Blog

Banks Take Advantage of the Newest Technology

Posted by Donna Recchione on Aug 6, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In client, accounting and finance, IT, hiring trends, ICS insights

The financial services industry is alive with buzz about virtual assistants, chatbots, and other artificial intelligence (AI). Advanced tech promises big things in the future of banking because it makes everything simpler and easier to understand. Smart tech lets customers skip phone trees and find the answers they need? Welcome to the age of virtual assistants and chatbots.

On the other hand, it's limiting to think that chatbots and virtual assistants only offer these innovations to end users. Once your website employs a chatbot, the assumption is that it will field most user queries. You just fire it up and watch it work. However, it’s crucial to bear in mind that advanced tech is only as good as the data it’s based on at the time.

The smartest chatbot is built on structured data so that it provides the correct responses. From simple questions regarding branch opening hours and APR to more complex questions, the right building blocks make the difference. Most financial services institutions agree that one of the main challenges of advanced tech solutions is onboarding talent with the right expertise to make this happen.

Analytics and Structuring Data

Structuring data precisely and employing appropriate analytics tactics enables your organization to create the right solutions. There are significant hurdles to this task. You probably don’t have the necessary people in your current organization. So, what can you do? Banks and credit unions should evaluate what’s needed to build, partner or buy superior decision-making capability for their AI.

Of course, there are budgetary considerations, but a cost-benefit analysis should reveal that the benefits of customer retention and attracting new prospects outweigh the effort and expense of sorting out data issues.

According to the Harvard Business Review, just three percent of companies’ data has the minimum quality standards. This presents a huge opportunity to gain an advantage over competitors if you can build an effective data strategy and capitalize on it.

Let’s review five ways your organization can get it right when it comes to implementing the most advanced tech, including:

  • Structuring your data
  • Using to mine the data
  • Making the experience unique for every customer
  • Adding value to the client experience
  • Offering a seamless experience across platforms

Structure Your Data

The financial services industry has a huge amount of data, such as transaction data, loan data, credit data, and other information. Therefore, getting information isn’t the problem. Instead, structuring data effectively challenges organizations when it comes to getting the chatbots attention and relaying the right answers to customers.

To correct this, credit unions and banks can hire data analysts adept at making sure that key data elements are correct. These professionals ensure that you get the fundamental data correct so that the customer query yields the appropriate response quickly.

Algorithms Mine Data for Insights

Once you have your data structured correctly, algorithms come into play that can sift through your databases looking for insights. Want to know the average credit score of your user base? How about your customers’ typical savings rate? Do you wonder how many of them have a credit card and a loan with a competitor?  These answers are within easy reach of your bankers on the tech team if they set up data appropriately.

Greater insights let your organization roll out strategies that set you apart from the competition. This means you can implement features that give you an edge in the marketplace quickly and with accurate results. Even better, this dynamic data gives you real-time access to changes and lets you figure out what’s triggering the change so that you can adapt immediately.

Custom Insights for Each Consumer

Now, we get to the point where artificial intelligence yields astonishing results. You have restructured the data, and it’s being mined by industrious algorithms for insights, so you can customize these insights for each individual user. For a user with surplus money in savings, the AI could suggest moving the cash to a term deposit that gives them a better yield. If a customer has a competitor credit card, they might get an offer to defect with an incentive such as a lower APR.

Basically, every user sees that their digital foray is treated uniquely and that the system reacts to their input intuitively. This gains their confidence and enhances user trust in your financial services institution and tech. Slowly, the bank earns a reputation for offering a service customers didn’t ask for or even know they needed.

Create Added-Value

Now is a good time to add a caveat to this whole process. If you get it wrong, then all your efforts can backfire, and customers may defect or lose trust in the process. That’s the reason that advanced analytics requires purposeful intention every step of the way. Incorrect data, structure, or a negative user experience makes your customers lose faith in the whole system. Customers might even resent how you’re using their information and express their disapproval.

Let’s look at ways to avoid this situation. First of all, never sell customer data to other parties. This is particularly true in cases that the user hasn’t provided clear consent. Along the same lines, you can’t create offers that take advantage of clients with short-term (short-sighted) benefits.

Chatbots and virtual assistants help you meet the objectives of your organization while meeting the needs of the client. Alternately, the opposite happens, and your AI creates a PR problem with dissatisfied users. It’s better to move deliberately and put out a quality user experience.

Give Users a Seamless Experience

If you want to enjoy the benefits of chatbots, AI, and virtual assistants, first make sure the end-to-end experience is transparent across different channels. For example, consider a client or prospective client who asks a question about your organization’s services on a mobile app. They have to get the information immediately on the device. If that gets complicated for the virtual assistant, the user gets transferred to a live agent to get the answers.

When a customer comes in off the street into a branch office for help, the tellers and service representatives need access to the same information to troubleshoot the issue. All the legwork you do to ensure consistent data availability across platforms ensure consistent user experiences. This is critical to retention and comprehensive for those retrieving the data from many points.

Data as a Foundation for Banking

Your bank or credit union should try to go to the next level with virtual assistants, chatbots or the Internet of Things (IoT). However, that starts by keeping your eyes on the best solutions available, based on a foundation of accurate data. The customer expects you to know who they are, even more so in the digital world. Take the effort to understand them and anticipate their needs. When you look out for your clients by mining data via advanced analytics, they’re more likely to recommend you to a friend.

For example, maybe a user wants to know how much money they’ve spent on coffee recently. A query goes in via the chatbot, but only two out of five coffee transactions have been flagged as coffee. This information is incomplete and gives your client the wrong answer in the chatbot.

Data and the Customer Experience

Progress is being made in the industry. In regard to chatbots, AI, and virtual assistants, financial institutions should be leading the way instead of reacting to existing trends.

You can accomplish this by improving how you use and present data, based on data analytics that improve your customer experience and help you grow. It all comes back to data, whether it's restructuring it for queries or respecting clients enough not to misuse or resell it.

Staff to Your Advantage

If you want to staff your company with the skilled professionals needed to take advantage of such technology, contact ICS. We have candidates that would love to work for your organization and really make an impact. Click below to get started with your search and to move forward with technology. 

Find Talent NOW

FTN Accounting Finance