Snippet: Demand from young consumers for quicker decisions regarding their finances means that financial institutions are relying increasingly on modern data-processing techniques to enable real-time empowerment. This article, by Niel Bester, SVP: products, appeared in Global Banking and Finance Review, and Banking Exchange earlier this year.

Demand from young consumers for quicker decisions regarding their finances means that financial institutions are relying increasingly on modern data-processing techniques to enable real-time empowerment. This article, by Niel Bester, SVP: products, appeared in Global Banking and Finance Review, and Banking Exchange earlier this year.

A new generation of consumers, used to having instant access to information, is now demanding the same from their banks and financial institutions. They want to deal in real time on their mobile devices when banking online. They want new and better digital experiences; banking that is intuitive, mobile and responsive.

“Processing customer information securely and understanding customer needs at a totally personalized level is key for bankers to succeed,” said Guillermo Kopp, director: worldwide financial services industry at Microsoft. To build these engaged relationships with customers, banks will need, not only accurate and useful information, but will also need to ensure that the way in which they interact with customers is convenient (for the customer), relevant, and occurs in real time. This will allow banks to dynamically guide their customers towards increased financial health.

An issue of concern for banks is that 79% of consumers in North America feel that their banking relationship is purely transactional. However, modern technology, such as cloud and mobile technologies, has given banks the opportunity to completely redefine the banking experience for their customers and re-establish personal relationships. These tools will also help banks to work smarter and faster. It is now not simply about processing data and reporting on what has happened in the past, but the ability to make informed decisions about the future.

Younger consumers want quick, event-driven interactions with their banks, based on data regarding their overall financial position. Historically, banking was appointment-based and took time, regardless of whether you sat in front of a PC or in a branch. Now, the younger generations tend to perform many on-demand, quick banking actions from their mobile devices, wherever they happen to be. The great advantage of modern technology is that it can provide consumers with the context in which their financial transactions take place. This will prove increasingly important as consumers’ demand for a personally tailored service grows. For example, a person buying a pair of shoes using a banking app could be made aware of how the purchase might impact their clothing budget, or impact their spending budget for that weekend away at the end of the month, hence enabling informed buying decisions. So, the buying event can happen, but it can be automatically contextualized against affordability, cash flow, and general financial health. Currently, events occur in isolation, but with modern technology, payments can be seen holistically against the backdrop of a person’s financial wellbeing.

Banks can use modern technology to build trust with consumers and further cement relationships. It provides the ability to make faster decisions for customers, and improve customer recommendations, advice and experiences. Banks need to bridge the gap between what they are currently offering, and what customers want and have come to expect in this new highly connected world.

The whole financial services industry is embracing modern technology, and we can expect to see innovative new automated services designed to offer advice, and encourage financial responsibility. Banks can develop these innovations internally, or they can collaborate with fintechs, building on their existing expertise.

One way that Entersekt is leading the pack is in allowing banks to securely interact with customers in real time, as events happen. Entersekt’s products enable push authentication, secure user notification, and secure, rich media communication, such as voice and video. Our products also enable mobile payments that allow banks to be “present” at the point of transaction, which gives them the opportunity to influence behavior before the payment is made, instead of simply reporting on the impact of the decision after the fact. In this way, banks can provide that ever-more important service – constructive and timely customer engagement.

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Niel Bester

CHIEF SOFTWARE ENGINEER

An engineer by training, Niel has decades of experience in most facets of software development within the telecommunications and IT industries. He is passionate about product and organizational strategy and is a highly popular sounding board and source of information on trends in the market.

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Entersekt is an innovator of customer-centric fintech solutions. Financial services providers and other enterprises rely on our patented mobile identity system to provide both security and the best in convenient new digital experiences to their customers, irrespective of the service channel. With us, they can concentrate on their innovation roadmap, while delivering intuitive, low-friction digital experiences to their customers.