Bob Tramontano Vice President of Financial Industry Marketing at NCR, discuses the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for retail banking in the age of the multi-channel consumer.
How has the growth in consumer orientated technology increased a bank's opportunity to better service their customers?
Bob Tramontano. Internet-enabled devices have created increased customer service expectations in two key areas and banks that recognize these trends can significantly increase their level of service and improve loyalty.
The first area is convenience. Internet-enabled devices are portable and they are always turned on - which means that a customer can shop, schedule appointments and transact with their bank from just about anywhere. These devices enable consumers to re-define convenient service as instantaneous, in real-time, at any time, and from anywhere.
The second expectation is around personalization. Internet-enabled devices are personal communication portals that create a huge opportunity for banks to interact with their customers on a more customized and individual basis.
Mobile banking applications, text messaging, alerts, and email are now enabled in a single consumer device, so it becomes critical for banks to understand how to effectively use these different mediums for interacting with their customers according to their presence (where they are) and preference (what they want).
What is NCR doing to help banks differentiate themselves in this new multi-channel environment?
BT. NCR serves consumers when they shop, travel, visit the doctors, entertain themselves and bank. We help these industries deliver multi-channel solutions that reinvent the consumer experience. This multi-industry perspective helps us break down the delivery channel silos to provide consumers with a more seamless multi-channel experience.
Let me give you a few examples. The hottest thing in deposits is remote deposit capture, which lets a customer make a deposit using their home scanner or mobile phone. Nearly all the products on the market are stand-alone services - they don't work in conjunction with the other channels or services that the customer is using. For the customer, this means they have to have to use a separate application or go to a different web page, have a separate logon i.d., and keep track of a different password. NCR is integrating our mobile deposit capture capability, called APTRATM Passport, into our online and mobile banking applications. So the customer can access the service using whichever channel they prefer.
Another way NCR can help banks is with customer communications. It's increasingly harder for a bank to reach today's time starved mobile consumer with service and marketing messages. NCR has a solution called APTRA eMarketing that helps banks develop targeted personalized one to one marketing campaigns, and deliver messages wherever the customer might be, either at the ATM, via a text message, or by email. But again, the key difference is that it's all integrated together to give the customer the confidence that their bank knows who they are, and how they want to be communicated to.
What are the key drivers to long term success for banks in the multi-channel marketplace?
BT. There are many keys to success, but I'll focus on two. First, I believe that success will be defined by a bank's ability to truly understand and deliver the expected consumer experience. We know the consumer wants a seamless experience across all channels with control over their channels and preferences. They expect messaging that provides evidence that the banks is listening, regardless of channel and responding in ways that are relevant to them personally. This creates an opportunity for banks that deliver a seamless experience across all its channels.
And second, banks need to give real consideration to the track record, stability, and long term vision of their technology providers. There's a lot of buzz in some areas, but it's mostly coming from start-up companies that can only deliver one piece of the multi-channel puzzle. But multi-channel is much more than throwing a mobile banking app on to iTunes or spamming customers with email marketing. Multi-channel is about creating a holistic experience that will build loyalty in your customer base. Success for banks will ultimately come down to choosing a partner that can help them deliver the experience that consumers expect.
Bob Tramontano is vice president of financial industry marketing at NCR, a leading global provider of payments, assisted and self-service solutions, with over 125 years of experience and knowledge.