By Joman Kwong, Strategic Solutions Manager, Financial, at Laserfiche
The UK’s erratic economy, and its spiralling cost-of-living crisis, have amplified consumer demand for personal finance and wealth management support. And with financial customers growing ever more tech-savvy, it’s not just the monetary services themselves that are under the spotlight, but their digital methods of delivery, too.
Today, an estimated 64% of Britons believe digital processes — like remote account opening, online banking or mobile apps are important factors in deciding what financial institutions they do business with. And as sleek, intuitive digital experiences like the Netflix homepage fast become the norm, customers now expect similar ease of use, personalisation, and automation from their financial services. Finance is an industry which, perhaps more than any other, needs to radiate trust, safety, and simplicity. So, businesses’ processes and user experiences (UX) must be modernised to reflect this—otherwise, they risk current and prospective customers turning elsewhere.
In the past, wealth management and personal finance companies would’ve faced costly, time-intensive coding projects to upgrade their digital services. Traditional ways of developing technology applications can take several months — for testing, debugging and deploying organization-wide. This can seem overwhelming or even impossible for many organizations that have limited or strained IT resources. A recent survey of financial advisors conducted by Laserfiche found that the top three challenges to changing workflow processes were competing priorities (52%), uncertainty on where to start (35%), and lack of bandwidth (30%). So, how can firms keep pace with technology needs, while continuing to provide high-quality client services?
The recent emergence of low-code and no-code tools now mean that even employees with little knowledge of programming can make impactful changes to online banking processes. So, let’s explore the power of ‘low code/no code’ in more detail — and how finance companies can harness its power to create cutting-edge, ultra-efficient user experiences today.
What is low code/no code?
Simply, a low-code/no-code platform provides tools that empower individuals or teams to create and deploy electronic forms, automate workflows or integrate technology applications with little to no IT or programming support.
With drag-and-drop toolkits and prebuilt process templates, firms can digitize and automate processes like opening new accounts, money movement, or gathering information to complete a financial plan within a matter of hours. Low-code and no-code tools also support back-office process transformation projects, which can provide additional significant time and cost savings.
According to Forrester, low-code platforms have the potential to speed up software development by as much as 10 times when compared to traditional coding methods. After all, they not only minimise the need to code applications from scratch, but also the need to re-programme basic functionalities and back-end infrastructure by reusing pre-approved foundations. And perhaps most importantly, they free up precious IT resources to focus on more challenging, strategic projects and upgrades.
Low-code/no-code fosters agility for organisations within any industry. But for financial services, in which tough regulations and customer needs are evolving perhaps faster than ever, it allows businesses to safely respond to changes not within weeks or months, but mere days. By leveraging low-code/no-code tools, finance companies can act far faster than competitors — and earn more customers as a result.
A Low-Code/No-Code Approach to End-to-End Solutions
Though low-code and no-code platforms are commonly used for building automated solutions to customers’ pain points, their power extends beyond individual workflows. Leading low-code and no-code platforms can also support integrations using services such as integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS), which can significantly boost productivity and accelerate response to customer needs. Firms can leverage iPaaS prebuilt connectors to quickly orchestrate integration flows between line of business applications such as ECM, CRM, ERP, payment processing systems and more — rather than using the months of IT time normally required to deploy these types of solutions.
Integrating multiple platforms and data sources can ultimately unlock insights that inform firms’ strategic decisions, driving new and innovative solutions and customer experiences. For example, by integrating a firm’s CRM, ECM and customer service tools, employees can get a holistic view of their customers, and pinpoint areas of the customer journey that fail to meet expectations, such as a heavy visitor drop-off on an investment calculator tool. The firm can then address these issues by re-engineering the investment calculator process, and continue to monitor, personalise, and improve the wider customer experience.
Considerations for leverage low-code and no-code tools
While the promise of low-code/no-code has many organisations exploring this new frontier of application development, not all vendors providing low-code/no-code solutions are created equal. Firms seeking out these technologies should be aware of key considerations:
- Financial services experience: Operating in the wealth management industry requires expert-level compliance literacy. Vendors should have a deep knowledge of SEC and FINRA requirements, and a demonstrated commitment to data security and privacy.
- Ease of use: The term “low-code” casts a wide net. Technology platforms that provide intuitive experiences — such as downloadable prebuilt templates and drag-and-drop tools — provide the most value to firms looking to deploy automated solutions quickly, speed adoption and achieve fast ROI.
- Customizability: Tech vendors should provide flexibility within their solutions to allow users to easily configure solutions to fit specific organizational needs.
- Scalability: Vendors with a cloud-first development approach will provide more agility and scalability, essential for firms looking to grow and navigate change.
Is low-code/no-code the future?
Some might perceive the leveraging of low code and no code to be a little restrictive when compared to a bottom-up coding approach. But with the right platform, the possibilities of what can be built are almost limitless. Some platforms even host solution marketplaces, in which creators can share the solutions they’ve built, and others can download these pre-built templates to kick-start improvements even faster.
With so many advantages, it’s perhaps no surprise that analyst firm Gartner predicts by 2025, “70% of new applications developed by organisations will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020.” As budgets shrink and digital expectations grow, low-code/no-code might just be the answer for financial services companies looking to remain safe and successful throughout the looming recession.