On the Money with Digital: Is your perception of digital flawed? (Part 1)

Chances are there was an advert in the newspaper this morning about a new mobile-based digital payment service by yet another bank.

On the Money with Digital: Is your perception of digital flawed? (Part 1)

No morning, it seems, can pass without at least one such ad, a promotional post on social media or a television commercial. Can you blame anyone if they begin to equate digital with mobile services? But digital is much more than mobile.


Traditional bankers are becoming wise to the larger digital trend and are busy looking around their offices identifying everything that can “Go Digital”. Of course ledgers and customer data can go digital, all transactions will go digital, and planning and reporting are joining the digital party. Loans, mortgage, insurance, wealth management, risk assessment and collections are all going digital, resulting in enormous efficiencies and cost savings. 


But did you notice that the natural focus in the “Go Digital” inventory was on paper-intensive processes traditionally managed by human hands? That is the flaw. It represents one of the more formidable challenges financial services must address. The industry needs to adjust its perceptions of what constitutes digital and how to go about implementing it to transform business models, customer acquisition and experience, products, operating models and partner collaboration.


Let me explain using an example from a recent engagement HCL embarked upon. A financial services organization serving the armed forces felt the need to capture Voice of Customer (VoC) more efficiently and then make sense of it quickly. We were asked to help the organization create new social listening capabilities that gathered data from multiple sources (email, online, call center, surveys, blogs and, yes, mobile).


We ended up with 35 text analytics engines for internal systems and 119 external sources spewing enormous amounts of structured and unstructured data that needed to be integrated and analyzed. The results helped draw an accurate picture of customer sentiment across key customer KPIs. We also put a new collaboration process in place to help marketing and product managers orchestrate timely action on the data.


Doubtless, this is a nice story. But the real happy ending is here: CSAT increased to 98%, operational costs fell by 20%, the ability to upsell and cross-sell improved 5%, and each line of business was able to enjoy automated self-service reporting. In the second part of this series, I’ll outline some of the ways that financial services firms can start to replicate this kind of success by changing their perception of ‘going digital’.