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Open 24 Hours: Bringing the Full Capabilities of the Branch to Digital Channels

In my previous blog I introduced the series with the idea that financial services firms are now being expected to operate and be “Open 24 Hours.” Underlying this is the transition from the physical business model to the digital business model. This principle can be built upon by exploring the factors that are driving this change and some of the challenges that need to be addressed.

The explosion of digital devices, mobile apps, Wi-Fi everywhere, cloud computing and broadband internet together, provides consumers with increasing ways to explore and shop online. With increased use, shopping and buying online is quickly becoming the normal approach, especially with younger consumers. In fact, a recent study found that 64 percent of generation Y pays half or more of their bills electronically.

Increasingly, consumers start their purchasing journey in the digital space – primarily on the internet. This initial step is usually preceded by a referral from a friend, colleague or family member based on a superior experience. Regardless, the trend for consumers especially in the retail industry is to shop online and purchase offline.

How is this manifesting for retail banks? Just look at the forecasts of usage patterns and changing transaction mix across banking channels. Recent industry surveys all confirm that the volume and mix of transactions is forecasted to change over the next five years. Specifically, the internet, through mobile channels, is increasing in usage. The branch channel is expected to flatten and in developed markets, expected to decrease. In addition, the nature and type of transactions traditionally conducted in the branch is shifting to digital channels, as more technology-enabled solutions are deployed. Read More »

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Mobile Payments Already Huge in Some Markets

Jason KohnBy Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

In fact, mobile payment systems are already enormously popular in some parts of the world, but you might be surprised at where. Leading the mobile payment revolution: Kenya.

I wrote last year about the M-Pesa mobile banking and payment system, launched by network operator Safaricom in Kenya and Vodacom in Tanzania. According to Lindsey Gilpin of TechRepublic, M-Pesa now serves 17 million Kenyans, and 25 percent of the country’s gross national product flows through the system. Worldwide, Gartner estimated mobile payments to surpass $235 billion in transaction value and 245 million users last year, led by emerging markets in Africa and India.

So mobile payments are maturing fast, just not in the North America. According to a 2013 report from the U.S. Federal Reserve, just 12 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed had made a mobile payment during the previous year. Sara Angles wrote about this surprising technology lag in BusinessNewsDaily last October. Citing a global study by SAP, she noted that “the United States reported the lowest consumer demand for mobile commerce, with just 53 percent of those surveyed expressing a desire to make a purchase via mobile.”

Just 15 percent of North American consumers said they were ready to buy more with mobile devices, compared to more than 80 percent in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Africa.

So what’s the story? Why is the United States lagging so far behind? Read More »

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Banking Operating Models – Then and Now

A recent poll by American Banker Magazine reported on the impressions of the future of banking and generated some interesting perspectives about what the future will be like. While there were several insights, one comment especially captured the essence of the future:

The future model of banking will center around dramatically increased simplicity delivered through a mobile device (phone, tablet, wearable technology). The result will be an experience that makes banking part of other daily activities as opposed to a standalone event.

In other words, the business signs on our banks will now read “Open 24 Hours.”

How different this is, when compared to the operational model on which banks have operated for most of the time. Banks have their roots in a pre-Internet/pre-electronic communications era. Like many retail companies, banks were designed around a ‘brick and mortar’ physical model of operation and distribution. We can categorize this as the physical business operating model and the bank of now is heading towards anytime, anywhere access. Read More »

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Don’t Miss our Financial Services Sessions at Cisco Live Milan

Now more than ever financial services companies are wrestling with reducing costs, increasing revenue, and mitigating risk. Cisco Live Milan is a chance for Cisco customers and partners to learn more about innovations that can help address these challenges while meeting business goals.

This year at Cisco Live Milan, we have the following financial services industry sessions:

BRKIND-2111: Enabling Omnichannel Interaction to Capture Greater Wallet-Share in the Retail Banking and Retail Industries

Wednesday, January 29 at 11:30 a.m.

Today’s evolving financial consumer wants tedious transactions automated while valuing interactions that enhance their financial situation. Did you know 2/3 of banking customer segments want anytime-anywhere full-service banking … and will not do business without it? Learn how Cisco can make you a hero at your bank … by enabling omnichannel banking to increase your wallet-share!

BRKIND-2333: Capturing Trading Alpha with Performance and Intelligence in Financial Markets

Wednesday, January 29 at 4:30 p.m.

As ultra-low latency architectures become the foundation of trading fabrics, embedded analytics and instrumentation capabilities are critical to capturing key opportunities in a fast-paced market. Due to these growing data analytic requirements within the architecture, scalable fabrics—without compromised latency—are becoming more important. Learn how Cisco’s High-Performance Trading Fabric is unique in the marketplace in its ability to enable competitive advantage in the form of capturing sustained trading Alpha.

If you are attending Cisco Live Milan, we invite you to visit us in the Cisco Collaboration exhibit area in the World of Solutions where we will show you how you can transform your customer interaction business model to:

    • Improve sales, cross-sales, and upselling
    • Acquire customers faster
    • Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty
    • Control costs and boost efficiency
    • Enhance regulatory compliance

We will be demonstrating the newest release of Remote Expert, a solution that is gaining adoption around the globe. Why? Here is what one financial institution is saying:

“The Cisco solution has helped us improve customer satisfaction and staff efficiency while at the same time increasing mortgage sales. The business case in favor of the Cisco solution stacked up quickly.”

Andrew Nation, Senior Manager,
Future Customer Outcomes at Nationwide Building Society

If you are already registered to attend Cisco Live Milan, you can register to attend these sessions on your Cisco Live Schedule Builder today. For more general information on Cisco Live, please visit the main event website here.

See you in Milan!

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Connecting Experts to Customers with Omnichannel Delivery

Are you familiar with the bank of yesterday? One where trying to meet with an expert can translate into being required to travel across town or deal with lengthy wait times and lines? Where it can take days and even weeks to receive and sign documents to close a mortgage or open a new account? And yet many other aspects of your life can be addressed from the privacy and security of your home, at a time that is convenient to you.

I suspect many have encountered these or similar frustrations while attempting to gain valuable advice and support from a financial expert at a bank. However, these are becoming issues of the past thanks to the emergence of the omnichannel banking model.

The bank of now is here. Customers may make their own choice of when, where, and how they want financial service interaction. The omnichannel model orients the bank to focus on the customer, independent of product or geography, enabling customers to connect with the right expert at the right time at their preferred channel. One key to executing this strategy is recognition that a bank has to go beyond yesterday’s multi-channel integration by leveraging technology to virtually connect customers with the people who are best suited to address their needs. To get started down the omnichannel path, Read More »

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