BFSI VISION | Alternate Channels


Prakash Arunachalam

Vice President and Head, Delivery, Chennai &
Pune Delivery Centers, Virtusa Corporation

Security measures to be undertaken when provide smart banking solutions

The deployment of Alternate or Omni Channels Solutions in Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) is not intended just for selling services or products. It is meant for elevating the customer experience. Often a customer may want to buy or subscribe to a certain product that may not be aligned with his needs. It is up to the bank or the financial services company to ask pertinent questions- why he wants what he wants. Selling is incidental to addressing the customers’ needs in the Alternate Channel system. This is particularly true of banks as they are built inside out instead of outside in. Herein, lies the true test of the solution as a customer is likely to have different perspectives of a product depending on the channel. One transaction the customer executes in a channel, he/she is not able to track in other channels most of the time. The relationship management system, dealer portal, internet banking, IVR system of a bank needs to be completely integrated and act as a single source of truth. The objective is to provide the same experience across channels and make the related and relevant products available to the client across channels.

While rolling out Alternate Channel solutions, banks should first undertake a detailed customer profiling that includes family details, wealth band and present lifecycle of the customer and overall customer profiling. The next step will be to track the historical needs and transactions and draw an analogy with the products he or she has bought to arrive at the pattern of buying. Banks will then need to compare this data with the needs and buying patterns of other customers of the same age and gender and make related and relevant products available irrespective the channel he/she gets into.

The role of technology is critical for any Alternate Channel Strategy. The key is technology rationalization which includes defining target state of a single solution catering to all channels, building of database and architectures that can scale to all channels. Architecture systems should create linkage to all their products across the lines of business enabling a single customer experience - across cards, mortgages, savings accounts, insurance etc. The technology enablers for an effective Alternate Channel Strategy are CRM, Big Data, Click Stream Analytics, Predictive and Sentiment Analytics and Cloud. The right technology vendor can help smoothen this process by engaging the banks on Accelerated Solution Design Workshop to study the current state of architecture of various products. Analyze how each product and platform is integrated to each other. The role of the technology vendor should also include engaging some of the end customers on Accelerated Solution Design Workshop. Understand what they want to see in each channels, what are their needs from the banks when they get onto any of the channels. Identify the disconnect and user experience problems they would like to see getting addressed.

The vendor will have to assess the user journey across the channels consistently and finally link the needs of the banks and end customers, define business objectives and substantiate the need for Alternate Channel Banking.

The key success factors in multi-channel service are – uniform customer experience across portals, tightly integrated systems, Mobile First, Robust Rules, Event Driven and Analytics Engines, security protocols that cater to all channels. Disruptive Mobile First platform catering to millennial mindset (sentiment analytics, predictive analytics etc) and offline capability is an emerging trend across the globe.