatest weapon in their arsenal – the Clubcard – has enabled Tesco to consume an invaluable amount of information on customers. So much so that they can interact with them on a bespoke level, tailoring products and promotions that they are most likely to purchase. This pleases the customer – no longer bombarded with irrelevant marketing – and Tesco – more opportunity to upsell and pip competition to the post.

But in the financial world, loyalty is not always prioritised. Digitalisation is left behind. Legacy systems loom over IT departments in this sector like a grey cloud. Many know that they need to embrace emerging megatrends like cloud, mobility and analytics, but taking the leap can seem an impossibility. So what can banks, insurers, mortgage brokers and building societies learn from retailers?

  1. Analyse this, that and everything in between

Big data is paramount if you want to get to know your customer. Ultimately, to understand that data you need effective analytics tools. By investing in solutions that enable you to gain true visibility of who your customers are, what they’re behaviours are and forecast what they’re likely to need in future; you can propel opportunities to cross-sell.

  1. Do digital

Moving to an omni-channel approach and not just thinking about the physical branch is essential. Think of the generation who do everything from their groceries to their finances on their iPads – but still appreciate speaking to a human when discussing complex situations. They’d appreciate similar devices and approaches in-store – and sometimes going into a physical branch is more convenient.

  1. Be mission-critical

Without embracing the emerging technologies, you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable position against the competition. Agility, flexibility and reactivity are key to alleviating the mounting pressure of growing revenue, driving efficiency and ensuring regulatory compliance. Not to mention – impelling customer loyalty.

In conclusion, in order to achieve customer loyalty and have the capability to cross-sell, financial organisations must invest in mission-critical solutions that enable them to react to the demands of tech-savvy consumers. Failure to do so will only leave them unable to keep up with the competition.