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VeriPark Blog

May 28
How COVID-19 has turned millions of banks branch employees into remote workers

Covid-19 has disrupted many of the long-established norms of the banking world. In just a few weeks it has forced customers to manage more of their finances online. In response, financial institutions are having to make major changes to the way they work.


Your industry has already proved capable of meeting these huge challenges. In just a short time you have radically transformed how – and where – your employees work. In the process, you have demonstrated that their health and wellbeing, and that of their families and your customers, comes first.


You've ensured branches are fully stocked with face masks, gloves and sanitizers. You've re-scheduled business hours and restricted customer numbers to allow for safe social distancing. Most importantly, you've supported your customers and employees through a rapid pivot to more online, mobile and call center banking.


The road ahead feels uncertain but one thing is clear; banks will need to continue to adapt as the situation progresses. During these difficult times, you still have to meet your customers' need for uninterrupted banking services. You will also need to support your corporate and SME clients to ensure business continuity and help keep the world economy going.


Keep calm and work from home


To achieve these aims, banks are reimagining their operational business models. Millions of your branch and contact center employees are already providing customer services from their homes. This has been a massive achievement in such a short time.


It's likely you will need to continue to develop these remote-working capabilities. A Harvard professor has warned that many physical distancing measures may need to be in place intermittently until 2022. Under these circumstances, banks will need to scale up their remote access technology and become adept at managing remote teams.


Safeguarding customer data will require up-to-date security patches and information security protocols that are just as effective as your branch systems. But, home working has positives as well as challenges. Research from Stanford Business School suggests home working boosts productivity and job satisfaction, as employees are more engaged and less distracted.


If this crisis results in sustained improvements in work-life balance, it could also be good for banks' business models. It might reduce dependence on high-cost office space and make it easier to attract and retain talented people. But, the crisis also highlights the importance of fast and seamless digital capabilities.


Re-creating the bank branch at home


Increasingly, bank employees are expected to provide all the services available in a branch – while working from home with just a laptop or tablet. They will need support and a range of technology solutions to do this securely. That's where VeriPark's integrated branch automation solution, VeriBranch excels. By using VeriBranch to directly connect to back-office systems, employees can quickly and easily look up customer account information. This empowers bank tellers to execute efficient transactions, such as loan origination, account origination and transfers, even remotely. Relationship managers and advisors can also provide friendly and personalized financial planning services, all while working from home.


A CRM solution like VeriTouch adds even more convenience for your employees. Its Unified Front End (UFE) consolidates the user interface of all banking functionalities into one application - with one login and one navigation menu. With standardized processes and guided selling tools, your employees can continue serving their customers efficiently, make personalized recommendations and deliver relevant and differentiated offers wherever they are.


Digital banking used to be a matter of personal convenience; now it's also a part of employee safety. By implementing VeriChannel, an omni-channel delivery solution, banks can offer their customers the convenience of banking without physical interaction. They can engage with them through their preferred channels whether it's online, mobile, via a video call or a contact center without losing the human touch. This way, they can skip a trip to the branch and your employees can continue working from home.


Will we ever return to banking as normal?


The coronavirus crisis has forced many banks to shift to home working. Some customers and employees may be longing for things to 'return to normal' but others are finding it difficult to imagine going back to how things were. It's likely that some traditional ways of banking will (and probably should) change for the better.


Many banking leaders are realizing that their teams can do much of their work productively at home. For the foreseeable future, we are all going to have to live and work with some form of physical distancing. VeriPark has the digital banking solutions to ensure your employees can work from home, stay safe and be available to meet the needs of your retail and business customers.



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


 


May 07
Digital customer acquisition and onboarding. A must-have for banks in times of social distancing.

Customers and businesses are adapting to the Coronavirus pandemic. Almost overnight, we've seen a seismic shift from the high street to online banking and other financial and professional services. It's also been a huge change for bank employees, with many now working from home.


At first glance, digital-only banks may seem better prepared for this change. But, traditional banks often have strong, trusted brands. This familiarity can be a big advantage at a time when customers are seeking reassurance and stability. On top of that, traditional banks have significantly larger resources on hand.


As more customers are switching to digital channels to interact with their banks, the future of customer acquisition will be decided in the online space. Banks are quickly realizing that, to remain competitive, they must offer fully digital customer onboarding. And, to attract new customers they need to build relationships through digital advertising and social media channels.  Taking a page from the retailers marketing handbook, proactive banks are redefining their approach to customer acquisition and communications. They are replacing or supplementing generic brand and product advertising campaigns and leveraging customer data to design personalized offers. They are also creating digital content focused on informing, reassuring and educating.


The future is here and all banks need to be ready


The COVID-19 crisis is accelerating the re-design of the banking customer experience. Traditionally, opening an account meant face-to-face meetings and signed paper documents. That is no longer an option.


Your new customers are spending much more time at home and online. And now, more than ever, they need your support to manage their finances and ease the financial pressure. Banks need the full range of digital tools to acquire and care for all their customers; not just those who are used to digital banking but also those who would previously have preferred to use a branch.


Digital onboarding defines your future customer relationships


Attracting new customers isn't easy nor cheap. Banks need to find new ways to reach them, draw them in and create an opportunity to sell new products and services. Customer onboarding sets the tone for the entire on-going relationship banks have with their customers. It's essential to get this "first journey" right and avoid wasting significant customer acquisition cost.


Just as many people around the world have switched to home working, they also want to bank from home. They may well be using some of their lockdown time to review their banking arrangements and try out new services. For those who decide it's time to switch to a bank with a more attractive digital offer, the process needs to be easy, secure and stress-free.


Customers want the experience to be fast and flexible with no frustrating delays. Even if they choose to use different channels, they don't want to answer the same questions multiple times. Nobody likes a lengthy onboarding, customers want to be able to start banking as quickly and as simply as possible.


Here are five digital onboarding steps banks must get right.


1. The initial application   


When customers need to open an account (either online or via a mobile banking app) they expect the process to be straightforward. The user interface should be clear and easy to use. For example, they should only have to input details, such as name and address, once – and input only the minimum amount of information needed.


They will also expect to be able to use their mobile to take a picture of their ID and other necessary documents. Uploading them should be quick and easy. There should never be any need to mail or take any of them to the branch.


2. Identity verification


Technology can ensure KYC checks are both secure and smooth. Combining document capturing with biometric facial recognition means banks can now offer selfie-based onboarding or video call-based onboarding while retaining the full documentation for regulatory purposes.


PSD2 gives the option to both verify the identity and connect other existing accounts immediately, while Near Field Communication (NFC) scanning and hologram recognition help to confirm the validity of the IDs used.


3. Approvals and decisions


Pre-screening options and quick decision-making capabilities built into the system are a huge time saver for customers and a must for banks.  By implementing predictive models and a risk-based approach, banks can master real-time decisioning and streamline customer interactions or recognize potential fraud cases. This way, they can offer fast and secure KYC checks that allow customers to instantly open a new account from the comfort of home. In case of a potential fraud, they can redirect them to call centres or other channels for more interactive verification methods.


Fast and frictionless interactions will help to ease financial anxieties during this difficult time. Those first few hours of the customer journey play a significant role in building long term customer loyalty. The speed and invisibility of all the decision-making processes going on the background is the key ingredient here – it all needs to happen within seconds and not slow the signup process.


4. Keeping it all paperless – including signatures


Digital account opening builds an expectation with customers that this digital process will continue smoothly. That must include e-signatures. Removing the need to physically sign documents reduces the onboarding process from days or weeks to minutes. The simple inclusion of modern one-time-password elements through mobile number and SMS also simplifies and secures the process.


5. Product flexibility


Many bank customers will need multi-product onboarding capabilities. For example, a retail customer may want a credit card or savings account. A small business owner may need a loan as well as a deposit account. These options need to be easily available; a saving account should be literally one click away.


To fulfil this expectation, a fast real time approval process should also be put in place for additional products, such as credit cards or loans. With PSD2 account information, real time access to creditworthiness and predictive analytics, banks can approve a credit card or a starting loan immediately. Clients should be able to open multiple products during the first interaction – literally within a few seconds.


VeriPark's VeriChannel and VeriTouch platforms give banks omni-channel capabilities for digital customer onboarding and on-going customer communications. This means customers can choose mobile and/or online banking channels and enjoy a frictionless and engaging end-to-end onboarding journey. And, banks can continue to onboard customers easily, cost-effectively and securely.


We hope you found these steps for onboarding new customers during the COVID-19 crisis useful. If you would like to receive more ideas and updates on the latest developments in banking, please subscribe to our blog. 


Webinar: Now more than ever, your customers need uninterrupted digital banking services. It’s time to become simpler, faster and expand your digital channel offerings. Learn how you can provide all banking services digitally during and after COVID-19. Click here to register now.


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

 
Apr 28
9 benefits of a CRM-based Retail Loan Origination System (LOS)


From browsing to purchase, to post purchase customer service: modern consumers have come to expect a fully personalized customer journey. Customer Experience (CX) reigns supreme in the banking world. The retail lending landscape should be no exception.


Delivering a successful customer journey requires a mix of competencies and activities from technology implementations to rethinking processes. In reality, -among other challenges- many banks and financial institutions still have a paper-based retail loan origination process. This means customer acquisition and servicing costs are high, due to slow turnaround times and an increased risk of human errors during manual processing. For your customers and employees, the result is frustrating delays and a poor experience.


Financial institutions are currently engaged in a race to put this right. They are increasingly becoming more aware of the fact that loan origination process presents a pivotal opportunity to connect with a customer and build a relationship that can last for years. The crowning achievement is digital customer onboarding, automated workflows and paperless document management across the entire retail loan origination process. But, how can this personalized customer journey be achieved in the lending market?


A CRM-based end-to-end retail loan origination solution is one answer - and comes with 9 key benefits


Whether your customers are looking for a home, car or other personal loan or a credit card, a customer-centric retail loan origination solution, such as VeriPark's VeriLoan, provides nine key benefits.


1. CRM increases retail lending sales


An intelligent end-to-end CRM solution is a great sales tool. It streamlines and optimizes the entire sales process: from prospecting and lead capture, to loan qualification and nurturing an on-going customer relationship. This not only reduces the cost of customer acquisition, it also boosts conversions and enables repeat sales.


2. Omni-channel delivery boosts customer engagement


While many of your customers are increasingly likely to apply for a loan via their online or mobile account, others will still prefer to visit one of your branches. This means omni-channel delivery for retail loans is no longer a nice to have. A CRM system, such as Dynamics 365, gives your sales and customer service teams access to your retail loan origination system at the contact center, in your branches or other external locations, using a tablet or phone.


3. Eligibility Calculator reduces acquisition costs 

 

VeriLoan's Eligibility Calculator has pre-defined rules to check customers' eligibility when they apply for loans online. This is an excellent example of how automation saves money by reducing manual processes; it can also improve customer experience with instant pre-approvals.

 

4. AML and KYC checks help banks enhancing detection with less cost

 

Optimized and streamlined business processes mean banks can handle automated alerts and case management more effectively. It also ensures you can efficiently comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.

 

5. Automated checks allow instant loan approval

 

Using Microsoft Dynamics capabilities, VeriLoan defines a list of pre-approved and fully automated loan checks, from initial calculations and eligibility checks to credit reviews and scoring. Such swift decision- making processes can facilitate pre-approved offers and instant loan approvals.

 

6. Automated workflows reduce turnaround times


A CRM-based retail loan origination system means fewer paper-based processes; leading to faster, thorough, more responsive loan applications and approvals.


7. Digital processes are more eco-friendly


Migrating from paper-based to digital retail loan origination processes allows financial institutions to be more environmentally friendly. This is an increasingly important aspect of protecting your brand reputation.

 

8. Single Customer View increases cross-selling

 

When you have the ability to identify all the accounts and products held by a customer, you can treat that customer as an individual. This improved understanding of a customer's history and lifetime value allows for better targeted cross-selling and up-selling by understanding the needs of the customer. At the same time, an understanding of their potential exposure to debt supports a responsible retail lending process.   

 

9. Next Best Action ensures a personalized customer journey

 

Gartner's research suggests that, by 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions will be completely handled by AI. This represents a 400% increase from 2017. And, it has profound implications for retail lending. Digital and physical interactions in retail loan origination generate massive amounts of situational data. This presents a unique opportunity for banks to leverage machine learning and the power of AI to predict future events. As well as reducing risk by predicting the loan default probability, contextual insight can create cross-selling and up-selling opportunities by predicting the Next Best Action (such as a personalized offer or product) for individuals at specific points in the customer lifecycle and capturing the need before the customer is aware of it. Amazing, isn't it?

 

VeriPark's VeriLoan is a powerful and easy to deploy digital loan origination solution. It allows financial institutions to make fast, consistent and cost effective loan decisions within predefined risk margins. It also provides your customers with an engaging, personalized experience.


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

 
Apr 10
7 ways banks can support their customers remotely and digitally during a global crisis


COVID-19 is transforming the way billions of people live, work, shop – and manage their finances. In the midst of all the confusion and anxiety, proactive banks have the opportunity to emerge as a source of comfort, hope and security for their customers. Branches may be closed or operating with reduced hours, so now is the time for banks to ensure their digital doors stay wide open to care for their retail and business customers. 


Digital banking is now an essential service 


In times of social distancing, customers are shifting to safer online channels. While lockdowns and strict measures will be eventually relaxed, many elements of social distancing are here to stay.


Many customers are finding these changes stressful and need your support. It is inherent to the human brain to remember what happened during stressful times more vividly and for a longer period of time.  The level of digital servicing, meaningful help and empathy you can offer during this crisis will have a lasting impact on your customer relationships. Make it – or break it.


In the projects and interactions we've had with customers during the last 14 days, leading banks across the globe have told us they are stepping up their digital services to help meet critical needs during this challenging time. We've captured the 7 main ways they are doing this:


1. Digital is the right thing to push right now


"Use the app."


This is the perfect time to promote your online and mobile apps to retail and SME customers. But it's important to get the tone right. It's not a sales drive, it's an opportunity to support your existing customers with improved remote servicing, availability and assistance.


Some customers, especially the elderly who may be new to digital banking, will be unsure about what to do and concerned about security and fraud. They'll need your help to get onboard with simple, clear explanatory communications.  Consistent messaging, explaining the risks in a non-threatening way via email, SMS or call center agents, brings much needed reassurance.


2. Promote the benefits of omni-channel banking


"You can do what you want, online."


Existing retail and, especially, SME customers can benefit if you ensure the same services are available seamlessly across all channels. Whatever happens in their business or personal life, they can rely on you to help them perform the same banking operations they are used to do in a branch, on your website or mobile app instead. This is a really positive message to push right now to increase transactional usage online.


3. Raise your digital communications game


"Communicate, digitally, with purpose." 


Your customers are mostly staying at home at the moment – and they are spending enormous amounts of time online. Digital communications through all channels – email and social media as well as your own Internet banking and mobile apps – need to be direct, personal, customized and bring added value to customers in these times. You can also investigate the use of messaging apps, such as Whatsapp or Viber. If you have something valuable to say, people will listen.


Integrating messaging apps with your CRM system gives customers a useful alternative channel to report everyday issues. For example, they may want to let you know that they've not received their statement. This gives you the opportunity to open up the conversation and add value by checking their address and asking if they'd like to move to e-statements. Now is a good time to move on those steps, that previously were done in non-digital ways. Arrange a standing order via mobile, switch to e-statements, get GDPR consent for relevant corona-related email advice. Banks are a trusted source of information in the digital space. You now have the opportunity to use that privilege wisely.


4. Shift sales efforts to digital channels


"Buy digitally, with a human touch." 


Many banks have been successful at cross-selling and up-selling because their relationship managers have built trusted customer relationships. Those face-to-face selling opportunities are now very limited. Successful banks will be those who can quickly shift to digital sales, supported by direct customer communications and advertising via online and mobile channels. Just like supermarkets, you need to be able to sell and deliver services online.


That will mean up-scaling infrastructure and the administrative and regulatory processes for digital or remote signing. Customers want to minimize branch visits, so banks will need to prioritize the digitization of document signing and verification. This includes the additional development needed to apply this to documents traditionally dealt with face-to-face, such as notaries, employer confirmations, liens and land registries.  


Even now, especially with higher value interactions, customers value human contact. Banks can still meet this demand by ensuring that customers get support from their advisors and sales teams. They can communicate with customers remotely (using calls or conferencing platforms) and finalize all requests and sales digitally.


5. Digital servicing is needed now more than ever


"Change the contract remotely." 


The feedback we've had from banks is that this is their customers' biggest priority at the moment. There is, and will continue to be, significant demands from both retail and SME customers for amends to their existing loans and other contracts. That could be payment holidays, changing payment terms or extending loan duration.


There is a real sense of urgency about this as customers need help to cope with their financial distress. And the service needs to be digital as customers can't, or don't want to, visit a branch. For many banks that will require significantly stepping up their digital servicing and remote administration channels to support customers.  Call centers need to be equipped to deal with their increased responsibility, having all the customers information available – and actionable remotely, ideally offloading part of the load to other digital channels for finalization.


6. Vulnerable customers need digital assistance


"Let me help you." 


Another challenge banks are facing is that customers can be unwilling to use technology they don't trust. That's particularly so with elderly people who tend to be less used to digital banking. There is a need to educate and support customers so they can enjoy a safe, secure and reliable digital experience. 


Many call center agents are also now working remotely and may be under too much pressure to provide this service over the phone. Clear, precise communication via reliable channels is critical. Online guides or videos explaining 'how to make a QR code payment' or 'how to setup mobile banking app' are an excellent alternative.


7. Digital payments are the new normal


"Pay contactless, pay online." 


Cash usage has declined since the COVID-19 outbreak due to the potential spread of the infection through physical banknotes. Shoppers are also being encouraged to use contactless and mobile payment technology wherever possible. As limits for in-store spending on contactless cards have been increased in many countries, we can expect customer demand for banks to provide this service to rise.


People are now embracing contactless payments to avoid physical contact with the terminal. Online shopping with remote payments via card or instant payments is also on the rise. Supported by the right messaging and onboarding processes, banks can now help customers to switch to more safe payment ways rapidly.


This is the time to digitize customer relationships – customers want it and banks need it. It is the banks who reach out to care for and support their customers throughout difficult times will cultivate long term customer loyalty.


To use those seven challenges as opportunities, VeriPark's VeriChannel and VeriTouch digital banking platforms can help banks creatively meet the needs of their retail and SME customers and unlock new business potential. The banks that do the right thing in the right way will be remembered – and rewarded – long after this current crisis has passed.


We hope you found these suggestions for supporting your existing customers during the global crisis useful. Our next article will outline our insights for digital customer acquisition and onboarding. Please subscribe to our blog if you would like to be kept informed. 


Webinar: As the impact of COVID-19 intensified, the demand for banking services through digital channels has increased significantly. Learn how you can provide all banking services from digital onboarding to digital lending during and after the global pandemic. Click here to register now.


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

 
Apr 08
How corporate clients can personalize their banking experience

The banking industry is unquestionably going digital. Retail banks started their journey towards more customer-centric digital services years ago. Now, corporate banking clients also expect the same frictionless, personalized experience they currently enjoy with retailers.


In an age of one-click ordering and instant approvals, corporate clients will not tolerate frustrating lengthy banking processes. Many of these business owners are already rapidly digitizing their own operations. As such, they expect their bank to support them in the same dynamic and relevant way. 


Digital disruption has come to corporate banking


Corporate banks are now rethinking their processes from a client perspective, to deliver an outstanding digital experience. This usually starts with streamlining the onboarding process to set the right tone. But, to differentiate in such a competitive market, banks need to go further by digitizing and personalizing their end-to-end processes across the entire corporate client journey.


Creating digital client focused journeys 


Banks are already offering omni-channel self-service coverage such as internet and mobile banking to their corporate clients. These will invariably include standard services such as transactions, international payments and payroll administration. On the other hand, corporate banking channels also should give employees the tools to instantly react to ever-changing corporate needs.


For example, VeriPark's VeriChannel internet banking solution includes a powerful Self-Service Admin Console. This functionality enables corporate clients to define the specific processes and approval flows that are most relevant and useful for their business. Effectively, your clients can create their own digital banking journeys to suit their own needs. And, they can do it quickly and cost effectively at any time without any additional IT support.


Here's how your clients can create their personalized digital process flows


Let's say your client – active in the hospitality industry - wants to automate their housekeeping department's budget and expenses procedures. Admin Console allows them to define their own approval rules based on the transaction amount, account and beneficiary. For example, they could set an approval process where named individuals - such as a housekeeping supervisor – can sign off invoices under $1,000. After that, the Director of Housekeeping must approve anything over that limit.


The Admin Console functionality is highly flexible. For example, clients can assign roles such as Entry, Approver, Reviewer and Supervisor to each internet banking user. In fact, they can assign up to fifteen levels of sign-off.


They can also set up group signings, where transactions are routed based on the defined limits and groups. The users could even approve transactions via their mobile or AppleWatch if they're out of the office. To ensure everyone's kept up-to-date, approvers receive an email or text when a transaction is pending for their approval. There's also a user-friendly graphical display showing the current stage of the approval process for each transaction.


There's no doubt the combined forces of technology and competitive pressures are bringing sweeping changes to corporate banking. Innovative digital solutions, such as the Admin Console within VeriChannel, go well beyond standard corporate internet banking services. The ability to offer your clients personalized and secure digital journeys with flexible approval authorization levels is a powerful differentiator and competitive advantage.


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

 


Mar 24
Moving from transactional banking services to customer-centric experiences


Very often, when people interact with their bank, they have a purely transactional experience. They probably get to choose their channel of communication such as mobile, online, call center or branch. But that's about it. Whether they apply for a loan, open an account or dispute a credit card transaction, customers expect to be able to move seamlessly across devices and channels. They also demand to be treated as unique individuals and expect engaging interactions that fit their connected world.


Most banks don't tend to think about being timely and engaging because they have been built on product or function silos with each department executing its part of the transaction.  Typically, customers get in touch with their bank through their preferred channel, make a specific transaction - and then leave. But this transaction-based banking model is changing fast.


How can CRM help banks to differentiate?


With the right CRM solution, banks can become more customer centric. When someone makes a transaction on his/her mobile app for instance, the CRM system could check if there is a relevant next best action for this individual customer. 


Let's say Emma is using Personal Financial Management (PFM) and sets a goal to save for a special holiday. When she credits her designated savings account, an effective CRM system could automatically send her an offer for a travel insurance or discounts from relevant third-party brands.  Crucially, the CRM system shares this transaction information across the bank, with online banking, call center and branch teams. This way, everyone in the bank becomes aware of Emma's target and can help her to reach her goal as quickly as possible.


It's almost impossible for branch staff to build meaningful relationships when they are unaware of customer transactions on other banking channels. But with a single view of the customer they can transform their transaction-based services to customer centric experiences. As well as improving customer satisfaction this also creates cross-selling opportunities, such as Emma's insurance offer.


Single view of the customer also means all channels in the bank can see Emma's current situation and full transaction history.  If Emma decides to call an agent at the customer service center, she doesn't need to repeat her story. Instead, she enjoys a seamless and engaging customer journey.


Banking on CRM to transform processing efficiency


At VeriPark, we put CRM at the center of our banking clients' digital transformation plans. This enables banks to provide uninterrupted connected journeys across all channels with a single CRM system that becomes the central repository for all customer data and transaction histories. This CRM unified front end is available to all teams across all channels.


This is a highly efficient way of working. It allows for faster turnaround times as well as reduced error rates with less data inputting replication. It also improves customer service, as even complex Non Straight -Through Processing (Non-STP) enquiries can be handled more quickly.


Customers love the convenience, personalization and speedy resolution of such enquiries. For example, Emma may want to book an appointment with a Relationship Manager or make an international money transfer. Often, these enquiries are placed in a queue or there's a lengthy approval process. 


With a CRM solution, banks can manage these Non-STP processes much faster. And ensure they add value by offering the right services to the right customer at the right time. For example, if a customer has recently made a complaint, all call center and branch teams will be aware of the issue and know that this is not an appropriate time to attempt to cross sell to the customer.


Meeting ever more demanding customer expectations is a big challenge for banks in a digital world. You can't just have great products. A CRM solution is critical to your success because it gives you the in-depth customer knowledge that enables efficient services and tailored offers.


Would you like to know more about how CRM can transform your bank from a transaction-based model to a customer centric experience? If so, get in touch with us!

 


Mar 10
Optimizing the insurance customer journey


As you read this article – in the office, at home or on the move – how many internet-connected devices do you have to hand? For most of us, the answer is probably several. As technology takes over more of our daily lives, it is also becoming more integrated and our online and offline worlds start to blur.


As consumers, we no longer think about a desktop experience or a mobile experience. We expect an integrated experience across all channels. It's the same with your customers.


The new insurance customer


The new insurance customer looks much like customers in any other competitive, service industry. They are self-directed and prepared to shop around through various channels to get what they want. According to the EFMA World Insurance Report 2019, almost 60% of customers are showing high interest in new insurance models. They're also looking for unique experiences tailored to their needs. In fact, providing 'add-on' services, such as risk control and prevention, could help insurers boost retention rates for at least half of their customer base. Many of these (37%) are also willing to share additional data and pay more (35%) to receive personalized services.  


Putting customers at the heart of the insurance business


Such competitive pressure is driving insurers to enhance their customer-centricity. This involves a significant cultural and technological shift from product oriented selling to needs-based tailored offers. That means attracting and retaining customers through highly personalized communications. In this new customer centric world, the ability to truly understand customer needs and preferences is essential to loyalty-building customer engagement.


CRM + Omni-Channel = True Customer Engagement


Whether they're using their smartwatch or their contact center agent or broker, insurance customers expect a seamless journey with consistent messaging. A CRM system on its own won't achieve this. You'll have the customer data, but you won't have the ability to leverage that data effectively across all your delivery channels.


Insurance companies need to deliver a frictionless end-to-end customer journey. This is only achievable by integrating a 360-degree view of customer CRM strategy with real-time predictive analytics. It also requires an omni-channel delivery platform that covers all customer touchpoints. This gives sales and marketing teams, customer service agents and brokers all the tools they need to work together and optimize the customer experience across all interactions.

 

An end-to-end customer journey

 

By blending different channels into a single experience, insurers can take control of any number of customer journeys throughout the customer lifecycle, across all channels. The key here is to focus on the customers' end-to-end experience instead of individual touchpoints. It's not about implementing a sales system or a claims system; it's about unifying a CRM platform, such as VeriPark's VeriTouch Customer Engagement solution, with Omni-Channel servicing capabilities.

 

VeriTouch is a vertical Customer Engagement (CRM) solution built o n top of Dynamics 365 which provides extensive customer engagement capabilities while ensuring superior employee experience. It is optimized with industry best practices that enables insurance companies to place CRM at the core of their dig ital transformation journey. It consolidates data from the organization's back-end systems and digital channels and provides a unified front-end with standardized processes to serve customers efficiently.

 

A single view of the customer allows everyone – from sales agents and marketing teams to contact center advisors and brokers – to see all the customer's policies and activities in a single screen. That data enables contact center teams to provide more efficient and sensitive handling of, often emotionally charged, customer interactions. They can also deal with any customer concerns quickly and professionally; frequently turning a caller with a complaint into a satisfied customer.


Marketing teams, sales agents and brokers can analyze customer's needs and preferences with single view of the customer data. They can then create streamlined, tailored solutions to meet those needs. VeriPark's omni-channel servicing solution, VeriChannel, also ensures this personalized approach is delivered consistently across all customer touch-points.

 

Even with the proliferation of legacy departmental solutions that often exist in insurance companies, VeriChannel offers a unified transaction front-end to customers and intermediaries. This combination of a VeriTouch Customer Engagement (CRM)solution with omni-channel servicing capability, enhances customer experience. At the same time, it boosts efficiency and productivity and reduces development and maintenance costs.


Data is a hugely valuable business asset


It's no longer a question of 'if' latest technology will transform insurers' business models, but 'how'. The challenge – and opportunity – for the industry is how best to integrate this technology to maximize the profitability of each customer. In an increasingly competitive market, good products alone do not guarantee customer trust and loyalty. That is built by data-driven personalization to offer meaningful experiences that enrich customer-insurer relationships.


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

 
Feb 28
10 digital transformation technology trends for banks in 2020

Most banks began their digital journeys to a more efficient business model some years ago. But, the pace of innovation and disruption is now much more dynamic. Technology, regulatory requirements, evolving customer expectations, demographics and new competitors are shaping the banking industry. We believe 2020 will be a tipping point for digital transformation in banking.


Banks are becoming more customer experience driven and focused on optimizing the customer journey across multiple touchpoints. Digital technologies are boosting banks' unique potential to unlock more meaningful customer relationships and create new business growth opportunities. And, with improved data insight, they are better placed to anticipate what customers want and transform the way they interact and engage with them.


According to the PwC Retail Banking 2020: Evolution or Revolution report, 61% of bank executives say that a customer-centric business model is 'very important'. The vast majority (75%) are already making investments in this area. Yet, only 17% feel 'very prepared' to deal with the combined powerful forces of changing customer expectations, regulatory requirements and new market entrants. 


Most banks don't have to be convinced of the need for digital transformation. They're all doing it at some level. But, the winners in the 2020s will be those banks who leverage the latest digital transformation trends to create stronger and more lasting customer connections.


Here are 10 digital transformation technology trends that will help banks get ahead in 2020.


1. Voice Banking


Voice Banking will increase significantly, as customers become comfortable conversing with digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri. But, as technology improves, customers will expect their voice banking transactions to be a seamless cross-channel experience. That means natural, contextual conversation, flowing from one banking channel to another in real-time.


VeriPark's omni-channel delivery solution, VeriChannel, does this and offers voice banking to customers who don't have access to devices such as Alexa or Siri. By using LUIS, Microsoft's machine learning-based service, VeriChannel eliminates the need to be connected to an additional device. It means customers can make transactions, such as payments, using voice commands only, without a single click.


2. Augmented Reality (AR) Banking


It's early days for AR banking but the technology is developing rapidly. Indeed, AR banking capabilities, such as money transfer with face recognition, ATM Locator and card details, are already available on VeriPark's VeriChannel mobile framework. This is making it easier for customers to track their spending and make payments and we anticipate many exciting customer experience developments in the future.


We will see AR being used for mortgage and loan approvals for instance, where a simple scan of a property will provide essential information such as borrower, lender and loan amount to bank employees, hence reducing mortgage processing and servicing time.


3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)


AI-driven Next Best Action (NBA) software is enabling banks to deliver more personalized offers and services to customers. With useful information, such as complete transaction histories, branch and call center teams can give appropriate and timely customer advice. Predictive analytics also means customer service teams and Relationship Managers can make the most of cross-selling and up-selling opportunities with tailored product offers. More banks will adopt this technology in 2020.


4. Biometrics and Face recognition


Currently, facial recognition technology is mainly used for security and identification purposes. For example, it can help banks carry out Know Your Customer (KYC) verifications quickly and easily and confirm customer identity during digital onboarding. Soon, we'll witness more banks using face recognition technology to interact with their customers. It'll eliminate the need for a physical bank card and PIN.  


5. Watch Banking


Watch banking works in a similar way to mobile banking, but without the need to pull your phone out of your pocket. Research suggests that with 5G rollout, consumer uptake of smartwatches will soar to around 115 million by 2022 – up from just 42 million in 2017. Gartner predicts watch banking will grow faster than online or mobile banking over the next few years, mainly because customers will delight in the ease and convenience of making transactions – and even benefitting from geo-location based third party offers – on the move.


6. Video Banking


As customers use video calls for everything from work meetings with remote-based colleagues to consultations with their doctor, they'll also expect to connect with their banking adviser via video rather than trekking to the branch. Frictionless integration with your CRM system allows for an engaging experience that resolves queries quickly and helps build stronger customer relationships. This face-to-face interaction will also facilitate customer verification and document sharing during digital onboarding.


7. Chat-based banking services


Conversational Chatbots are already being used for many banking transactions and day-to-day customer service queries.  We expect usage to increase as improved Natural Language Programming (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) provides two-way human-like communications. This will reduce costs, allow skilled banking personnel to focus on more complex customer interactions and provide actionable customer insight data to boost customer experience, and cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.


We also expect WhatsApp Banking to become more popular. With a seamless connection to your CRM system and a single customer view (SCV), customers can interact with their bank and make transactions 24/7 via WhatsApp. This makes banking as easy as chatting with friends.

 

8. Open API Platforms


Open Banking has the potential to revolutionize how customers manage their money. For banks, integrating content, data and functionality creates endless opportunities for services tailored to an individual customer's behavior and lifestyle. App development and maintenance costs will also lower as legacy systems can be re-purposed into an omni-channel solution with a new presentation layer, rather than developing a new system from scratch.

 

9. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)


RPA is taking burdensome manual tasks from employees' shoulders and allowing them to devote more time to higher-value tasks.  We believe RPA is not just here to stay but set to grow. As it becomes more sophisticated and AI-enriched, RPA will also play a vital role in more complicated processes, such as loan origination, fraud detection and digital onboarding.


Together with UiPath, VeriPark provides the capability to speed up complex processes, clear administrative bottlenecks and minimize human intervention and errors. As a global ISV (independent software vendor), we are also excited to see the opportunities from Microsoft. Their recently announced RPA capability, Microsoft Power Automate UI Flow, is an end-to-end automation platform capable of reinventing a wide range of processes and workflows across the financial services industry.


10. Cloud Computing


The cloud is proving to be a superior option to boost capacity to handle data that provides a high level of agility, security and scalability. For use cases such as customer data analytics, batch processing and data storage, banks can access the cloud as and when required, which means they can utilize such resources more flexibly and efficiently. Its pay-as-you-go pricing means banks and other financial institutions can control costs and become more agile.  Although the cloud computing adoption rate is still rather low in the banking industry, it is clear that some banks are already moving heavily into this new technology.


In summary, digital transformation is a journey or iterative process, not a single destination. Banks have already taken their first steps. But, 2020 is the time to accelerate the next steps or revisit those you may have missed.


Would you like to find out more about where your digital transformation journey could take you? If so, get in touch with us!

 


Feb 14
7 ‘must-haves’ for an effective commercial loan origination platform


Commercial loans are often low volume products for many banks but they are also high value. However, they can be complex and costly to deliver, particularly for specialist lending such as for a commercial mortgage or real estate loan. It's not always possible to simply adopt a purely digital sales and onboarding process.

 

As well as web portals and mobile apps, clients may choose to use their bank branch or third-party brokers. This means the commercial banking loan origination process can involve multiple steps and channels. Corporate Relationship Managers will usually need to navigate between internal and external stakeholders, including CEOs or CFOs, treasury departments, product teams and credit committees.


Too often, Corporate Relationship Managers also have to contend with broken commercial loan origination systems. These can involve laborious, paper-based manual form filling and outdated legacy systems. That's not simply inefficient and frustrating; there is also a very real risk of Relationship Managers' missing valuable business opportunities.   


The commercial loan origination process is ripe for innovation


Here at VeriPark, we are convinced that effective commercial loan origination systems for banks and commercial loan origination software for brokers can deliver massive benefits. When banks achieve straight-through processing in their commercial mortgage or real estate loan origination software and commercial banking loan origination processes they will see significant improvements in customer experience, speed of decision making and, ultimately, profitability.


With numerous commercial loan origination system vendors in the market, deciding which one is right for your business isn't always easy. To help, here's a simple checklist of seven features to consider when making your commercial loan origination software comparison.


Best-practice commercial loan origination systems and software should include:

 

1. End to end Customer Lifecycle Management

Whatever channels your commercial loan client chooses to use, their customer experience is enhanced by managing the entire customer lifecycle in one, unified customer relationship management (CRM) platform. An effective CRM solution will cover everything from prospecting, qualifying leads and onboarding to loan approvals, after-sales service and collection management. This helps make your commercial loan origination process flow seamless and efficient.


2. Credit Policy Rules


Most commercial loan origination systems provide some form of customer credit scoring and rating. But, it's important to conduct an in-depth commercial loan origination software comparison. VeriPark's VeriLoan, for example, uses Inrule. This is a powerful rule engine that fully automates credit policy with minimal, or no, human interference. With the help of Inrule, business users can easily change policy rules and calculations without the need of programming. It empowers your organization to calculate the customer's eligibility based on your specific product's credit policy. This helps make your loan origination process more transparent and easy to use.

 

3. Data Quality

High quality, consistent and manageable data is an essential part of the commercial loan origination process. Banks need to evaluate customers' liabilities and credit scores across multiple lending institutions and credit bureaus. That's why VeriLoan has real-time integration capability with internal and external data sources.


4. Customer View

When you can effectively and automatically calculate exposure with crucial percentages, bank staff are empowered with data and a broader view to assess the customer. This improved understanding of a customer's history with parent and related companies and shareholders allows for a better understanding of the risk level. It enables the bank to offer the best loan structure with appropriate pricing and term.
 

5. Risk and Compliance

Many corporate loan origination software vendors integrate with the host systems to evaluate the credit decision-making process. VeriLoan, however, also has real-time integration capability with watch and black lists, such as AML List, Bounced Cheques list and PEP List. By simplifying KYC and AML check processes, the banks become more comfortable with calculating global exposures and mitigating risks. The process is very quick so you can improve risk management without slowing the commercial loan origination process flow.


6. Document Management

Commercial loan origination will always require strong document management skills. However, as much of the process as possible should be completed digitally.  This should definitely include DocuSign to enable digital signatures – it's a simple way to improve the customer experience and free-up relationship managers to focus on higher value activities. It also eliminates hassles, costs and lack of security in printing, scanning and overnighting documents for signature.

7. Exceptions Management

Of course, automation across the commercial loan origination process is great for efficiency. But, it should never put valued customer relationships at risk. For example, many loan applicants may not fully comply with the bank's defined credit policy. However, that customer is still likely to be a valuable asset to your bank. VeriPark's VeriLoan commercial loan origination system takes this into consideration, as the software allows for exceptions in the approval process. This gives you the opportunity to evaluate the loan application and customer relationship holistically and reduces the risk of your relationship managers missing new business opportunities.

The best commercial loan origination process will always involve operational complexity and strong relationship management skills. It is critical for banks to improve efficiency to help them reach decisions faster, mitigate risks and make the most of business opportunities. Finding the best commercial loan origination software for your needs will help you achieve some easy wins.

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

 


Jan 31
Bridging the loyalty gap in banking

We know that it costs a lot less to sell to existing customers than to acquire new ones. That's why many companies across industries invest in loyalty and reward programs. As well as an effective brand differentiator that inspires loyal customers to become brand ambassadors, they're a proven tactic for increasing revenue and market share and reducing customer churn.


Customers have come to expect rewards. They get points, discounts, free gifts, limited edition products and cash back offers whenever they go shopping or buy a coffee. They can even get rewards for posting an online review or a selfie posing with their favorite brand.


"Reward me for my business"


In the latest Gartner research, 76% of banks said customer relationship management and building sustainable customer loyalty was their top priority. Yet, customers are now demanding services that go beyond basic banking needs to ones that enhance the quality of their lives. When global consultants, CGI, asked consumers, "how could your bank improve your lifestyle?" 81% cited "reward me for my business" as the #1 factor.   


Customers are aware that their bank holds a huge amount of information about them. They know you see all their transactions not just their spending with one retailer. Just like when they go to the supermarket, petrol station or bookshop, they expect their bank to reward them for their spendings.


Banks can't take customer loyalty for granted


Banks are at a competitive advantage when it comes to delivering loyalty boosting services. They already have all the behavioral customer data they need. With the right tools, such as VeriPark's loyalty management module which is a part of our VeriTouch Customer Engagement CRM solution, they can learn even more about their customers and deliver campaigns that transform the consumer experience, and drive satisfaction and loyalty.


Our loyalty management module enables banks to create highly flexible campaigns, integrated across all channels from online and mobile to kiosks and POS terminals. Campaigns can be multi-tiered and cumulative; as customers engage more with your services, they can earn more rewards. You can also run joint marketing campaigns with selected merchants or employee loyalty programs.


The campaign management functionality combines centralized customer data with advanced customer segmentation profiling to create personalized campaigns across all channels. This streamlines the process and makes running omni-channel campaigns with multiple partners much quicker and easier. Advanced targeting techniques allow marketing teams to target specific customers, products and merchants on particular days of the week or hours of the day. 


Turning customers into loyal fans


Ivan loves his bank's loyalty program. He's just started a new life at university. As he was browsing the internet (he probably should have been paying more attention to his lecture) he clicked on a banner ad that offered discounts on some well-known brands.


The ad was from a bank, but the online gift catalog had offers for travel, restaurants, electronics – and his favorite sportswear store. He'd get points just for opening an account. That sounded like a good deal so he went ahead.


As soon as his account was verified, he received a text confirming he had 5,000 points that could be redeemed at many of his regular shopping and eating places. He also discovered he could get more points for using the mobile app to pay his bills each month and every time he uses his debit card, his bank sends him a text to confirm the reward points he's earned. On a trip to the shopping mall, he received push notifications for discounts at the bookshop and – this is where he got really excited – for the new climbing wall he'd been so keen to try.


Ivan had a great time. On his way out, he bumped into some of his new university friends and told them all about his bank's fantastic loyalty scheme. He also knows he'll get more points for referring a friend!


A world of customer benefits


Ivan's a perfect example of how banks can increase customer loyalty and retention by offering relevant and personalized gifts and incentive programs. He feels his bank is special. They're constantly updating their offers and they use gamification techniques that allow him to earn extra rewards and reach new levels; browsing for new deals has become part of Ivan's daily life. 


His bank benefits from his loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations. They can also analyze his spending and channel preferences, and boost revenue and ROI by selling him more targeted products and services.  The varied reward programs have encouraged Ivan to use his bank's services more often – and he's very unlikely to switch to another bank.


In fact, reduced customer churn is a major benefit of reward programs. When a leading bank, introduced a loyalty program, using VeriPark's loyalty management module, they reduced customer churn by 40%. That has been a key driver to their sustained profitability.


How will you reward your customers? Would you like to find out more? If so, get in touch with us!

 


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