Last week Backbase’s CEO Jouk Pleiter and Global Head of Marketing Jelmer de Jong sat down for an informal webinar on the key trends that are changing the face of banking as we know it. They covered four of the biggest challenges banks have in delivering a Bank 2.0 experience and came up with some inspiring solutions.

Jouk begins by talking about the global shift towards Bank 2.0, as coined by Bret King in his book of the same title. He then talks about how banking has been changed by the advent of online and mobile and segues into the first main challenge facing banks; transitioning from a ‘channel first’ mentality to a customer first operational model. Even though customers today may only go in to a branch once or twice a year, they will interact with their bank online 10 to 20 times a month. This means that not only are the digital channels leading the way but the customer is more in touch with their bank then ever before, wanting more and more control.

At this point Jelmer points out that it can be difficult to know how to be ‘customer-centric’ across different touchpoints but it is possible. The two then discuss a slide from Forrester, which outlines the SUPER philosophy: Be Simple, Ubiquitous, Personal, Empowering and Reassuring. They recognize how complicated it can be to provide all of these aspects but talk about how taking a modular approach makes being SUPER much easier. Another way to simplify the process for banks and customers alike is to create a customer experience layer that is loosely coupled with the bank’s back-end systems. This layer is focused solely on providing the customer with exactly what they want, and need, to feel empowered by their bank. In this way the bank can deliver a seamless customer journey that is personal and relevant, while still maintaining their back office functions and processes. This solution offers the best of both worlds as it’s not only customer-centric, it’s also business smart.

Jelmer picks up on the fact that it’s all very well for everyone to be talking about being customer-centric but there has to be something in it for the business too. He begins talking about ‘value exchange’. Jouk and Jelmer then begin to discuss how customer experience adds value to the bank and the customer and vice-versa. Having a properly balanced value exchange that benefits all parties strengthens relationships, improves customer retention and increases cross- and up-sell of products.

Coming back to the main concept of what being ‘customer first’ means, the two begin to talk about how symbiotic the relationship really is. For banks to continue to be grow they have to be successful together with their customers. They point out that there are several elements where banks can assist their customers: by providing tools via Bank 2.0 widgets, valuable content, targeted offers, actionable insights, advisory tools, self-service, ‘My Bank’ dashboards and chat, video alerts. Jelmer then gives a brief demonstration of how this can all work within the online banking platform.

The second key topic ‘creating a seamless customer journey’ is picked up by Jouk. He begins by talking about how banks’ silo-like way of operating can be overcome by getting the information trapped in product, organizational and IT silos out in an efficient way. Jouk goes on to talk about the Bank 2.0 architecture that has a customer-centric approach across an omni-channel customer journey. This approach is starting to be adopted by some banks that are using generic reusable core applications that can be used across multiple channels. That type of structure, with the service layer, combined with lean portal technology is the basis for the Bank 2.0 architecture, which can deliver that seamless customer journey across multiple devices. However, as Jelmer points out, many banks seem to have two different websites – a marketing site and an internet banking site. In fact, many of these new online channels are creating even more silos. The easiest way to stop this from happening is to look at companies like Amazon, which has one platform that connects everything. This empowers both the end customer and the business owner. The two then go on to talk about the how a single, effective online platform makes it easy to market across all channels and all mobile devices. Usually the mobile channel presents another big challenge for banks but with the ‘write once, run everywhere’ capabilities of a lean portal it’s possible to create rich, updateable hybrid apps for any device with ease.

After discussing how hybrid apps are built and why they solve many of the problems created by silo structures, Jouk moves on to talk about how banks can use the online channel to increase sales. He mentions that the financial industry has a lot to learn from the retail industry in terms of online selling. Jouk also notes a key finding from a recent case study of ours, namely that 86% of all a bank’s web traffic goes straight to the closed internet banking site – precisely where banks do not do any type of marketing. By having a single platform, that delivers that seamless customer experience bank’s can offer 3 levels of security. Ensuring customer and bank security while enabling incredible marketing opportunities. The single platform experience layer also empowers the business and marketing teams to manage content of all types within the secure system. Jelmer points out that with these kinds of tools marketing teams are able to carry out closed-loop marketing, enabling them to constantly tweak their campaigns to make them more and more effective.

Effective marketing is exactly what the final topic in the webinar covers. Jouk begins by pointing out that the digital channels allow banks to ‘implement 1:1 marketing principles on a large scale at low cost’ – essentially one on one messaging. He goes on to say that CRM data, behavior tracking, contextual delivery, self-personalization and social information can all be used to make marketing messages personal and relevant. Jouk discusses how self-personalization, contextual delivery and social information are all relevantly new in terms of marketing. They can be used to further segment audiences and target individuals on specific journeys. Jelmer then gives a real-life example of how Post Finance is utilizing these tools.

After the demo, Jouk and Jelmer take a few questions from the audience before drawing the webinar to an end.

For more information on digital marketing download our white paper: The Real Guide to Digital Marketing for Financials

If you’d like to see the slides from the demo, you’ll find them here.