Digital banking success is no longer about omni-channel banking software, but the ability to adapt and deploy new innovative solutions.
Given that banking is an industry of such import and impact, it should be no surprise that the Digital Age demands more than just adaptation. It requires full-on transformation.
Five years ago through to the present, some pundits and vendors have favored “omni-channel,” a broad business term that usually means consistent customer experience across different user points, as a way to describe the goals of this transformation.
Although it’s a worthy objective for almost all financial institutions (FIs), the impacts and implications of digital banking go far beyond having a consistent customer experience.
Here are five reasons why it's no longer just about omni-channel banking software:
- An omni-channel solution doesn’t address the need to rethink business processes to reduce digital friction and improve customer experience. If the cart is before the horse, it doesn’t matter if you put new wheels on it. In banking, a flawed process means a flawed experience across many vital customer interaction points.
- Improving customer experience is only one part of digital transformation. Creating an environment/platform to enable rapid transformation is the bigger issue. That includes, perhaps, the most challenging component of enabling transformation: addressing the obstacles of legacy back-end processes.
- Continual experimentation and rapid deployment now are a requirement for banking solutions. This cannot be achieved with the mindset of a project manager, whose life generally revolves around completion points. Today the process is unending, at least if the goal is innovation. While getting the first use case done is mandatory, it must be done in a fashion that at best supports future use cases, or at worst doesn’t create friction in the process.
- As seen with the “Internet of Things,” customer interaction points continue to change and grow more complex. It’s not enough for banks and credit unions to solve for the digital interactions of today. Predicting the future is difficult to do accurately, so these institutions must instead ensure that the infrastructure they are deploying today will allow for the new norm of continual evolution and rapid change.
- Omni-channel software doesn’t resolve the most difficult part of digital banking transformation: organizational restructuring. Institutions must forget the traditional way of thinking about digital as a cost center and instead consider it a value driver. FIs should question their branch costs more than the expense of digital innovation and create fully enabled digital teams that reflect the continual nature of such investment.
The ability to rethink the customer journey, adapt to new digital initiatives, and rapidly test and deploy new innovative solutions is paramount to digital banking success. Progressive banks and credit unions that choose to deploy digital banking platforms with omni-channel capabilities and more, will find that their institutions remain competitive today and into the future. Along the way, don’t get too distracted by the many shiny things that claim to be a path to the “Promised Land.” Transformation, like aging, is not for the faint of heart.