How Digital Transformation can help overcome the Dilemma of Offline – Online banking.

Though digital banking existed as early as 1960 in forms of ATMs and credit cards, the rise of the internet in the 90’s witnessed banks taking the plunge towards moving digital and began catering to customer needs through digital solutions.

Since then, the challenges around combining good user experience, following regulations, adhering to compliance and ensuring security started to co-exist. Today, the trends around Branch-less banking, Payments banking, Digital On-boarding are all targeted towards overcoming the above challenges and delivering seamless customer experience.

Everyday Banking at your Finger tips

The Gen Y and Gen Z prefer to have every routine task that needs to get done on the smart phone and banking is no exception. Right from opening a bank account for the first time to closing an account you no longer need, does not require you to physically walk-into a branch. Thanks to the apps that perform Liveliness test, you can easily prove your identity with a selfie, scan your IDs with your smart phone, state your purpose and your account is Open. The above steps failed? You still do not have to visit a branch; instead, schedule a video call with a bank’s representative. The real benchmark set to the banks today is on the number of steps you take and the minutes you take to on-board your customer and the ease with which you do your KYC (regulatory!).

We no longer need our bosses to approve our 2-hour permission requests to apply for a bank loan. A click from the mobile application does it with ease and transparency.

Bots’ infusion

One step over the internet era is the virtual assistant era with the arrival of Siri, Google assistant, Alexa, etc. We are so used to these virtual assistants for finding answers to everyday questions. I can’t remember the last time I used the calculator app for simple mathematics or my clock application for setting an alarm; Siri has been doing it for me lately. The users today prefer to get quick information by talking with a virtual assistant rather than search a web page or mobile app. “Hey Siri, What’s the weather like”.

We see this extending to making financial transactions as well. “Hey Siri, transfer 500 Dollars to my Dad’s savings account”

Are you Human?

On the other hand, human interactions are still considered important for any transaction that involves money. A good percent of users prefer human interaction for more complex and high-value transactions. Though the frequency of people visiting the branches has dropped over recent times, there’s still plenty of life left in branches and the human contact is not expected to vanish anytime soon. Questions like, Should I disclose all my financing details over the internet? Will it remain confidential? Will my data be stolen? Continue to exist and we continue to battle them out in an effort to win customer confidence. After all, Complexity needs the human touch?

The key word here is ‘Balance’. Digital transformation experts thrive hard to balance the Offline-Online Experience with technology’s assistance making user experience feel as close to talking to a bank’s teller. The aim is to make the whole banking experience interactive, intuitive, convenient and Secure, all at the same time.

The Trilemma we are into today over adding novelty features or creating a good customer experience or both are dealt with in upcoming series. Stay tuned.

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