By John Atkinson, Director of Solutions Engineering, at Riverbed Technology
The ongoing rise in the cost of living has seen the average smartphone user download multiple financial apps recently — with this number rising by 75% to 5.9 billion people across the globe in 2021. In fact, we’re seeing more traditional banks adapting their services to meet customer demands, such as investing in new digital banking platforms, providing sustainable offerings and digital currency conversions that are easier to use.
While traditional banks are delivering more digital services, it’s the digitally native companies, such as Monzo and Revolut, that are continuing to fast attract customers. Thanks to their greater flexibility, instant access to cash, and helpful budgeting and cost-cutting tools.
As a result, traditional banks are finding it increasingly challenging to stave off the competition. Not least because moving and innovating at pace is hard for older, larger, international institutions that often have more integrated, complex systems and legacy networks. To put themselves back in the race, they need to maintain a high-performance capability across international locations and deliver a seamless, end-to-end experience for customers. All while delivering the service innovation that will wow customers.
To achieve this goal, banks need to have the observability into all the data across their networks, applications, and end-users to provide actionable insights for the business. It will be instrumental in providing struggling IT teams with a holistic view over their entire ecosystem, so they can identify and resolve complex issues for seamless digital experiences. It will also help banks offer more streamlined and flexible services in the present and future.
Improving digital service offerings
There is a growing demand for more involved functions to be fully delivered over smart devices and laptops. At present, customers are unable to deposit cheques or money remotely. Similarly, they must go into a branch to put their signature on a loan. To better serve customers, and their evolving needs, banks need to find ways to deliver these services remotely. Developing the right partnerships with technology vendors will be key to this. As an example, DocuSign could be embedded into mobile apps to resolve the signature challenge.
Establishing strong partnerships will also be vital for the personalisation of services, which would help traditional banks deliver superior customer experiences and build trust and loyalty. The first step in achieving more tailored offerings, is for financial institutions to move towards becoming data companies. In other words, harnessing the information they have about end-users to create services that are more helpful to them. For instance, replacing factual notifications about transactions with updates for customers on their bank balances, likelihood of overspending, and recommendations on money saving advice or loans, potentially provided by partners. This personalised service will demonstrate to customers that their banks know them well, understand their needs, and care, which will ultimately help to retain clients and attract new ones.
Gaining control over more complex ecosystems
As banks evolve, they will inevitably become more technologically complex and demanding. Without unified observability over their entire ecosystems, this could result in a myriad of network and application performance challenges that would see their new services fall far short of the mark.
This is because unified observability enables IT teams to understand what is happening, what has happened, and what could happen across their whole technological infrastructure and, indeed, their business. For example, they can see how easily a user has moved through their system and identify opportunities for improvement to maximise service satisfaction. The technology can also streamline time to resolution for key performance issues, by reducing the mean time to identify a problem, establish where it’s coming from, rectify the situation, and verify the fix. All of which minimises costs while improving the service for greater customer experience.
Leading the charge to the future of finance
Challenger banks may have had a head start when it comes to digital transformation and moving the dial on customer experience over the past couple of years. However, this needn’t continue to be the case. By embracing unified observability, traditional banks can empower themselves to deliver the digital, personalised services that customers are craving. Not only will this improve brand loyalty and attract new clients, but it will also facilitate better personal financial management amidst the cost-of-living rises. The future of finance is coming, and traditional banks have the power to lead the charge.