How streamlined data and documents support enterprise-wide connectedness
After I got remarried, I thought updating my credit card, banking and mortgage account information would be easy, since it’s all with the same bank.
But after I had to submit a copy of my marriage certificate three different times to three different entities within the same institution, I gained a new level of dismay with how much is disconnected in the world of banking.
I work in this industry. I know about the regulatory hurdles, the functional and logistical complexities, the new technology and security challenges. But still, for the everyday customer, “simple” things like updating your information and having your bank be able to securely and accurately apply it across its businesses enterprise-wide, shouldn’t be difficult.
The Front-End Veil
Many banks have done a good job integrating technology for customers on the front end – with attractive, intuitive online portals, ever-more capable mobile apps, and friendly interactive voice prompts for positive call-in experiences. As a result, customers have developed an assumption and expectation that operations are interconnected, streamlined, secure and accessible across their bank’s various businesses.
Unfortunately, that just isn’t the case. The back offices of most financial institutions are still dominated by silos. Mortgage, credit cards, banking – they’re separate entities and not easily (if at all) accessible to each other. When these areas input and process information from customers, it triggers a lot of “rework” with multiple people processing the same information.
Customers can interact with banks through some spiffy apps and interfaces up front, but many bank back offices have to convert customer information back to a manual process in order to handle it through their current workflows. And even then, the customer’s information is contained and not available beyond the particular silo that received it.
Time is Money
I’m sure we’ve all had similar experiences to my name change endeavor (insert your own story here) – where something should have been logical and simple, but instead was a repetitive exercise and labor intensive for all sides. I knew how much time I spent doing the same thing three times over plus verify that my information was received by each entity. But how much time (and money!) is also being spent on the bank side?
The answer: a lot.
Multiply a whole bunch of duplicative (triplicative!) work times millions of customers and multiple scenarios, and it adds up fast. It has a direct effect on the cost for banks to provide services and originate loans. It reduces the time staff have to focus on higher-value work, amplifies security risks and exposure from multiple input points and information-handlers, and increases the risk of loan quality issues. All of it means a higher cost to customers.
Swimming in the Data Ocean
To better drive efficiency, improve customer satisfaction and lower costs, banks need to be able to not only centralize but also make their assortment of customer data accessible across their enterprise. Big strides have been made with “data lakes” and “data oceans” that can securely store data in its original form in a centralized repository. But the biggest area where financial institutions are falling short is with customer documents and source-of-truth data – these are still mostly contained and reviewed behind disconnected business silos.
Many larger institutions have tried to provide a single experience for customers through combined call centers with “one-stop-shopping.” Not only is this is a tremendous build for companies, but it has set the stage for limited capabilities from a generalist staff who are partially versed in many services, but the “master of none.”
Customers often come away with a disappointing experience, knowing they’re not getting a subject matter expert who can fully advise on or resolve their issue. Even if escalations eventually lead them there, it’s only after they’ve had to tell their story to one or more reps who can’t help them.
The Coming Next-Gen
The banking world is headed toward new best practices built around new systems that can automatically identify and extract appropriate information from customer documents and feed it to a central repository where it can be accessed enterprise-wide – yet managed in one location with a single set of resources. This will enable huge gains in economies of scale.
Back offices will be connected across internal businesses, reshaping the daily MO of banks – shifting them away from the silo disconnect, to enterprise-wide connection and efficiency.
A new generation of smart rules engines will allow personnel working in the same or different areas to pull the exact information they need from a common secure source and be guided by the system that will keep them aligned with specific requirements for varied processes.
Customer documents and data will only have to be “trained” once, and the appropriate information will be easily and securely available. When manual intervention is needed, a centralized team performing a rules-driven review can be used to maximize like skills – resulting in a common timeline and improved experience for the customer.
Stay tuned. Some very positive shifts in this direction are coming, and the banks who put this new, smarter technology to use will be the first to break new ground in customer satisfaction and cost efficiency across their full scope of operations.