Top ten digital issues to address in financial services to deliver a frictionless customer experience

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Banks and financial institutions need to combine human interactions with digital speed to transform client retention rates and reduce bottlenecks

Today’s financial institutions face a data deluge brought on by digital transformation. But according to M-Files, a global leader in information management, customers today demand instant information access and a frictionless digital experience. At the same time, financial services businesses are being hit with a range of traditional challenges such as regulation, economic uncertainty, and the rise of neobanks along with other market entrants.

Overcoming these challenges requires organisations to adopt business strategies and technologies that enable greater agility, speed, access, and organisation.  

Ville Somppi, vice president, professional services solutions at M-Files, stated, “Making digital transformation is about more than merely providing online content repositories and mobile functionality. Banks and other financial services companies must combine digital speed and convenience with human interactions that are not just thoughtful, but highly personalised for every stage in the customer journey.”

“The goal, therefore, must be to bring technology together to match these needs, which in turn requires business leaders to look at their business in a brand-new light. Central to this is to stop managing data, information, and work processes using legacy tools limited by operating systems, platforms, and data location,” he said.

Key issues to consider:

1. Automate manual processes: costly and slow; this labour-intensive work leads to inconsistent results beset with errors. Automating manual processes and eliminating lag times is critical for loan origination, client onboarding, servicing, and compliance. Anything dependent on workflow, process control, and collaboration.

2. Remove paper: since the financial crisis of 2007, banks and other institutions have been working to eliminate paper and digitise business information. This is still a work in progress encompassing e-discovery, records management through to archive, an issue exacerbated by unstructured data, and compliance needs.

3. Any device: most organisations have been rolling out Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies and flexible work schedules to meet the demands of a more flexible workforce. 

4. Audit: finding information quickly is essential for a positive customer experience and vital for tracking and audit purposes. Maintaining proper records is a foundational requirement for banks and financial services companies and one that can overwhelm if a systematic approach isn’t applied.

5. Silos need to go: information about customers, products, and services often exist in multiple applications, databases, and files. Furthermore, many existing systems use a location-centric, folder-based paradigm with complicated access control. Data visibility needs to be holistic, and access based on context.

6. Focus on the right data: when capturing and storing terabytes of content and data, it is easy to lose sight of what is most important.

7. Review and approve financial agreements faster: managing and tracking loan and contract workflows take time, and this is one area that needs to improve for both customer and user alike.

8. Find what you need NOW: organisations need to look beyond the chaos of traditional folders by organising content based on what it is and delivering the right information at the right time.

9. Privacy: with cyber-attacks and breaches on the rise, financial services need to provide robust security, control features, audit trails, federated authentication, file encryption in transit and at rest, high availability, etc.

10. Scalability: most organisations are today working with a hybrid model, but it is more complex and harder to manage. To address this, they should consider a solution that gives them the flexibility to leverage the cloud for certain resource-intensive functions while maintaining the ability to control other business functions locally.

“Delivering true digital transformation has been about far more than merely providing online content repositories and mobile functionality. It is central to delivering improvements to the user experience and, more importantly, the customer. Few things are as crucial to the financial services industry as securing business information. As the sector adjusts to a new way of working, a new customer is coming to the fore with new expectations and a host of new market entrants ready to deliver what they want. Digital transformation is therefore now not a nice to have, but an imperative for survival,” concluded Somppi.

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