I had an interesting conversation recently that circled around the question: “Could finding new banking services be more like shopping at Amazon?” For example, why can’t we compare products easily, add them to a shopping cart, and click a big “Buy” button like we can for just about every other consumer product? Just posing this question shows the impact that rising consumer expectations are having on all industries. At Temenos, we have seen a huge transformation in banking customer experience over the past few years as banks attempt to differentiate themselves not only from their banking competitors but also from new FinTech companies as well.
In fact, FinTech companies have arguably been the biggest driver of this shift in banking customer experience. 1/3 of consumers across the world are now using at least one FinTech app, whether that’s peer-to-peer payments, financial planning, savings and investments, borrowing, or insurance. Consumers value these new apps because they are digital-first experiences, they are generally focused on one specific area of their financial lives (specialization often leads to a better product/experience), and they seamlessly integrate with other apps that they are using. So, what can banks learn from this?
First, building digital-first experiences is critically important. EY recently found that 64% of FinTech users prefer digital channels to manage ALL aspects of their lives. If banks aren’t letting digital guide everything they do, they will continue to become irrelevant for consumers. Second, banks can’t build quality products and services quickly enough to compete with competitors who are specializing in one area. Instead, the key to building better customer experiences is by embracing platformification—the idea the banks should be a “hub” that integrates with a wide variety of applications and services that meet the needs of their customers.
During my career, I’ve been very fortunate to have had some inspiring mentorship while at Oracle, Citrix and Stanford’s Hasso Platner Institute of Design (aka the “d.school”). The idea of taking a human-centered approach to product and service design resonates so well with me. So, when I met Temenos’ SVP – Experience, Derek Corcoran, and heard his vision for expanding their CX design expertise to tackle things like the “Amazon of banking” questions, I was immediately intrigued.
Temenos’ SaaS platform, Journey Manager, increases agility and speed-to-market for banks and financial services firms for acquiring new customers. Our software makes it easier for a consumer to digitally apply for a checking account or credit card, for example. Throughout Temenos’ history, there has always been a focus on simplifying complicated, information-heavy processes. What started as making PDF documents interactive and easier to navigate, now spans an omnichannel experience involving web, mobile, and in-branch interactions. Banking and financial services are ripe for innovation, as our relationships with these organizations, and our money, in general, continues to evolve.
With our focus on banking, and experience working with more than 90 organizations globally, we’ve learned a thing or two about what customers expect when applying for a checking account, credit card or loan. A senior executive at a regional bank recently told me “perhaps the greatest value you can provide is to challenge our thinking.”
This was the catalyst for creating our new Customer Experience (CX) Design Practice. The mission of this Practice is to help our clients understand what a frictionless application and onboarding experience look and feels like. We fully appreciate the complexity of the environment banks operate within. Regulatory, compliance and security requirements are top of mind for all bank executives. So, it’s understandable that a focus on the experience of actual customers tends to get blurry. That’s our team’s sole goal – to make sure the applicant’s needs and goals are understood and solved for. If our clients feel inspired after working with us, and think differently about the experiences they deliver, we’ve done our job.
We’re currently building several offerings as part of the CX Design Practice. The Experience Design Workshop is a hands-on, facilitated session that looks at an applicant’s needs and goals, analyzes the current application experience, and uses insights gathered from that analysis to propose a new application experience design. The level of design guidance we can provide is flexible: we love the opportunity to share our vision for what a best-in-class application experience looks like, and can also help shape the designs produced by our client’s agencies or in-house CX teams. The output of the workshop is an application journey design based on customer and business needs, a shared understanding across your teams for what the experience could look like, and clearer direction for the implementation project teams to build upon.