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VeriPark Blog

Dec 16
10 reasons why you should use the Dynamics 365 Banking Accelerator

The demand for reduced hassle and personalized experiences has already made customer-centricity a priority on many financial institutions' agenda. But to create value with each customer interaction, financial firms need to re-assess their strategies and capabilities around gathering and understanding the data that underpin customer engagement. Customer interactions and data points are created every second, and financial institutions need to leverage this information to boost overall efficiency and productivity to enhance customer experience and build meaningful relationships with the customers.  


The Dynamics 365 Banking Accelerator empowers financial institutions with consistent, well-structured data that can be deployed across disparate systems to provide new insights and deliver outstanding customer experiences. In this article, let's take a look at ten of the top reasons why financial institutions and ISVs should use the Accelerator


1. It's free


The Banking Accelerator extends Microsoft's Common Data Model (CDM) to include concepts for retail banking and commercial banking and is offered free for all financial services customers and partners on Microsoft AppSource. It is provided under an open source creative license, available on GitHub, and there is no additional licensing requirement for any part of the accelerator. And the Banking Accelerator comes with sample apps and dashboards that can be installed in D365, Power Platform and Azure Data Lake Storage. This gives the opportunity to understand how the Accelerator works before applying that knowledge and start building banking industry-specific applications.


2. Built with industry expert partners


Microsoft has built the Banking Accelerator in collaboration with industry partners including VeriPark, Fiserv, and Wealth Dynamix, creating it in-line with the open standards defined by the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN). The partners shared their industry-specific expertise and knowledge with Microsoft to help building a common data structure on top of D365 Customer Engagement.


3. Build solutions and add additional capabilities quickly and easily


By using the banking data model, ISVs can easily build new innovative and powerful solutions themselves and quickly bring them to the market. They can also add features in areas like artificial intelligence and customer experience management.


4. Reuse data in different apps


The Banking Accelerator helps to provide a unified view of the data across sources. It enables customers and partners to easily extend and build different banking applications on the same data model while improving processes and insights. It simplifies the process of storing data and running analytics across different platforms such as D365, Power BI and Azure Machine Learning Service.  


5. Learn from the sample apps and dashboards on GitHub


The Accelerator contains sample apps and dashboards that are available on GitHub to show customers and partners how easy it is to develop new apps and solutions.  These include:


  • Sample Power BI dashboards that support data modeling and visualization
  • Sample model-driven apps to demonstrate how D365 and the banking data model can be used for customer engagement
  • Know Your Customer (KYC)
  • Onboarding
  • The sample Proposal Manager app built on the Microsoft 365 platform, which helps corporate and commercial banks to streamline and automate the lending process and create great proposals.


6. Stay up to date with the new D365 releases


The first version of the Banking Accelerator became available on July 16, 2019. Following the general availability of the Accelerator, Microsoft has released an API sample implementation on GitHub for interoperability with the BIAN API service domains in September. In addition to that, Microsoft released an update to Banking Accelerator on AppSource bringing additional use cases for retail banking. The Accelerator will be kept up to date by Microsoft and evolve with the new D365 releases which will continuously empower partners and customers to build accessible and open solutions.


7. As a customer, take advantage of solutions already built to work on the Accelerator


Customers using the Banking Accelerator can also take advantage of additional innovative ISV solutions that are built on this accelerator and use the same common data model.


8. As a partner, use the banking data model to build your own ISV solution


There is a large window of opportunity for partners using the Accelerator to quickly create their own transformative solutions that can work together. Since the Accelerator comes with a ready-made platform and data model, partners can actually build apps in a matter of days.


9. As a partner, do a demo to a bank


By using the Banking Accelerator, partners can easily demonstrate the banking-specific data model and out-of-the-box solutions that can be used to improve business processes, speed up development and deliver meaningful customer insights. When bank employees are powered by the relevant data, they are more able to offer engaging personalized interactions.


10. Test drive the Banking Accelerator


The Banking Accelerator, including data samples and Power BI examples is available with a single click on AppSource and GitHub where you can easily "test drive" for eight hours and discover how easy it is to build and integrate apps and processes while gaining powerful insights. This is a perfect way for financial institutions to stand out from the crowd, enhance their customer acquisitions and build loyalty.


For further information about the Banking Accelerator: Download the Microsoft Whitepaper: Transform Banking with the Microsoft Banking Accelerator


Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


 
Nov 25
Digital onboarding for bank customers – what's yours like?


In many industries, customer onboarding is as simple as downloading an app, inputting a name and email address, and clicking to accept terms and conditions. How would your customers describe the process of opening a bank account with you?  It's an important question because a customer can be won – or lost – during this first, essential experience.


Customers are now demanding fast and flexible interactions with their banks. And, they expect to be able to interact and transact at any time, regardless of location or channel. Yet, for too many banking customers onboarding is a frustrating experience with multiple friction points.


These commonly include being re-routed to different channels, needing to provide physical identification or having to answer the same questions several times. In fact, the latest figures suggest that 38% of banking customers drop out during onboarding. That's mainly due to frustration with the process or the volume of information required.


Customer onboarding is a journey, not a transaction


How you onboard your new customers sets the tone for your ongoing banking relationship with them. Get it right and you increase customer lifetime value (LTV), reduce churn and turn new customers into brand ambassadors. Most banks already recognize the operational efficiencies and cost savings of automated digital processes over in-branch paperwork.  But, creating a digital onboarding experience that delights will add much more value than simple cost savings.


So, are your customers delighted by your onboarding process? Are they served in a personalized manner with the flexibility to switch seamlessly between channels of their choice? Every customer is different; some are happy to do everything digitally, others prefer to visit a branch or combine the two.


In a frictionless and engaging onboarding process, a single platform is able to serve different customers via their optimized channel. Here's how, for customers like Andrew, Zoe, Michel and John, VeriPark's VeriChannel digital onboarding solution can make that work.


Delighting tech-savvy customers


For a tech-savvy customer like Andrew, everything has to be digital. He's happy with downloading a mobile app and scanning or uploading all the required documents for identification. He's even comfortable with a liveness detection which asks Andrew to make some random facial movements such as blinking, smiling, looking at his left or right so that the bank can identify him and make sure that he really is the person who says he is. At the final step he digitally signs the account opening contract.


Zoe's also fine with most digital processes. Like Andrew, she uploads documents and her digital signature. But, to verify her ID, she prefers to have a video call with a real-human agent.  This way her details are verified directly via video chat which saves her the time and effort involved in visiting a branch. It's a win-win for both Zoe and the bank as the ID verification through video banking enables the bank to still get a "face-to-face" interaction while providing the convenience Zoe demands.  


A reassuring helping hand


Michel on the other hand is more conventional. Once he's input his personal and contact details online, he opts to present physical documents rather than uploading them. He schedules an appointment at his preferred branch, where they pick up where he left off and upload the documents for him. Crucially, this switch between channels is seamless with the VeriChannel platform; his branch representative can see his details captured online, so he doesn't need to repeat those in the branch.


John is a different type of customer. He's an entrepreneur with a manic schedule, so he's asked Nancy, his direct sales agent from the bank to visit his office. Once they've agreed on the account and services that best meet John's banking needs, Nancy takes a photo of his passport with her phone. This automatically populates John's personal details so all he has to do is digitally sign the application and Nancy submits it on his behalf.


VeriPark drives seamless digital customer onboarding with Dynamics 365


Industry research suggests that banks (and their customers) face four key challenges during the digital onboarding process. These include: Abandoned Pages, Account Opening, Uploading Documents and Signing Documents. VeriPark's VeriChannel digital onboarding solution smoothes the account opening process and overcomes these frictions with features such as easy document generation, easy document signing with DocuSign, and video banking capability.


That enables banks to happily accommodate tech savvy or tech literate customers like Andrew and Zoe, as well as more conventional customers like Michel and super-busy executives such as John. Importantly, it also feeds this essential customer data into a back office CRM system, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365.


In addition to the Dynamics 365 integration, VeriPark's digital onboarding solution also works closely with Microsoft Cognitive Services, which provides AI-powered identification technology that helps to reach a broader set of new customers while increasing revenue and differentiate in the competition.


The platform works in a similar way with corporate customers. Micro businesses and SMEs can input their details and complete a business needs assessment that recommends suitable products and services, such as international trade finance, cash management or a corporate card. The system can also instantly check credit ratings and blacklists – a process that traditionally takes several days.


Real life transformations


ING Turkey used VeriBranch (VeriPark's integrated branch automation solution) to transform their customer onboarding experience. The results have been great. For example, the time to onboard a retail or SME customer within a Branch decreased from 25 minutes to just 6 minutes. This has enabled ING Turkey's employees to spend more time on the things that matter more to their customers and deliver personalized services and offers.


In the banking industry, 38% of customers said User Experience (UX) was the most important criterion when choosing a digital bank. Yet, too often, the onboarding process involves stacks of paperwork, branch visits, overnight mailings, and repeated data requests. Banks that get customer onboarding right can improve customer satisfaction, lower churn, and gain better insights into customer preferences and desires, all while reducing costs and enhancing regulatory compliance.


Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


 


Nov 04
Six steps to accelerating Digital Transformation in banking


In the mid-90s, Bill Gates said that 'banking is necessary, banks are not.' Since then, the industry has certainly seen plenty of disruption from FinTech startups, particularly in payments, money transfers, and personal finance. Yet, despite it all, banks are still here, still innovating and thriving.


Now, banks are facing competition from the tech giants. According to a recent Bain and Company survey -conducted in 29 countries- on customer loyalty in retail banking, 54% of respondents said they would trust a big tech company with their money more than banks in general. As just one example, 65% of Amazon Prime customers are open to banking with Amazon if offered 2% cashback on their Amazon shopping.


Traditional banks have a Big Data asset

 

Big tech companies excel at digital customer experience and banks will need to harness the same skills to stay relevant and reimagine themselves digitally. But, one of the biggest advantages and opportunities traditional banks have is the vast amount of data they hold on their millions of customers. That data goldmine has been growing exponentially as customers increasingly adopt digital channels and banks collect more data on these interactions.

 

Transforming customer experience

The big questions for banks now on their digital transformation journey are around how they exploit and apply their big data assets. This is essential to gain deep customer insight, create exceptional customer experiences, re-imagine products and services, and run a more efficient business. Customers are visiting your website and branches, buying products and commenting on social media. There's data flowing about each interaction, and that's fuel. If you take it and analyse it, you can gain intelligence and learn a lot about. But today, what is lacking is data connectivity.


Many banks have complex legacy systems and siloed data. Forming cross-organizational analytics teams and applying AI and machine learning will start to yield the insight required to transform customer experience. And, those experiences will provide more data to further understand patterns, predict outcomes, improve processes and refine interactions.


Six steps to transforming the banking customer journey to make it a more Amazon or Netflix-like experience


STEP 1: Master Data Management


The applications for data in personal and corporate finance are endless. They range from more accurate risk analysis to real-time personalization. For example, when you book a flight your banking app is now likely to generate a travel insurance offer.


Yet, many financial institutions don't have unique customer IDs with customer data from multiple core banking systems merged into one customer reference. This is one of the foundational steps in digital transformation. VeriPark's 360 Degree View of Customer feature provides a consolidated view of the customer's relationship with you, their transaction history and channel interactions – it normally consists of between 250-500 elements of stored data.


STEP 2: Develop Straight-through Processing (STP)


When banks automate manual processes it saves time, money and meets customers' demands for real-time answers across all delivery channels. For example, we have found it is perfectly possible to consolidate 20 online or mobile applications into one effective CRM system. That means you don't need to maintain, update and train your teams on multiple applications.


STEP 3: Go paperless


Most banks have started this process. Digital operations save time and it is more environmentally friendly. It also creates more customer-friendly service interactions and transactions and avoids unnecessary branch visits.


STEP 4: Embrace Omni-channel delivery


Millennial and Gen Z customers, in particular, expect to interact with their bank anytime, anywhere. Just as they do with Amazon or Netflix. VeriPark's VeriChannel platform, for example, allows banks to add new channels, such as mobile wallet or chatbot, within the same framework rather than investing in the development and deployment of new systems.


STEP 5: Implement Unified Front End (UFE)


This application enables bank branches and contact centers to deliver unified communications, richer collaboration, enhanced productivity and faster business decision making. Teams manage daily tasks more quickly with one login, navigation menu and an intuitive, easy to use application over-laying all existing back-end systems. 


UFE provides much more than cost and efficiency gains. It transforms traditionally product-centric organizations to ones that meet customer needs in an engaging way. And, it creates cross-sell and up-sell opportunities as machine learning models can predict the next best action to present to the customer.


STEP 6: Develop a strong self-service proposition


Bank branches are starting to look quite futuristic. No more tellers sitting behind glass screens. Instead, there are virtual meet and greeters, and self-service banking zones with digital touch screens alongside more private, assisted kiosks. And, good coffee.


Such digital branches are a big differentiator for banks. The research shows customers still value face-to-face consultations, particularly for more complex financial decision-making and advice. They just want them to be convenient, seamless and engaging. Mobile appointment making, for example, saves time and avoids frustrating queuing.


Banks are already deeply immersed in the digital agenda and transforming at a dramatic pace. But, there is much more to do to make banking simpler, more efficient and able to compete with new entrants. Accelerating the time to market of digital banking services will significantly improve business processes and outcomes.


Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you to accelerate your digital transformation journey.

 


Oct 25
Could AR be the banking industry’s new superpower?

Augmented reality (AR) has come a long way since it was just a science fiction concept in the movies. There are already many AR applications in use or under development for just about every sector, from architecture and medicine to crime investigation and education. And, AR banking is no longer a fictional story either.


We're not talking about suiting-up like Ironman (although that sounds awesome). We're not even talking about having to buy and wear an AR headset. The reality of AR banking is that it's already available on your mobile. That means augmented reality banking services are now a great option for all types of financial institution and their customers.


The potential is huge and could encompass everything from virtual branches and biometric authentication, to streamlined business processes and personalized information embedded in digital ads. But, more immediately, the big question is: how can banks start to unlock some of the benefits of AR right now?


The future of banking is already here


AR can make everyday banking, such as managing accounts and tracking spending, easier and faster. For digitally savvy customers, it's the ultimate user experience. Certainly, Nick is a big fan.


His friend has just paid for their lunch on his credit card. Even though he rarely carries much cash, Nick is keen to pay his share. That's not a problem because Nick has VeriPark's VeriChannel mobile app with AR capabilities on his phone.


AR Face Transfer, ATM Locator and card details


All Nick has to do is take a picture of his friend (he could also use Facebook) and add him to the app as a beneficiary with his name and account number. Now his friend is saved as a beneficiary, Nick can use the AR Face Transfer feature.


He simply points his phone at his friend, confirms his identity, enters the amount to be transferred and taps to send the money. The system immediately lets him know that he's successfully transferred €20 to his friend's account to cover his lunch. It's quick, easy and convenient.


If he decides he needs cash for later in the day, he can also use AR to locate an ATM. He just opens his phone camera, moves it left and right a bit and, if there's an ATM nearby, it shows up in his camera picture. When he points his phone camera at his debit or credit card, he can see his balance and the last five transactions, so he finds it easier to keep track of his spending.   


What's next for AR banking?


This is just the start of an augmented reality banking revolution. The technology is developing rapidly and will bring many benefits. These are likely to include cost savings and efficiency improvements with automated and streamlined business processes, alongside exciting developments in customer experience.


Like all new technologies, AR won't be without its roadblocks to mass adoption. But, that doesn't mean it won't happen. Remember how 10 or 15 years ago many customers could not imagine picking up their phone to do all their banking and shopping? Now, they do it without a second thought.


"Following's not really my style." Tony Stark, The Avengers


The peak of augmented reality is something for the future. But, leveraging well planned and professionally executed AR features and services can boost to your customer service, loyalty and brand recognition – right now. We can't promise to turn you into Ironman, but AR banking is going to be an incredible ride.   


Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


 


Oct 15
The new world of insurance: AI, Chatbots, human-like conversations

How can an insurer delight its customers so that they share their customer experience with their friends and family?


The answer to this question lies within the rich and personalized experiences the insurer creates for its customers. In today's world, personalized customer experience has become the new normal and it plays a huge role in customers' relationship with the insurer.


The products can be truly amazing, but it doesn't help an insurer to enhance customer engagement or increase revenue unless they turn their attention to their customers' world and add value to their individual experiences.


Customer-centric insurance companies now use data-driven personalization to offer meaningful experiences and it is not about pushing the product sales. On the contrary, it is about establishing and enriching customer-insurer relationships through individual data analysis and predictive analytics.


Going from transaction to prediction


This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes into play. AI technologies are reshaping the future of insurance business by providing a deeper understanding of customers' behavior and life events. They let the insurers tap into this knowledge base to deliver highly-targeted offer and maintain a smart communication with their customers.


When done well, AI technologies bring a real competitive advantage for insurers that goes beyond simplifying existing processes with intelligent automation.


It is the new way of integrating information, analyzing data and using the results to make improved predictions. AI-enabled systems allow insurers to have the ability to learn and adapt as they make decisions. AI-based adaptations improve customer interactions where each customer exchange becomes increasingly personalized.


Human-like conversations with AI-powered chatbots


It's safe to say that AI has already become a part of our world with various technologies including machine learning, facial recognition, voice assistants and chatbots. According to a recent Gartner report, "AI bots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020''.  


AI-powered chatbots have started to change the face of communication as they provide intelligent human-like conversations through all digital channels. They enable insurers to deliver world-class seamless services to their "always-on, tech-savvy" customers right at their fingertips with an instant chat feature which is available 24/7.


What is more, chatbots also drive dramatic cost savings by automating transactional enquiries and redirecting workforce to focus on more complex customer issues that require deeper human insight.


The result: minimal pain points, happier customers.

 

Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!

 


Oct 08
Transforming payments at the pump


Transforming payments at the pump

 

The way we pay for things is changing – and fast. Do you remember the last time you used cash to make a purchase at a bookstore, a gas station or a coffee shop? Chances are, it was probably a long time ago. With the rise of the alternative payment options, gone are the days when cash – the so-called king of payments – was the only option. In today's world, the payment experience is synonymous with the customer experience.


Delivering the best customer experience is the paramount focus for companies across many industries and the oil and gas sector is no exception. Offering several payment methods built with the customer choice in mind – including self-service options – helps companies to enhance the customer experience and solidify their relationships with these consumers to ensure that they return to the same gas station again and again.

 

Purchasing gas without leaving the car

 

VeriPark has recently worked with Opet one of Turkey's largest fuel-oil distribution companies, which has more than 1,300 gas stations and wanted to reshape the way it interacted and transacted with customers by offering them more convenient and appealing ways to pay for their gas purchases.

 

The goal was simple: to deliver frictionless experiences that meant customers no longer had to wait to make a purchase or leave their car to get fuel. Instead, Opet wanted customers to be able to make their payment without the need for cash or a credit card. To achieve this, the company wanted to implement two new payment options to allow their customers to choose whatever method they feel most comfortable with.

 

Payment at the pump with a keychain

 

Working closely with VeriPark, Opet created Otobilim a keychain payment system, which offers its customers the convenience of purchasing gas without ever touching their wallet, taking their credit card out or even stepping out of their car.

 

Today when a customer enters the Opet gas station with their chip-embedded keychain, all they have to do is open the window and wave the Otobilim in front of a dedicated area on the gas pump. The specially equipped pump scans the keychain with radio-frequency identification technology so the payment can be taken automatically and the whole purchase process is completed within seconds.

 

Customers instantly receive a SMS message with all the information related to their gas purchase and automatically earn loyalty points that can be used with future purchases. Otobilim provides a highly safe and easy way to make gas purchases, which means it appeals to customers who are always looking for ways to make their transactions faster and more secure.

 

Bringing mobile payments to gas stations

 

As many customers' lives are increasingly centred around their smartphones, Opet has also developed a new mobile application by implementing VeriPark's omni-channel delivery solution VeriChannel. Customers can drive to a gas station and make their payments quickly and safely through the mobile app without having to leave their cars, which means they can get back on the road immediately after filling up. In addition, they can use the app to find the nearest gas stations, see current fuel prices, track their previous purchases and view the loyalty points they have earned.

 

Building loyalty

 

Drivers are often in a hurry and any gas station that provides a fast, easy and convenient way to purchase gas will be the first place they will go. Thanks to VeriPark's technologies, Opet now has a truly competitive edge in an industry where payment convenience is paramount for customer gratification and loyalty. In addition, VeriPark's technologies have enabled the Opet to become more productive, map out the individual customer movements and decrease cycle times.

 

Together, we have created compelling experiences for drivers during their routine stops at the pump.


Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


 


Sep 30
It’s time for watch banking


Meet Henri. He's set his heart on completing the next Brussels marathon. At just over 42KM it's a tall order, but he's training hard.


An app on his smartwatch tracks his run times and distances, sends him coaching tips and even plays motivational music. But, Henri's favorite smartwatch feature is the payment app that buys his well-deserved post-run coffee each morning on his way to work. Being able to pay for things with his smartwatch is so much more convenient for him than carrying a phone or wallet.


Henri's not alone in his love of smartwatches. After all, they are always on our wrist. That makes them as convenient as laptops and phones for online and mobile banking.


Is your customer experience strategy future-ready?


Research suggests that consumer uptake of smartwatches is likely to soar. That's partly due to improvements in design and functionality, as well as the rollout of superfast 5G mobile networks.  Increasingly, banks are recognizing that they need to catch up with what their customers are expecting in terms of convenience – and what their competitors are providing.


Watch Banking works in a similar way to mobile banking. But, without the need to pull your phone out of your pocket to perform tasks. It allows customers to stay on top of their finances while on the move and makes it even easier for them to plan and monitor their spending.


Easy and convenient banking experience with a watch


The Watch Banking interface on VeriPark's VeriChannel platform enables customers to manage all their accounts and credit cards and check balances and recent transactions. They can also find branches and ATMs using geo-location. And, even schedule convenient appointments with tellers or customer service advisers at a bank branch of their choice without having to wait or queue.


Watch Banking also has the potential to make life easier and more efficient for corporate and SME customers. When managers are working on site, for example, they can still receive timely notifications and approve purchasing or finance decisions with a simple tap of their watch. Such streamlined communications can improve productivity and drive more responsive customer service.   


Meeting customers' ever-changing needs


Watch Banking is likely to experience faster growth than online or mobile banking over the next few years. In fact, Gartner is predicting there'll be around 115 million smartwatches worldwide by 2022 – that's up from just 42 million in 2017. The true strength of Watch Banking lies in its ability to improve customers' everyday lives; for banks that could include anything from alerts when bill payments are due to geo-location based offers from partner brands.


People now expect their bank to know their individual circumstances and provide personalized services and rewards. And, they expect seamless technology to bring those services to them using whatever channel they prefer.


Many are predicting that, just like with emails and smartphones, once customers realize just how convenient Watch Banking is, they will start to wonder how they ever managed without it.


Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!


 


Sep 19
Voice Banking helps banks adapt to new customer lifestyles


"Hey Alexa, where's the nearest restaurant?" "What time does it open?" Interest in voice apps is really beginning to take off. They give us the potential to get directions, set alarms and reminders and can even help us control our smart home.


Currently, we're mostly using these devices for simple things; listening to music and asking for basic information, such as the weather forecast. But, increasingly, we're becoming accustomed to using them to buy everything from groceries to clothes. Now, voice services such as Amazon Alexa or Siri are also making banking transactions easier.


Banks will need to adapt to their customer's changing lifestyles, as the future of banking customer experience doesn't involve standing in a branch queue. It's already much more about engaging with consumers in the digital ways they expect.


Creating new ways for banks to engage with customers


Online banking has been, and for many customers still is, a wonderful time-saver. But, for 'always-on' millennial customers, logging into a banking app on their phone is already a norm and they continue to expect more frictionless experiences from their banks. With Voice-Banking they don't have the hassle of keyboards or touchscreens; they simply talk to digital technology as they would to a human.


Suzanne's experience is a good example. She's just returned from a weekend exploring Paris with her sister and remembers she needs to send her some money. "Siri, can you open Mybank and make a transfer to Natalie?" she asks. Siri has a voice recognition feature and Suzanne is registered as the authorized user.


Siri asks Suzanne to unlock her phone with her fingerprint as a part of the authentication and then choose an account she would like to use. Suzanne selects the account and gives Siri a voice order to send €200 from her account to Natalie. To validate the transaction, Suzanne receives a text message and One Time Password (OTP).


Siri makes the transfer, within seconds. Suzanne can also use voice orders to check payment due dates or recent transactions on any of her accounts or credit cards. This type of Voice-Banking is starting to play a key role in Omni-Channel banking, as customers expect to interact with voice assistants at home, at work or in their car.


Expanding the Voice-Banking experience


Voice activation isn't limited to simple transactions. For example, when John checks his account balance with Alexa, he discovers that his bank has sent him a mortgage offer notification. John expresses his interest and that prompts Alexa to ask questions, such as "are you still working for X company?" "Is your current salary X amount?" This way, the bank captures the KYC (Know Your Customer) information right then and there. 


Following John's answers, Alexa is able to fetch eligible mortgage amount from the bank's loan origination system along with the relevant interest rate. "We can offer an interest rate of 2.2% per annum on this loan. Are you interested in availing this offer?" Alexa asks. If the answer is yes, Alexa continues and asks: "Would you like me to set up an appointment with one of our advisors to discuss this offer in more detail?"  When John confirms he is, Alexa schedules an appointment at the bank branch or arranges for an agent to visit John at home or his office.


Overcoming challenges to a seamless customer journey


Voice banking is conquering the financial services industry, however there are still some concerns particularly around customer trust and acceptance of the value-added benefits of Voice-Banking. With more customers becoming more used to conversing with digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri, the acceptance of this new technology for banking services is expected to increase significantly in the future. It will also completely transform the way they interact with the technology.


Deploying AI and conversational banking technology successfully requires a customer-first approach. An ecosystem of connected voice assistants can enable cross-channel interaction where contextual conversation, using real-time data, flows from one channel to another. Customer insights from all departments of the bank are needed to ensure the conversational experience feels natural, engaging and seamless; there's no room for traditional product segmentation or channel silos.


This is where the rich channel coverage of VeriPark's VeriChannel can help. VeriChannel offers a secure unified platform that allows banks to manage seamless customer journeys across multiple customer touchpoints. The platform ensures customers and employees can access the personalized data they need anytime, anywhere and on any device.


VeriChannel also offers voice banking to the customers who don't have access to devices such as Alexa or Siri. By using the LUIS powered APIs in its applications, VeriChannel eliminates the need of being connected to an additional device.


LUIS, Microsoft's machine learning-based service to build natural language into apps, bots, and IoT devices, helps VeriChannel to be voice-activated even if it's running in a browser on your laptop or hand-held device. It enables the customers to make many transactions such as payments faster by using voice commands only, without a single click.


Voice-Banking is to become a key pillar in frictionless Omni-Channel banking alongside online, mobile and a smaller digitally-enabled branch network. The ultimate goal is to move more interactions to voice, supporting sales and customer care with greater personalization and zero friction. Forward-thinking banks are already thinking about how to integrate Voice-Banking into their customer offer – to foster engagement with real-time insights and create brand differentiation.


Remember, for this new generation of digital customers, tapping screens to find information or make payments will feel as frustrating as remembering PIN numbers or standing in queues.


Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!

 


Aug 28
The bank branch isn’t dead, it’s been re-born

There’s a commonly held view that Millennials, as digital natives, spend all their time online. Whether they’re socializing, shopping or banking, it’s all done via apps and social media, so bank branches must be a dying breed. In fact, the reality is more nuanced.

Rapid advancements in digital technologies, and an increasing number of channel options, are certainly changing how customers manage their finances. They’ve adopted digital channels, but they also expect branches to support and complement those digital services.

According to a global study from Bain & Company, 65% of consumers said they valued the presence of bank branches in their neighborhood. Even those who are happy managing day-to-day transactions online still value human assistance when it comes to making more complex decisions. Think about it: if you’re faced with making an important, high value purchasing decision, such as applying for a mortgage or a student loan, would you rather scroll through pages of online technical specifications, or sit down with a friendly expert who can run through all the options and answer your questions?

Take Elsa as an example. She’s been living and working in London for seven years, but is now happy to be returning home to the Netherlands and a new job at a tech start-up. She’s also feeling a little over-whelmed because she has numerous financial arrangements to sort, out as well as settling into her new apartment.

Is this really a bank?

Elsa has generally been happy to do most of her banking online. But, now she feels she needs some guidance. She wants to open a new account, take out a credit card and, possibly, a car loan.

Like most of us, she hates standing in queues so she’s delighted to be able to arrange an appointment, at a convenient time and branch, using her mobile. But, that’s not the only surprise for Elsa. Everything about this branch looks different; it feels less intimidating and more inviting.

There are no tellers sitting behind glass screens. Instead, there are virtual meet and greeters that direct her to self-service banking zones with digital touch screens, where she quickly and easily sorts out her account and credit card application. She’s relieved the branch also has more private, assisted kiosks where she can talk to someone about her car loan.

Because the staff aren’t spending all their time dealing with day-to-day transactions, they’re able to give Elsa personalized advice about her options for car finance. The whole experience has been convenient, seamless and engaging. Elsa feels much more confident about her finances now she knows there are helpful experts always on hand at the branch when she needs them – and she even got to enjoy a cup of coffee.

Digital branches are a big differentiator for banks

Elsa’s experience is not a futuristic dream: combining digital technology with face-to-face consultations is already delivering major advantages for forward-thinking banks. Smart technology, such as self-service and assisted service terminals, and unified front-end systems for tellers enable paperless, straight-through processes. This can transform branch operations away from a low value transaction orientation to higher revenue, more customer centric sales and services.

Gulf International Bank is a successful example of this. They worked with VeriPark to develop and implement a paperless, digital branch concept, branded as ‘meem’. As a result, the time taken to open new accounts and approve loans has been reduced to just 15 minutes and customers only need to sign a simple, one-page contract.

The bank has gained 50,000 new customers in a short amount of time after implementing this rapid digital service. Transactions are now made via tablets and kiosks in branches that look more like Apple stores than traditional bank branches. This has not only reduced acquisition costs, it has also empowered customers and established Gulf International Bank as a trendsetter in the region.

Many customers want guidance and personal service from their banks. And, the most effective way to deliver this is often face-to-face. While the operational costs of traditional branches are a legitimate concern, introducing digital branches as part of an Omni-channel strategy alongside re-thinking the role of branch staff, can reduce costs, improve customer experience and boost profits.

Bank branches aren’t dead. But, they do need to change. If they’re to satisfy their customers’ desire for advice, personal service and security in complex and sensitive financial decision making, banks will need to develop branches that are inviting, customer-centric and efficient.

Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us! 

 
Jul 31
VeriPark strengthens its partnership with Microsoft and brings the full power of AI and ML to its customers


VeriPark has been working side-by-side with Microsoft for many years to drive the growth of its FSI-specific digital solutions across the globe. To maximize the strength of this partnership, VeriPark recently enrolled in the Microsoft Business Applications ISV Connect Program which focuses on mutual success for both companies.

 

 

Thanks to this program, VeriPark gets the highest level of technical, sales and marketing support when taking Microsoft's offerings to banks and insurance companies. In turn, these companies can get all the benefits and the support they need to serve their customers in a better way while accelerating their digital transformation tremendously.

 

 

By collaborating to win with Microsoft, VeriPark can bring the full power of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to the Financial Services Industry in a much easier way. It empowers them to provide premium digital experiences to transform customer journeys that were never imagined before. By offering an AI-powered customer onboarding solution for instance, VeriPark gives financial organizations a perfect chance to impress their customers at first sight, reach a broader set of new customers while increasing revenue and differentiating themselves from the competition.

 

 

Watch the video below to hear more about the reasons why VeriPark values this partnership with Microsoft so much.



 


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