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Multichannel – the key to financial services success in the new millennium

Chin Ying Loong, vice president, Fusion Middleware at Oracle, ASEAN | Aug. 13, 2014
Integrated online offerings can facilitate customer retention, cut costs and drive new revenue models for banks.

In practice, the IT department enables this while the marketing department packages it. In reality, a bank must be able to offer a cross channel experience that streamlines marketing content creation, and integrates customer data across disparate systems, in order to present more effective and targeted behavioral data for campaign-wide insight and optimisation. This can be done very quickly with SOA, so much so that banks can even test-market a product to see if it performs as well as expected.

Once the SOA is in place, the next step is to add a service delivery layer. This enables the bank to release products and capabilities via any number of channels speedily and securely. Moreover, they can target each channel without having to worry about the device used, be it an iPad, Android tablet or smart phone.

While banks recognise the importance of delivering multichannel services to differentiate and stimulate growth, they are also increasingly concerned about the costs involved and the direct impact on profitability. Both SOA and service delivery solutions enable faster, less risky, more affordable implementations of modern multi-channel services integrated with existing core banking systems. However, they do not address the impact of this additional workload on operational cost and overall performance.

This is where backend systems offloading solutions come into play. By containing operational costs and enabling banks to take advantage of low cost technologies, banks can experiment more frequently and eventually build a foundation for the necessary banking transformation. Collectively, this will stimulate innovation, which is key to success in the new millennium.

Reaping the Benefits of Multichannel
As the banking industry evolves and matures, many banks are looking to scale up, often through acquisition and global expansion. To leverage their different assets, banks need to establish a single platform and deliver a single user experience across all subsidiaries.

When implemented properly, the platform can help to create islands of excellence across the entire business landscape. For example, particularly effective systems in certain branches can be picked up and used to provide services in other subsidiaries through multichannel technology. Alternatively, they could be re-branded and sold as a new offering to different market segments in various countries. With this distributed approach, banks need not replicate entire core banking systems for different subsidiaries, and can cross-leverage the strongest aspects of each operation to mix and match market needs.

Additionally, online channels enable retail banks to grow quickly without significant investments in real estate. Without branches, costs are greatly reduced and translate into cost savings for customers.

Deploying a multichannel strategy is an attractive approach for banks across the region, especially those keen on integrating online channels and improving services. It also offers the scalability required to take advantage of new opportunities that are emerging in the increasingly connected and fragmented market of the 21st century.


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