Wearable devices open up new channels

Remember when the only form of instant communication was the phone? I do, and it was a house phone at that. As we march forward, embracing technology in its shining splendor and marveling at the functionality of new additions, like the new iPhone’s biometric fingerprint scanner, a keen eye needs to be kept on the monsoon of new, wearable devices that is about sweep over us, writes David James Pickering

Remember when the only form of instant communication was the phone? I do, and it was a house phone at that. As we march forward, embracing technology in its shining splendor and marveling at the functionality of new additions, like the new iPhone’s biometric fingerprint scanner, a keen eye needs to be kept on the monsoon of new, wearable devices that is about sweep over us, writes David James Pickering

These new, internet ready devices will provide new forms of interaction with each other, the companies we communicate with and of course will generate entirely new streams of information to be filed under the banner term of ‘Big data.’

Point of fact, Samsung is already there with its Galaxy Gear smart watch, Pebble too, not to forget the upcoming arrival of Google Glass.

It’s pretty obvious the Transhumanist movement called it way back. They championed current and future technological marvels that would, in time, integrate with a human to enhance physical, intellectual and psychological abilities.

As out there as it sounds people have been integrating technology into their bodies for some time; let’s not forget the artificial hip (1940) or the internal pacemaker from the 60’s.

Internal release systems for drugs, ocular and auditory implants and highly advanced prosthetics are not uncommon now and so it seems we are already well on our way to becoming bio-mechanical entities.

So, with this in mind it’s easy to see how these new devices are set to mainstream the idea of embedded or wearable tech.
And so with each new internet connected device, which in turn is a portal to a whole new collection of streams including social media, come new channels of communication and interaction that companies like our banks will seek to capitalise on.

What does this mean for the Banking industry?

Well, we all know that banks have a history of less than stellar customer service. Somehow, the financial crisis didn’t help their credibility either, instead, it simply compounded the issue. Countries and citizens the world over lost faith and trust in their financial institutions, however, this new multi-channel environment presents new opportunities; and taking into account the very nature transparency that goes along with any social channel, banks have the chance to right the wrong and become completely customer-centric.

Think about it; with so many streams of communication coming into a bank from so many customers, it’s in their best interests, even if only from a back office perspective, to be able to consolidate and sort the data for relevance and eventually posit it onto a customer’s record where, that single, up to date, customer record will be readily available to see by any agent of the bank at any given moment from any location.

Now this may sound great for record keeping but what does it mean for this new customer-centric, multi-channel world we live in?

In a nutshell, no matter which way a customer now engages with that bank all of their information will be available at the click of a mouse. Thus allowing the banks agent to see exactly what the customer is interested in, has been looking at on the website or has enquired about before and so on. In essence, the agent now has the ability to have a really meaningful, relevant, personalized conversation about the customers’ needs and requirements.

Bank and customer working together in a beautifully transparent and mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship!

And isn’t that what great customer service is all about?