Consumers expect to do just about everything on the channel of their choice, which increasingly means one thing: mobile. Research results from ATM Marketplace’s ATM Future Trends 2017 identified mobile technology as the number one factor that will have the greatest impact on the ATM industry globally. And ironically, according to a 2017 Forester research report entitled Banking on Millennials: It’s not all about mobile, more than half of younger millennials and almost two-thirds of older millennials expect to access all their accounts with a bank within a single mobile app. Furthermore, almost three quarters of older millennials and two-thirds of younger millennials have used a smartphone or tablet for day-to-day banking in the past three months.
Prioritizing Customer Experience
Where does end-to-end customer experience fall on your organization’s priority list? I believe it should sit right at the top – but often, this critical initiative is undercut by regulatory and compliance challenges, legacy infrastructure woes, cost-cutting measures and the siloed organizational structure so common among financial institutions.
Departments become focused on their own priorities instead of keeping consumers at the center of the universe. For example, a bank’s mortgage department and marketing department might be doing well – but back-end processes fall short in capturing customer needs emanating from marketing and automatically redirecting them to the mortgage officer (while storing intermittent transaction records). From an implementation perspective, this connectivity can be incredibly complex.
Offering an improved customer experience inadvertently becomes a “want,” rather than a “need.” Banks want to offer customers more transaction capabilities, a more seamless omnichannel experience, and unexpected moments of surprise and delight. But individual departments need to meet their own siloed goals, and that often takes priority.
So how can we make your organization’s wants and needs converge with your consumers’ wants and needs?
“In the age of the customer, winning means owning the customer relationship and experience,” notes Forrester. Your organization should be the one providing the platform, tools and capabilities that your customers are searching for – truly omnichannel transactions are a critical way to address consumer needs and improve satisfaction.
Your ecosystem should include mobile, tablets, wearables, online, the ATM, tellers, assisted service through tablets and/or video, call centers – and every channel should strive to operate harmoniously, in real time, with every other channel. It’s the un-ironic conclusion of that “Banking on Millennials” report: “Banks must think beyond the mobile experience if they want to attract and retain millennial customers. Winning their hearts and minds requires a deeper understanding of their situation and what they expect from their banking relationship.”
Building a Connected Ecosystem
Of course, it’s no small task. Vaporware and conceptual ideas are common enough, but actionable, omnichannel solutions can be harder to find. Our partnership with Kony, Inc., a world-leading enterprise mobility and application company, was driven by the desire to offer financial institutions real, ready tools to build that connected ecosystem.
The collaboration aims to connect channels in real-time through DN Mobile, an omnichannel solution that offers a back-end portfolio of RESTful APIs that interact seamlessly with your ATM network. In an increasingly complex IT ecosystem, we’re enabling faster go-to-market implementations that connect seamlessly across channels, and with other partners and third-party providers. Our modules enable real-world solutions like cardless withdrawals via pre-staged transactions, alerts at the ATM to let consumers know if their withdrawal is going to trigger an overdraft due to scheduled payments, P2P transfers, global date/time/currency localization, even biometric authentication using a mobile device.
The new, digitized era requires an integration of physical and digital channels, and the means and ability to allow consumers to access them however and whenever they want. Transaction capabilities are not likely to be the “final frontier” for banks, but we’re certainly in a period that is hallmarked by connectivity and cross-channel enablement. With the right tools and the right partner, you can turn that “want” into a “need,” and offer your consumers the seamless, modern, connected experience they crave.
This article originally appeared in the Aug. 2017 issue of RBR Banking Automation Bulletin.
 “The Digital Banking Imperative,” Forrester Research Inc. 2017