THE HISTORY OF DIGITAL BANKING:

The operation of the first ATM machine on June 27, 1967 at the Barclays Bank branch in Enfield, North London, is considered the first step towards the Self-Banking Services, while the actual launch of what is now known as Digital Banking Services had started in conjunction with the launch of the Internet, when four banks in New York City (Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Chemical Bank and Manufacturers Hanover) tested the first innovative solution in 1981, to enable their customers to use a range of banking services from their homes via the Internet.

Since then, the banking industry is still witnessing many articulated transformations and rapid developments through the implementation of numerous innovative digital banking solutions that support to improve its performance in customer service and meet their various banking needs in the fastest time, less effort and cost, in order to enhance the banking experience and raise the level of satisfaction for all customers from different segments.

Online Banking and Mobile Banking Apps, are considered one of the most important transformations witnessed by banks during the last two decades, as banks around the world race to provide digital platforms that enable customers to manage their accounts and savings easily and without the need to visit any of the bank’s branches, as well as enabling them from paying the government and service dues in a highly effective manner, which was highly appreciated by a large segment of bank customers.

WHAT CUSTOMERS REALLY NEEDS?

Although banks always strive to motivate their customers to practice banking activities through digital banking platforms, the reality of the situation of the branches’ crowding with customers confirms that many customers do not rely on these platforms in many cases for various reasons.

The Financial Brand published a recent study conducted by “Raddon”, the specialised institution in conducting statistical and diagnostic analytics related to the financial institutions ’markets. whereas the study demonstrated that the vast majority (60%) of customers preferred a combination of Self-Service, Digital and  Face-To-Face banking options.

On the other hand, Forbes published a recent study (March 2020) in which it presented the results of a survey conducted on a wide segment of bank customers in the US market, where the survey determined the most important characteristics preferred by customers in their Primary Bank (preferred) they depend on to manage their financial life, which are:

  • The Bank makes it easier to manage my financial life.
  • The Bank helps me to make better decisions about my financial life.
  • The Bank helps reduce the stress of managing my financial life.
  • The Bank exist when I need help managing my financial life.
  • The Bank provides products and services that meet my preferences and needs.

According to the study, the digital banking scored highly on the first two attributes in particular, which emphasize the results of the first study, which is the need for customers to have a combination of digital banking services and traditional banking services through a Hybrid Platform that ensure to combine the best of both methodologies.

THE BANK OR THE BANKING EXPERIENCE:

We can clearly notice that the main attributes that define the primary bank (preferred bank) for clients in the study published by Forbes never touched on the brand, number of branches, or even the number and types of banking products, while the most important indications that can be captured from this study, is that banking sector customers do not prefer a particular bank over another bank, but rather prefer a particular banking experience over another experience.

Therefore, it becomes an essential strategy for all banks to pay sharp attention to the importance of the variety of customers’ engagement channels and the importance of rapid response to their interactions emerges, in addition to the importance of exploring, analyzing and understanding their wants and needs, taking a proactive approach that exceeds customers’ expectations.

DIGITAL BANKING IMPROVERS:

Fortunately, the world today is witnessing an exceptional boom in the field of information technology using the distinct capabilities of data science as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, which enabled the development of a number of advanced solutions that helped in developing the digital banking platform and improving the banking customer experience.

  • PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS

Predictive analytics is a type of advanced analytics, and it is defined as the process of building predictions about unknown future events, using a number of techniques starting from Data Mining, Statistics, Modeling, Machine Learning, Feature Engineering and Artificial Intelligence, in order to analyze both current and historical data to predict what will happen in the future.

Among the most famous predictive analytics applications used in the banking industry are:

Next Best Offer: Enables banks to optimize their marketing strategies by detecting the exact customers wants & needs, engaging them with Personalized Offering. It also considered as a valuable tool for better marketing resources management, which leads for profits maximizing and effective customer engagement.

Churn Prediction: Enhanced by complicated scientific algorithms, Churn Prediction module run multiple analytics (Data Science Based) to explore the possibility of customers to be churned and raises early warning signs for Retention Unit as well as marketing department for necessary preventive actions.

These applications have contributed to improving customer relationship management and raising the level of their satisfaction on the one hand, and safeguarding the banks’ assets, rights and market reputation on the other hand.

  • CHAT-BOTS

Chat-Bots is a chatting platform, designed to simulate conversation with human users over the Internet, which is very efficient to answer a wide range of user’s inquiries along with handling variety of their possible requests, which leads to accelerates the respond to customer’s interactions as well as reducing the load from other service points such as call centers and branches.

  • ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION (RPA)

Software using Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning to handle high-volumes of repeatable tasks that previously required humans to perform, it’s also considered as Processes Accelerator utility that is supporting the reduction of Operational Cost and reduce the routine workload on bank’s human resources.

  • PORTABLE SERVICE OFFICES

Advanced portal that provide a combination of the best characteristics of both digital and traditional banking, delivered through a secured enterprise mobile platform with a custom web browsing interface to support Sales and Collections workforces by arming them with all the capabilities of actual branches wherever they are and at any time.

Author: Ammar Daghlas

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