Retail banking: Addressing Gen Y
Anil Bhasin, Senior Vice President, Sales, Cisco India & SAARC
Retail banking is undergoing a change both in the terms of offerings, consumption and customer behavior. Gen Y, a new generation of customers who are 18- to 30-year-old, and have grown up with Internet, social media, video, and interactive games expect banks to use such tools in their interactions. These customers use technology in every aspect of life, including taking control of their financial development.
Gen Y customers with higher disposable incomes have a wider choice in terms of offerings and providers, leading to quick decision making and low loyalty levels. They choose from several channels for interacting with their banks. Sometimes they talk to an adviser; other times they wish to find information online or view their account details over mobile phone. Internet-based technologies, applications, websites and video-based advisory services, are being sought after by these customers to track and manage money, receive personalized financial advice, and connect via virtual communities of interest.
In order to cater to these customers, banks have to ensure that their schemes reflect existing market sentiment, capture investment appetite, are dynamic enough to adapt to changing customer needs, and are effective in enduring fluctuating levels of user traffic.
Banks must review their strategy to survive in an ever changing financial services environment. Future success will require a balanced strategy - continuing to improve organizational productivity to cut costs, and driving better internal collaboration by identifying key growth areas for investment to create competitive differentiation. Banks will have to increase operational efficiency by consolidating and virtualizing supporting IT infrastructure and use tools like video, mobility and social interaction to boost customer intimacy and interaction.
ICT to the rescue
Given that customers are embracing new communications technologies such as video, and adopting online behaviors rapidly, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can enable banks to create more flexible, agile business models and find new ways to interact with customers. Additionally, collaboration technologies can provide a platform for application development.
Banks can avoid travel to customer site and instead use technologies like Telepresence that allow for "in-person" collaboration on various issues. Employing unified communication technologies helps banks to change the way their employees interact, increase individual productivity and effectiveness, allow teams to collaborate from different locations, and ensure access anytime, anywhere.
Cloud computing and cloud-powered collaboration makes it possible for banks to combine the knowledge of multiple experts across branches to resolve customer issues. Technology based solutions from Cisco like 'Branch of the Future'enable banks to differentiate from their peers, increase revenue from the branch, improve service levels and staff operational efficiency. Packed with a combination of technologies - including radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, application-oriented networking (AON) solutions, video telephony and digital signages, such solutions promise to make interactions simpler and more secure.
Technology creates tremendous opportunities for banks to offer new services. Retail banks can tap this opportunity and use mobile technologies and social networks to radically change the banking system for creating solutions that promise customer loyalty and ensure long term success.