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How to become the bank of the future: 3 best practices for customer-centricity

How to become the bank of the future: 3 best practices for customer-centricity

Apps such as ABN AMRO’s open repayment platform Tikkie are on the rise across Europe, and they’re setting a new precedent for centralising money management. But what does this mean for traditional finance organisations and their marketing strategies?

For financial services marketing in particular, there’s a new paradox at play, and its benefits are ripe for the taking. It is the landscape’s unsung heroes; the banks, insurers and payment providers, who hold the key to creating more end-to-end customer journeys, and, as such, better-quality customer experiences and outcomes.

1. Using the currency of customer data wisely

This is in part because they have the stronghold of customer data and the legacy of trust to make this work, but also because this sector is no stranger to navigating regulation changes and turning them into opportunities. While the impending GDPR nudges marketers towards centralising data rules and controlling communication, PSD2 pushes banks to open up to relevant third parties and connect with trusted partners via technology. Both these changes point to an improved end-to-end customer experience, based around outcomes and entire journeys, as opposed to functions and individual products.

To deliver on growing spheres of customer value, finance leaders must switch from a reactive to a proactive strategy when it comes to addressing these seemingly dueling demands of protection and transparency. But to do this, marketers and their partners in customer data sharing must think beyond borders. This means planning now in terms of strategy to facilitate complete control across a myriad of systems, partners and technologies. But even for large banks with lots of ‘legacy’ to contend with for marketing, this shouldn’t have to mean a huge IT overhaul. On the contrary, it should mean leveraging on existing tools so you can start delivering agile, incremental results.

2. Switching from purveyors of payment to deliverers of dreams

So, how does this look in practice? ABN AMRO is leading by example. The bank is using our Data Management Platform to tie together one-to-one customer experiences across its mix of channels and databases, smartening its outreach across owned, paid, online and offline outlets.

More specifically, it is leading a new movement in managing money through the Tikkie App, an outcome-based service which enables individual users to distribute payment requests through WhatsApp via a single link, regardless of who they bank with. Think splitting the bill after a meal with friends. This is indicative of the shift in mindset mentioned earlier: through using its value as a trusted institution for storing money and processing transactions as a stepping stone, ABN AMRO can begin to think broader than their own remit of products, and remain responsive to change.

The focus has shifted from securely storing money to a one-to-one customer journey across channels, delivered to many, centering around someone enjoying a meal with their friends minus the awkward IOU discussions.

3. Connecting data trails through technology

This approach means that similarly forward-thinking banks can use their data as a universal currency across the entire customer landscape, using smart context and decisioning to deliver value for an extended customer base, while creating new synergies with trusted partner technologies.

Imagine another journey, which extends the payment context across industries. People don’t buy cars, they buy a physical journey from A to B. But beyond offering a low-interest payment facility, a credit provider could offer its new customer a frictionless experience in travelling safely. Having opted in for a full suite of product recommendations related to car purchase, the credit lender uses smart technology to orchestrate her whole journey, aggregating relevant offers around insurance, road tax and breakdown cover.

This isn’t a loan for a new car, this is an entirely integrated, one-to-one experience, based on her transactions, preferences and desires. The credit lender stitches together its data trails from systems, new tools and trusted partners, using independent data management software to activate the ideal mix of marketing channels. The technology is there, with precision accuracy, far-reaching flexibility, and delivery down to the right millisecond.

It may sound like a utopia, but for some this is the finance landscape of the near future; for others, it’s happening now. So the question is no longer whether banks can afford to leverage a connected customer ecosystem beyond their own walls; the question is, how can you afford not to?

Julius Abensur, Industry Director (Finance), Relay42

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