What does the customer want? Thirty years ago, that question actually had a definitive answer for most industries. Where the answer was not definitive, customers were more than willing to listen to enterprises who told them what they ‘should’ want. And the venerable institution of banking rarely even asked that question. Well, things have changed, to put it mildly.

As transactions become increasingly digital, customers have all but forgotten the route to their bank branches. Where a visit to the bank was a part of one’s essential activities, it is more a chore in this day and age, looked upon as a vestige of a less evolved time. The contrast becomes sharper when the everyman’s other everyday activities are considered – booking a cab, for instance, or planning a holiday, or tracking inventory real-time

This leads us to the hard truth – banks have been unable to keep up with the speed of tech evolution, and the consequent evolution of their customers’ demands. And the vacuums in services are being filled quickly and aggressively by digital-savvy players – digital wallets, payments engines, wealth advisors among others. The writing on the wall says disintermediation.

But here’s the irony. The bank is still an essential part of a customer’s everyday life. Every time a chargeable service is provided, every time a purchase is made, every time money changes hands (or handsets), the bank is involved. The only drag is, the bank has no control over the engagement. What was once the primary driver of engagement, is reduced to a background programme. Desperate to change this, banks rushed headlong into Digital.

The Gold Rush of Banking

While banks grapple with the dual priorities of reducing costs and increasing revenue, digital represented hitherto unimagined solutions – magic bullets that promised straight through processing, customizable skins that brought user experience to fore again, promises of plug-and-play, faster payments, hyper segmentation and much, much more. However, they quickly realized two things –

  1. Piecemeal applications of digital technology went stale very soon
  2. The question ‘What does the customer want?’ still remained unanswered

The way forward is neither a frantic upward search for technology, nor is it a downward spiral of cynicism. Rather, it is simply a recalibration of how Digital is applied to banking.

Embracing Digital 360

Thanks to its two-decade deep dive into the world of banking and financial services, and an unusual focus on Design, Intellect Design Arena Ltd arrived at Digital 360 – a holistic, comprehensive application of Digital. It involves Digital outside, the experience driver and Digital Inside, the operational excellence enabler.

The core of enhancing customer experience lies in Apps Vault, a comprehensive repository of financial industry apps which are consistently built and can be rendered on any device, thus offering customers a seamless experience at all touch points. On the other hand, Operations Hub drives the orchestration of work flows and optimization of the way services are delivered, while ensuring that the system remains flexible for change.