This article was originally published in Global Banking & Finance Review and can be accessed here.
Customer experience in banking
Manoj Mistry, Managing Director IBOS Association
Thanks to technology, the world of banking has changed beyond all recognition; in line with the brave new world of digital banks, so have customer expectations. From mobiles phone that simply made and received phone call to smartphones that can do anything and everything online, the transition has been rapid. Their links to supply chains enables access to online shopping, crypto and FX trading, video and social media – all on a single device to serve GenZ consumers who demand ever more.
Led by a wave of innovation, this technology is creating unique customer experiences in online banking systems with a proliferation of products and services being created to target the specific needs of individual customers. The same phenomenon applies to the member banks which comprise the customers of IBOS: as their customers’ expectations evolve, so do their expectations of what we can provide on their behalf.
The banking sector continues to be in a permanent state of flux – an ongoing revolution that is seeing dramatic change at every level. It started a generation ago with the arrival of the internet. Things have moved on considerably since then: innovative business models driven by cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, crowdfunding and cloud computing, are powerfully disruptive forces. A burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem has helped these new technologies to thrive across a multitude of sectors. Fintech firms, which continue to grow in size and reach, are helping to drive faster change within the banking sector.
Keeping pace with customer demands is always challenging; managing their expectations during the pandemic has presented new and unique challenges. In this context, significant effort has been made to mitigate any potential deterioration in the customer experience. At IBOS, our focus is to support members with additional digitized functionality through a cutting edge, online referral product suite. We work in partnership with our members to develop relevant products and services that cater to the jurisdictional obligations of each member ensuring that internal operating procedures remain fully compliant between jurisdictions.
The onboarding journey presents the most critical pathway to every new and existing relationship. For each potential customer, the initial interaction is often a pivotal moment that prompts buyers to proceed with further steps that engage in a wider relationship – but only if the initial onboarding experience has been seamless. The IBOS Web Portal aims to do just that, providing up to date information that is digitally available to members and underlying clients. Before proceeding with a request to open an account, they can receive electronic notification of what is expected in terms of documentation.
Once a new member joins, it is critical to enhance their customer experience, wherever possible. To achieve this, we work in partnership with our members, always bearing in mind that the end user experience is of paramount importance. Part of this involves the web portal which members use on a daily basis to update referral progress.
IBOS also develops products in tandem with feedback from our members, eliminating any doubt that there may be around functionality and upgrades. In this way, an individual member’s opinion can be clearly articulated which may result in changes to the design and development of services offered on the portal. To encourage feedback and suggestions, regular meetings are held with members whose agendas are aligned. Everyone therefore has a voice at the table, a share in the challenges of particular countries an input into how they can continue to collaborate to keep business moving ahead.
Enhancing customer experience often requires a blend of effective human interaction and having technology that works. In managing these two facets simultaneously over the past 15 months, we have made significant enhancements to our front-end portal. In doing so, the key objective has been to enhance the end user experience. Additional enhancements have been made to give control over the relevant functions to members administrators within each of the Banks. This provides them with autonomy to modify users, and to add/delete relevant records without waiting for IBOS to intervene. Allowing members to have control in this way has been very well received.
It can be hard to quantify customer experience in terms of perceived value and quality. We measure success through the development of our new MIS Dashboard, reviewing progress at a holistic level and effectiveness of the Web Portal at a consolidated level. Members have similar benefits where management reports can be prepared with a few simple clicks when discussing the volume of business through IBOS. We continue to educate our members on enhancements and always welcome feedback where we can make improvements.
To deal with the assorted challenges that arise in maintaining, improving and enhancing customer experience, dialogue matters most. So we talk through these issues in focused meetings with our members. The agendas are always framed in consultation with them. We also extract relevant feedback since they are on the ground in each country dealing with customers, but we also leverage the IBOS Association relationships they have built to continue enhancing customer experiences cross-border.