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From 'Digital Banking' to 'Intelligent Banking' transformation

David Villaseca Morales
EMEA Banking Innovation

In a fiercely competitive digital landscape, banks need to accelerate the applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and autonomous cloud technology (a.k.a. "Intelligent Banking") to boost digital sales, optimize costs and empower agile, internal talent.  Banks that are slow off the mark stand to lose a big growth engine.

Opportunities for banks to optimize costs and accelerate digital sales

With 506 million Google search results, "Digital Banking” is already a tangible reality for banks worldwide. When I began to develop Digital Innovation in BBVA more than 12 years ago, we were even in a different building, away from all the other areas of the bank. But now, for most banks, digital is a strategic priority. Santander is planning to invest more than €20 billion in digital technology, in order to reduce costs and accelerate sales. Also, Lloyds is investing £3 billion in UK over three years for its digital transformation. BBVA considers that digitization means more closely connected and satisfied customers, because “digital customers interact with the bank more frequently and tend to increase the number of transactions and operations, boosting the bank’s income”. 

Nevertheless, there are still huge opportunities to connect with the customers. According to a NetSuite study across industries, 80% of consumers do not feel they are provided with a personalized experience, whether physical or digital.

Adaptive Intelligence in action

After different efforts to delivering omnichannel experiences, a data-driven transformation based on Artificial Intelligence can help banks to enhance their customer relationships. More precisely, Artificial Intelligence is impacting business across different areas with a practical approach: “Adaptive Intelligence”. This involves the use of applications based on internal and external data, powered by Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in real-time. These applications are scalable and produce better business outcomes in shorter times. It is not just about Marketing and Sales automation (programming to perform specific tasks): these are autonomous systems that self-learn with little (or no) human intervention.

Four areas are key for an “Intelligent Banking” approach: 1) Sales; 2) Experience Center; and internally, 3) Talent Management; and 4) Resources Planning.

1. Intelligent Sales

Orchestrating data, both internal and external, is key for generating traffic, as well as driven digital sales conversions. Banks are hyper-personalizing communications with potential customers across media and advertising platforms to maximize the return on their advertising investments. 

On the whole, Customer Experience (CX) apps help banks to orchestrate marketing and customer interactions to obtain better leads and achieve higher digital sales. Specific tools, such as the Data Management Platform (DMP), help to manage audiences based on the engaged environment, and facilitate an understanding of the entire customer journey across advertising media and content marketing. They also help maintain personalized communications with customers on their own websites and apps, with tailored experiences driven by data and testing of autonomous systems.

To illustrate the scale of improvements in term of marketing investments, Morningstar enjoyed a 154% increase in quality leads with Oracle Customer Experience.

2. Intelligent Experience Center

Customers define their own journeys across channels: they may include both self-service interactions, and sometimes even personal interactions through contact centres. Traditionally, companies have being implementing efficiency programmes on these centres. Customer demands now require an evolution from traditional contact centres to a true “Experience Centre”.

AI apps support both self-service environments and empowered human agents. Machine learning helps users to understand customer context and intent, and to identify the best channel for each conversation, whether with a digital assistant or a human agent. Software-as-a-Service solutions also provide flexible and intelligent interfaces for real time voice/video communications between customer and agent. This evolution allows not just an agile service, but more sales focus. This way, the Experience Center can become a growth engine, impacting revenues and sales generation.

Using Oracle Service Cloud, Vodafone reduced its average call handling time per query, and enhanced its customer experience in contact centres across multiple channels: voice, chat, email and website.

3. Intelligent Talent Management

According to the World Economic Forum, in the current Fourth Industrial Revolution, 75 million jobs may disappear by 2022, and another 133 million will have arisen. In this context, banks need to support their employees to develop their talent for the new challenges. AI is a way to empower and develop internal talent, rather than a future threat to employment.

New Human Capital Management (HCM) apps are empowering employees with AI. They integrate internal data with technology platforms to address new challenges by accelerating digital transformation internally and by improving business agility. On top of that, banks can use these agile platforms to connect teams and foster life-long learning among their employees.

A U.S. credit union has cut administration expenses through automation, and reduced the time and effort spent on patching by 80%, with Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud. Regarding new employees, the improvement in time spent on hiring and onboarding was 18%.

4. Intelligent Resources Planning

Front office transformation can be accelerated with a data-driven approach in the back office. New ways of working demand that banks obtain the agility to manage day-to-day business activities, such as project management, procurement, accounting and risk avoidance. 

Cloud resource planning solutions automate manual tasks and improve performance with accessible business insights supported by real-time data. It is not just about optimizing costs with efficiency, but also involves enhanced collaboration across areas through a seamless user experience.

Citi and Oracle collaborated on a banking-as-a-service ERP solution to simplify and accelerate the corporate payment experience in almost half the time, thereby reducing inefficiencies and improving transparency and security.

Conclusion

The combination of data, adaptive intelligence and talent can accelerate the achievement of the banks’ growth ambitions in the digital landscape. For years, I have bet on new technologies (from mobile to cloud) to accelerate sales in banking, and to make a difference. It is even more important now in the critical context of profitability: delaying this evolution may mean losing profitable growth. So, the important question is: How can Intelligent Banking help you to achieve your business goals?

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