The pandemic has been a catalyst in the shift to digital for many people. In the path to recovery, banks are adopting hi tech digital solutions and technology to not only engage with customers but also to build long term loyalty.

Because of the crisis, expectations from customers about what is conceivable and also doable using digital has increased significantly. It is essential for new age banks such as Small Finance Banks to be seen as technology-savvy, applying data and analytics, use the best possible new-tech, and make banking transactions faster and accurate, the user experience even more customer friendly and engaging, their internal processes more efficient and smoother. Adopting this approach is likely to not only win customer loyalty but also build the reputation of the bank as a friendly and efficient one.

Using Data and Analytics to Drive Engagement

The banking sector has witnesses tremendous progression in adoption of digital technologies and the use of data and artificial intelligence (AI) to create compelling customer experience. The manner in which financial institutions engage with consumers is is rapidly transforming the entire customer journey.

By adopting an innovation-oriented culture, supported by the quality use of data, a bank can design and deliver customized services and solutions that can create revenue streams far beyond what was possible in the past.

This phase of the digital banking transformation process is not simple, since it requires full commitment of the top management, specialized skills & expertise, total organizational buy-in and alignment, significant revisions to legacy technology and processes and a receptiveness to partnering with external providers that can offer both adaptability and agility. The change is demanding!

The Focus Factor

In recent times, the focus of Small Finance Banks has been on the need to reset the entire customer experience, from onboarding to transactions, and address their evolving needs in the wake of adjustments that customers had to make in their lives due to the pandemic.

Not only have consumers across all demographic segments, moved in vast numbers to digital channels, they also expect banks to leverage data and insights into their preferences and habits in order to provide superior solutions, personalized to their specific needs.

It is therefore a core requirement for Small Finance Banks to do all that is conceivable to improve the transition to digital channels. This includes, but not limited to:

Spread digital literacy: Provide ongoing education to consumers about fulfilling banking transactions using digital, from checking balance, to transferring funds, to paying bills, to depositing cheque et al.

Simplify processes: Banks must improve the user experience by keeping the steps simple, self-exploratory and intuitive and as few as possible.

Increase Digital Engagement: The more a consumer uses his/her mobile banking app, the less fearful and more comfortable they shall be with the next transaction. Therefore, creating mobile-first features and functionality is the need. The value proposition for consumers must include simplicity, transparency, real-time insights, and a consumer-centric perspective.

Create personalization. If there is a single revelation consumers have had during the pandemic, it is the ability of organizations across a wide spectrum of industries, to personalize digital engagement. Consumers expect you to know them, understand them, and to provide relevant offers and recommendations in real-time, based on their previous and potential actions.

Conclusion:

Achieving the right balance requires a conceptual shift. In reality, financial institutions are not facing a black and white choice between buying versus build, or between subscribing to software-as-a-service versus cultivating the internal talent to architect a new solution. The real deal is about getting prepared to transition into a truly Digital-mode which indeed is crucial not only at present but also for future!

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