The digitization process that most companies are experiencing has given rise to the need to provide new services and products to consumers, in addition to establishing new communication channels between the brand and the user.

In the banking sector, digital transformation has not only transformed the activity of financial institutions, but has also promoted the creation of new digital systems to adapt to customer needs and increase their competitiveness in the market .

Bank digitization has fostered the development of a new omnichannel system that focuses on the customer with the aim of offering a totally satisfactory experience through the different points of contact. Omnichannel banking aims to respond to all customer needs and integrate all the key parameters in the same platform: online channels, offline channels and all the data that is generated during the process.

Thanks to omnichannel banking , customers do not have to go to their bank to send money or request loans. They can carry out most of the transactions online through the different applications.

The advantages of multichannel banking are many. Apart from the convenience and speed of online transactions, customers have the possibility of switching from one channel to another, during the same process, without the need to provide their data again. In addition, for banks, it means a simplification in the processes of incorporating new clients and an increase in the retention rate of their clients, among other benefits.

Traditionally, the banking industry has focused on the use and development of technologies that guarantee the security and execution of financial transactions through various channels. The multichannel banking is a reality that allows customers to carry out transactions, payments, inquiries and complaints at ATMs, internet banking, mobile banking, telephone banking, offices, etc.

However multichannel banking is evolving , financial institutions face a new challenge. The expectations of the user have changed due to the influence of other industries, based on new technologies, provide focus on Omnichannel experience that f acilite life of the customer.

Customer experience in other industries

An airline, for example, communicates in an email the best prices on the usual routes of a frequent traveler, the customer buys his ticket online and they suggest the location on the plane according to his seat preferences. On the day of the flight, the client checks in and reserves a parking space through a mobile application, and also receives information in real time on their mobile about delays, boarding gate changes or flight cancellation.

Customers in the retail fashion industry are used to searching online and buying or returning a product in the preferred channel: online or physical store. These customers also expect to receive relevant offers and recommendations based on their purchase history.

In short, customers expect to experience a personalized service according to their preferences, in the moment and through the channels of their choice.

Keys to the transformation from multichannel banking to omnichannel banking

New customer expectations represent a challenge and at the same time an opportunity for the digitization of banking. Based on the transactionality already developed, omnichannel banking evolves to generate a consistent and transparent experience across all channels. Each point of interaction with the client is used not only to make offers, but to collect information that allows a more personal and coherent relationship to be established.

It becomes essential to define a client strategy based on a deep knowledge of their needs and behavior all this related to the stage of the life cycle they go through. For this customer analytics tools , segmentation models and statistical models such as machine learning are used, among others .

These tools make it possible to define priority customer service channels that respond to both user preference and the bank’s profitability model; deriving the less profitable operations to digital channels. Likewise , portfolio models are developed , assigning a group of clients to specialized executives who can provide remote or office service with the aim of increasing the value, cross-selling and satisfaction of their portfolio.

The omnichannel strategy must offer the customer a transparent transit between all channels. In this area, customer relationship management , customer service and marketing automation tools with cloud computing technology  facilitate interconnectivity, recording and visibility of all interactions with the customer. In this way, for example, all online and offline channels know the status of a credit application or a claim; and the customer can start a process in the office and finish it in their mobile banking application.

The data that multichannel banking can collect on the behavior of its customers is abundant and valuable. Whether Big Data or more traditional tools such as data warehouses or data marts are available, the data must be used to generate insights that become actions aimed at offering more intelligent and differentiated services; as well as to make segmented marketing offers with a higher conversion probability.

In conclusion, customers are changing and are demanding an omnichannel experience from banking . The companies that manage to offer smarter, more personalized and consistent service through all their channels will most likely be the ones that win the loyalty of their customer base. It is time to make use of new technologies and to exploit the large amount of data available to banks to achieve this goal.