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Personalized, mobile-first banking at scale

A digital, customer-centric approach provides a path for banks to reinvent themselves as true innovators.

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As banks around the globe face increasing pressure to deliver personalized products and services at scale, the race is on to attract and retain customers through digital channels. In addition, the consumerization of mobile technology has heightened customers’ expectations for how they engage with the brands and financial institutions they care about.

With this shift, embedded finance and “super apps” are having a big moment. Banks are increasingly removed from the financial lives of their core banking customers as emerging nonbank competitors begin to offer core banking services, including checking and savings accounts, digital wallets, payments and a broad range of lending products. Banks of all sizes are under increasing pressure to stay relevant under these new standards.

For most financial organizations, bringing a new digital product or service to market can take many months, which in today’s fast-moving world means the risk of losing customers to more agile competitors.

Our conversations with financial leaders have revealed some common barriers facing institutions as they work to become more customer-centric and mobile-first:

  • Many bankers don’t have the data they need to understand their customers fully, and they lack the accurate, 360-degree customer view needed to have an impact on their customers’ financial lives.
  • Some bankers have a 360-degree customer view and can pinpoint their customers’ needs, but their mobile channels aren’t mature enough to allow them to engage with their customers at the right time.
  • Other bankers understand precisely what it takes to drive innovation, but they have time and resource constraints and lack the expertise to design, build, deploy and optimize these digital journeys.
  • Servicing and booking products require ongoing and complex integrations into existing systems.

When we understand these challenges, we can see the path forward. Banks need to connect their systems to create an integrated, 360-degree customer view. They need to enrich that customer view with data from relevant third-party platforms and continue to add more data sources over time without constraints on the amount or types of data.

In addition, they should analyze their markets and identify which underserved customers and market segments they want to target. They should be able to quickly define new products and services tailored to the exact needs of their customers.

The next step is to make these products and services available to customers by defining and rolling out new digital journeys across different channels and touch points, including mobile and chat.

Banks either need new core business capabilities to efficiently service and book these products and services—and this number could become large as they drive toward more personalized offerings—or they need to connect these services and products to existing legacy products. In both cases, operational efficiency is critical.

Banks often settle for turnkey solutions, but that approach can be risky and expensive. While these configurations give banks parity with their competitors, they offer limited customization. They cannot drive true differentiation or the personalization banks need to win in their local markets, because each bank’s solution is identical.

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Another option is to build a custom solution, which is typically slow and expensive, and there’s the risk they will quickly become outdated. A custom approach requires either an internal team with a wide variety of difficult-to-find technical skills or an expensive solution partner. As a result, building a custom solution is not a viable option for many smaller organizations.

A third option is for financial institutions to use no-code and low-code tools to create a personalized solution for their unique business needs. This can be a viable option for banks and credit unions that want to deploy scalable solutions today, while offering a flexible framework that can evolve to meet the needs of customers tomorrow.

By advancing innovative digital products and services from concept to market, across channels and at the speed the market demands, banks can scale and innovate using an open API architecture that enables them to offer new embedded finance solutions. This is an approach that provides a viable way for banks to reinvent themselves as true innovators.

Mike Hughes is vice president of product marketing at FintechOS.

Gain insights on where mobile banking is headed from the BAI Executive Report, “Mobile banking is on the move.”