Emerging Tech Can Boost the Customer Experience for Financial Services

At the upcoming Global CIO Banking Summit in Germany, Unisys will take a serious look at how emerging technologies are affecting the customer experience for banks.

Simon Healy, industry director for Unisys Financial Services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Salvatore Sinno, Unisys’ global chief security architect, will host a panel on what financial services institutions can do to make decisions with confidence when embarking on transformational change.

“Regulations like Open Banking have prompted financial service providers to innovate, but as new technology such as AI, voice assistants and personalization become more prolific across the banking industry, we’ve often found the industry asks how, as a bank, can you keep up with and adapt to these changes while keeping your customers happy?” Healy said. “Not only this, but banks need to realize the risks to customer data that come with offering more cutting-edge digital services, and how these challenges can be both addressed with proper security and balanced with other needs.”

Last year, Unisys surveyed 100 financial services industry practitioners in the United States and the United Kingdom and discovered that their retail banks were coming up short when “struggling to keep pace with digital transformation, in particular as it relates to enabling customers to bank conveniently across whatever channel they use, be it mobile, desktop, ATM or in-branch.”

In the survey, 17 percent of respondents said their banks were “optimal” in executing a strategy for digital transformation; 19 percent said they were only beginning digital transformation, while 32 percent said they were in middle stages.

Customers Seek Digital Transformation in Investing Experience

According to Deloitteyoung investors prefer engaging with online and mobile platforms and desire 24/7 access to financial institutions from their smart devices. Meanwhile, more experienced investors expect “elegant interactions through their mobile and online investment accounts and professional advice on demand.” 

Deloitte adds, “On the other side of the spectrum, most institutional investors are demanding better portfolio transparency, tailored investment solutions, and global products.”

New entrants into financial services may disrupt the industry with emerging technology, “shaking up online fund distribution, digital advice or micro-investing with their experience in digital experience delivery,” Deloitte warns. As such, investment business leaders should consider how to grow their business while also delivering the next level of customer experience.

Deloitte pointed to digital voice assistants as an emerging technology capable of producing transformational change in the customer experience for financial services. Nearly half of American homes will have a smart speaker by 2019, according to estimates, but financial services firms may be behind the curve.

“When asked about their digital transformation capabilities, just 16 out of 73 polled firms rated themselves as digitally maturing (7 or higher out of 10),” Deloitte states, highlighting survey results from its 2018 poll, “Coming of Age Digitally: Learning, Leadership and Legacy,” conducted with MIT Sloan Management Review

Digital Innovators Embrace New Ways of Customer Interaction

Customer experience will gradually improve for financial services firms that focus on digital optimization, notes Gartner in “The 5 Digital Transformation Identities of Financial Services Organizations.”

One-third of financial services CIOs identified digital business as their top priority for 2019, up by more than 8 percent from last year, Gartner says.

Gartner breaks down financial services firms by their digital maturity, asking them to place themselves in one of the following categories:

  • Traditional business
  • Early-stage digital
  • Digital fast-follower
  • Digital innovator
  • Digital transformer

Only 12 percent of financial services organizations identify as digital transformers, according to Gartner. The company’s researchers reserve their praise for digital innovators and transformers and their embrace of emerging technologies.

Digital innovators are “are early adopters of new technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). These companies often seek technologies that can enhance customer experience by using chatbots and other tools to improve the customer service interaction,” Gartner states.

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