by: Stewart Robbins, Financial Services Senior Industry Consultant at Teradata
How often have you heard messages like “to be the best bank for customers” or “legendary customer service is at the heart of our business strategy”? That’s great, and imperative as the lines blur between Big Tech, Retail, Telco and Banks.
Back in the real world, Banks are well down the CX league tables. For example, the average NPS score for European banks is 15-20 points lower than that for supermarkets*.
Most CX leaders typically face the question, “How do you protect the customer experience when costs are being cut?” I’d argue that the right question is, “What is good customer service worth?”
Without an answer to this question, then CX leaders must make do with whatever budget they can scrape together, and hope they are able to improve the customer experience within it.
Do not despair!
The role of analytics in CX is long-established but specifically addressing the cumulative and incremental value of that experience has often been overlooked – although not by everyone, as you can see from this example from a major Utility:
This relationship between NPV and customer experience (measured here by Net Promoter Score, NPS) allowed the Board to understand the return from moving from second-to-last in the league to first place. Plans and the necessary budgets followed to achieve that goal. And it did work, although history reveals this is a battle that does not stay won!
Interestingly, this picture also suggests that there is not really a great justification for seeking excellence, which makes sense – fabulous electricity is not any different from the other sort! This picture does differ by industry and customer segment.
Of course, this is only a high-level answer which might garner support for a programme but doesn’t really support individual initiatives. Using a measure like NPS, we need to be able to understand the drivers of changes. This analysis needs to cast the widest possible net – important drivers can be surprising.
I worked on a project for a major hospital a few years ago and their biggest CX driver for in-patients was…. not the quality of the surgeon. No one wants to think their surgeon is anything other than good, so unless they are actively awful (which is thankfully rare) then this has no impact. It was also not the caring qualities of the nursing staff or cleanliness of the facilities for similar reasons. No – it was the food.
Many hospitals skimp on food quality and choices for patients or the delivery process to bring it hot and appetising to the bedside – small investments in this area yield disproportionate impacts… even if hospitals are not really looking for repeat visitors!
What do we need to drive insights like this for banks? I would identify six key capabilities:
- Integrated data
- Temporal analytics
- Customer profitability
- Propensity modelling
- Journey analytics
- Board KPIs
Integrated data is the first requirement, and that should be as broadly-based as possible (like meal attributes for that hospital) to discover the unexpected. Agility in connecting to potential data resources and exploring them in temporary lab environments is key.
We also need to undertake temporal analytics – interventions can yield different outcomes depending on the sequence, timeliness and magnitude of the event, as we try to avoid the “it’s a bit late to be sorry” outcome. That leads us to the inevitable task of trying to anticipate negative impacts through use of predictive analytics, which need to be connected to operational processes for execution.
Customer profitability measures are also critical – these need to be forward-looking (NPV) and recognised by the CFO to ensure business cases are acceptable. Intervention-based “what-if” analysis requires a lot of supporting analytics like propensity to buy and churn modelling as inputs.
All these activities should be using the same data – there is no business case for building lots of point solutions if cost control is to be delivered.
Customer Journey analytics are probably already on the shopping list of any CX leader, but this should be reviewed to ensure it can deliver operational change at scale and directly impacts on the experience, not just process failure reduction. I would observe that the loan application process is working correctly when poor risk customers are declined, but that this intended outcome has negative CX impact that might need to be addressed for some customer segments.
Finally, don’t forget to build the measurement and monitoring into core Board KPIs. Aggregate customer NPV is something that can and should be tracked back to experiences customers receive and can come close to the total enterprise value of the Bank.
OPEN BANKING: THE UNSUNG HERO OF THE PAYMENTS REVOLUTION
By Mike Peplow, CEO at Paynetics UK
It’s been more than three years since the introduction of open banking in the UK. While a lot’s happened in the payments industry in that time, particularly within the last 12 months, we’ve only scratched the surface of its potential.
Democratising banking services
With the rise of neo and challenger banks in recent years, there has been a surge in the provision of accounts and services available in the finance market.
It’s no longer unusual for consumers to have multiple banking relationships for loans, credit cards and mortgages; and this has extended to the point where consumers are happy to have multiple bank accounts across different providers for their transactional accounts and day-to-day spending.
Indeed, the ‘unbundling’ of banking services has accelerated thanks to the growing wave of fintechs, with a focus on digital-based solutions, enabling banking to be delivered in a similar manner to software services – i.e. without having to set up an actual bank.
The barrier to entry to launch new banking services has lowered, while at the same time the willingness of consumers to ‘try out’ new services from non-traditional providers has dramatically increased.
According to MoneyHub, 42% of financial management platform users now have more than one bank account, while 65% of challenger bank customers continue to have accounts with their existing high street banks.
Add to this the shift to e-commerce during the pandemic – which has increased the volume of online transactions, monthly subscriptions, and growth of digital marketplaces – and the opportunity for consolidation services has never been clearer.
The case for more choice
This is where open banking comes into play. Introduced in 2018, alongside new PSD2 regulation, open banking grants access to financial data to third-party developers (provided users give their permission).
By enabling non-financials to develop APIs around existing banking infrastructure, a host of innovative new services and applications are now improving the customer experience.
These ‘universal apps’ aggregate data across multiple accounts into one, easy-to-use platform, offering customers a 360-degree view of their spending and simplifying the ever-growing number of financial touchpoints we encounter in our daily lives.
In doing so, open banking has the power to not only transform the way we track and understand our spending but the very concept of what a bank is and who can provide our financial services.
With the use case for open banking beyond question in a post-COVID world, it won’t be long until this technology replaces BACS payments – one of the most common bank-to-bank payment methods available today. BACS currently accounts for around 90% of all regular monthly payments via direct debit transactions.
Open banking allows aggregators such as payroll providers to make payments directly to employees rather than through BACS, disintermediating the banks in the processing of direct debits and standing orders.
And the payments revolution doesn’t stop there. Open banking will also enhance real-time payments, going head to head with the card scheme to enable instant transactions between retailers and consumers.
Request to Pay
While UK consumers can already access faster pay on mobile to make real-time payments from one account to another, open banking will take this technology one step further using Request to Pay (RtP).
As the name suggests, this means users will be able to proactively request payments from other bank accounts. Debtors will receive a notification, via a mobile banking app or similar, detailing the amount owed and due date, thus providing both businesses and consumers with a simple, flexible way to reconcile accounts.
Needless to say, request to pay has the potential to revolutionise invoicing and regular payments. For debtors, RtP offers greater flexibility and convenience, by enabling partial payment options, a better view of outstanding bills and a simpler way to pay.
Meanwhile, payees benefit from greater visibility over cash flow, which in turn can drive more accurate forecasting, reduced billing costs thanks to the switch to electronic invoicing and increased reconciliation.
In particular, retailers will be quick to adopt open banking technology, particularly for online purchases, thanks to its lower transaction costs, which should also ensure widespread acceptance among consumers.
By encouraging a higher volume of contactless and digital transactions, open banking can reduce the hidden cost of cash from mishandling, and other inefficiencies, with cash-free payments estimated to save retailers £7.2 million a year.
This transformation within the payments industry couldn’t be more timely, with the pandemic accelerating the shift towards online retailing as well as fundamentally changing the way we work, live and pay.
With consumers increasingly looking for payment solutions that fit around their lifestyle and provide better visibility of their spending, open banking is the unsung hero of current payments innovation and will be key to meeting these expectations in a post-COVID world.
While it might not have made the same waves as the rise of contactless payments or mobile wallets, open banking is quietly reimagining what we today consider to be a ‘bank’ – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
UNDERSTANDING THE CYBERSECURITY CHALLENGES FACED BY NEOBANKS
Narendra Sahoo, Founder and Director of VISTA InfoSec
In recent years we have witnessed a major drift in the banking and financial industry with digitization and growing use of mobile technology. Customers are also embracing the digital means of financial services by moving away from physical cash to digital currency. Customers today seem more comfortable transacting digitally than ever before. But the digitization in the Banking and Financial Industry has also triggered huge cybersecurity challenges for Financial Institutes and Service Providers. It has opened up entry points for cybercriminals to stage attacks and get illegal access to critical data. Today, with digitization and technological advancements, the banking industry has grown out to be more vulnerable than ever before.
Facing numerous incidents of breach and theft every year, cybersecurity now becomes a major point of focus for the Banking and Financial industries globally. Especially, for the emerging new financial players like the Neobanks which runs entirely on a digital banking model, cybersecurity should be their topmost priority. Focusing on this area, we have today written an article listing out some of the potential cybersecurity challenges faced by Neobanks and the future that holds for these emerging financial players. But before that let us first understand what Neobanking is and how exactly does it operate in the industry? This will give us a better perspective of its operational challenges and risk exposure that they face in their business.
What is Neobanking?
Neobanks are virtual banking service providers operating digitally without having any physical infrastructure like their traditional counterparts. Their offerings are limited to internet-only financial services that focuses on providing its tech-savvy customers the convenience of their cutting edge and technology-driven digital banking services. Neobank offerings are slightly similar to those of traditional banks but limited to just opening saving accounts, payment, and money transfer services, loans, and budgeting, to name a few. The banking structure and business model of Neobanks are different from the traditional ones, eliminating physical infrastructure and automating banking processes. Given below are some of the key difference that will help you understand the concept of Neobanking a little better-
|Neobanks run on a digital platform and have no physical branch.||Traditional banks have physical banking service branches for operating their business.|
|Banking processes in Neobanks are easy, quick, and automated.||Banking processes in a traditional bank are usually lengthy, tedious, and involves partial manual and automated task.|
|Neo banks’ customer support relies on a combination of chatbots and AI providing flexible, virtual, online support.||Traditional banking relies on telephonic or in-person support.|
|Service offerings include- |
· Opening accounts
· Payment and money transfer services
|Service offerings include-|
· Opening accounts
· Payment and money transfer services
· Insurance services
· Wealth Management
· Merchant services
· Mobile banking services
So, while Neobanking helps in overcoming the traditional banking challenges with the ease and convenience of availing services, they also pose huge security challenges. Given below are some major cybersecurity challenges faced by Neobanks.
Cybersecurity Challenges faced by Neobanks
Without having a robust Cybersecurity measure in place, sensitive data may be at high-risk. For the size and business, they are into, Neobanks cannot afford to invest hugely in full-time security teams. They are dependent on third parties to level their security to the standards of the industry requirements. Given below are some major cybersecurity challenges that Neobanks may have to face
Cybersecurity requires huge amounts of investment. Neobanks are comparatively smaller than the traditional banks and often lack the budget for having a full-time cybersecurity team for monitoring all the activities. Their low investments and budget on cybersecurity may result in weak security measures leading to higher levels of risk exposure.
Neobanks work digitally and are heavily dependent on third-party services to serve their customers. So, with the dependency on the third-party, the risk exposure is significant. If the third-party vendors do not have a tight Cybersecurity measure it may possibly result in compromised security measures and lead to data breach incidents.
Malware- Since the entire banking process is online, a lot of sensitive data passes through the network and digital devices. Networks and devices should be appropriately secured to prevent any incidents of a breach. In case a device connected with a network is compromised with malware, it may pose a huge threat to your sensitive banking data and may result in compromised cybersecurity.
Spoofing is the latest form of cyber threat wherein the cybercriminals will impersonate the banking website’s URL with a website that is similar to the original one and functions the same way. So when the user enters his or her login credentials the sensitive data is stolen resulting in data theft and unauthorized access to critical information. It is a common practice adopted by most attackers to steal sensitive data. With Neobanks completely operating online the risk exposure to such scams are high.
Phishing is an attempt made by a hacker to get access to sensitive information such as credit card details by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Today, online banking phishing scams have evolved significantly, resulting in high profile incidents of scams. With Neobanks completely operating online the risk exposure to such scams are high.
Almost all of the Neo banks would be required to comply with standards such as PCI DSS. This would be in addition to the local regulatory compliance such as those concerned with Privacy. In this virtualised environment with low budgets and manpower, adhering with these compliance requirements would possibly be the largest challenge faced by Neobanks.
What the future holds for Neobanks– Our Final thought
As the world goes completely digital, security measures need to be more complex and sophisticated. More so, they need to be updated from time-to-time. Implementing appropriate measures and adhering to industry best practices is one-way, Neobanks can get a grip over the cybersecurity challenges. Constantly educating customers about the evolving risk exposure and ensuring compliance to industry standards (PCI DSS) will go a long way in securing the environment and digital business operations. This brings us to recommending Neobanks to consult industry experts for implementing Cybersecurity measures that do not compromise the safety of customer’s and the institution’s data and money in any way.
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