It is not an exaggeration to say that many people today would feel lost without having their mobile phone close at hand. We depend on it to manage almost every aspect of our lives, including our schedule at work, connecting with friends and family, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and enjoying entertainment to name a few. This technology has become so ingrained, that we often lose sight of how integrated financial services have become in our daily lives.
Rahul Kumar Leading the banking and lending strategy for Talkdesk, Focused on thought leadership and industry solutions. In his 13 years in financial services, he has helped many financial services organizations drive a large-scale digital transformation.
Here he shares his thoughts on putting customer experiences at the center of digital payment strategies.
The ability to connect digitally anywhere, anytime has also revolutionized digital financial services, resulting in the emergence of payments as a premium segment in the fintech space that secures billions of dollars in investment funding. From the advent of online banking in the 1990s, to the proliferation of digital, digital, and contactless social payments during the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers increasingly expect fast and seamless experiences at every touch point.
According to a McKinsey report, there has been a clear shift in buying behavior, with consumers spending 30% more online than before the pandemic. In addition, UK Finance reports that more than 90 per cent of UK adults use direct debit, and they make 4.5 billion payments using this method each year. This is clearly good news for companies, not least because it gives them greater certainty about their cash flow. However, in addition to investing in their payment capabilities, it is also important that their Customer Experience (CX) infrastructure enables them to meet the high expectations of consumers.
The challenge for fintech companies, and increasingly traditional service providers, has always been to deliver consumer-centric experiences without a physical presence on the high street, as well as the resources to solve customer problems. Using data to align their products and services with customer requirements, and enabling people to self-service via an app, was key to making this happen. CX’s intelligent, AI-rich, cloud-based platform gives FinTech companies the ability to augment their product offerings and deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Emerging partner ecosystems
As digital payments increasingly become an integral part of our daily lives, this integration has opened up business opportunities next door to traditional fintech companies and payment providers – perhaps as large as the core payments revenue pool. These elements of the payments value chain are attractive to emerging players not only due to increased consumer demand but also due to less regulatory scrutiny. The advent of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) is a prime example of this.
There are more opportunities for fintech companies to work with companies outside the sector to streamline transactions by including payment systems on their websites. Shopify, for example, recently collaborated with him ribbon – partner Goldman Sachs To offer cash management capabilities to sellers on its platform as a way to not only expand core market offerings, but also increase customer “persistence” on their platform. The lifetime value of the customer adds revenue opportunities worth thousands of dollars over a sustainable period of time.
But this also highlights the customer experience challenge that businesses need to meet. In the example, if a seller has a cash management problem, who should they contact? Shopify, Stripe or even Goldman Sachs? The challenge of the integrated ecosystem is – who exactly owns the CX and ensures that it meets expectations throughout the customer journey. We’ll see more examples like this in the future, and companies exploring this business model should be prepared so they can avoid customer experience disasters!
Differentiate the customer experience with AI
The use of AI in customer contact centers will be the equivalent of all companies looking to make the customer experience their defining factor as it enables companies to collect and understand data from every sales and communications channel. AI can not only support a smarter and more personalized service, but it can also help companies predict future customer orders based on past behaviors. In the Shopify example, let’s say 50 different sellers on their platform complained about the same issue. If a call center platform can proactively share this information with Stripe in real time, the customer experience team can proactively devise a solution to address the issue quickly.
It has been difficult for traditional financial services institutions to match the level of personalization offered by industry competitors in recent years. Clients who have a long-term relationship with an organization may expect that organization to understand their circumstances and anticipate their needs proactively.
The reality, as we all know, is very different – especially as more high street branches are closing their doors. And even those with a digital approach sometimes don’t realize that valuable customer data is isolated and hard to handle, resulting in a fragmented customer experience.
A cloud-based call center, with AI capabilities, is one of the most effective ways to get a 360-degree view of customers and achieve consistency across all channels. It can become the engine room for corporate operations, gathering data from multiple sources, including interactions and historical transactions; demographics and preferences; Marketing data, and much more. This can be achieved by connecting different platforms and applications together via APIs, including those dealing with customer insights and payments, to your call center – which then provides employees with all the information and insights they need in one place to deliver the best customer experience.
Take a useful approach first
Rather than feeling like their financial services organization is trying to sell them something, every meaningful interaction can improve the financial well-being of clients and enrich their experiences. This level of service is key to building customer loyalty, and it’s a true differentiating factor in the digital age. From now on, the trends reinforced by the epidemic – significant shifts in the behavior of payments; reduced use of cash; transition from store to digital commerce; And the adoption of immediate payments – expected to continue. With these trends come new business opportunities in the financial services field.
It is therefore important for financial services institutions to prepare for this future, and to think about the innovations they want to embrace. Choosing the right technology partner – one that can help speed up evaluation time and is committed to continuous innovation – is key.