25 May 2017
Review from Self-Service Banking Europe - Day 2
Greetings from the second and final day of RBR’s Self-Service Banking European Conference. The day had 17 sessions spread over 5 different streams covering everything from understanding profitability in the self-service channel to how fintech could breathe new life into the channel.
After the usual round of coffees and registration the use of technology was again at the forefront of the agenda in the first stream of the day aptly titled “Using technology to transform ATM interactions”.
The hot topic of the morning was definitely how ATM acquirers can embrace contactless, biometrics and NFC transactions at the ATM to facilitate a better customer experience. Representatives from Mastercard, Alfa-Bank (Russia) and CSOB (Czech Republic) all raised different perceptions of the use of Cardless and Contactless.
Mastercard’s Dan Goodman began by outlining their vision for next generation interactions with the ATM. He outlined three critical success factors for the vision:
1) Improved customer experience
2) How to scale the solution
3) How we can leverage existing infrastructure
Using this as a base there will be lots of possibilities to digitise but the concept of the industry working together to move the ATM to the personal device is a refreshing idea as it will allow the user to be in control of their own experience. Following on from the themes of yesterday technology for technology’s sake is not the answer and will not transform self-service, only working in the interests of the customer will result in success.
The subject of the late morning sessions was Fintech and how it could be a driving force behind self-service banking. Following an overview of the Fintech movement from Susanne Hannestad of Fintech Mundi there were 3 Fintech showcases from SaleMove, RealVNC and iProov.
Real VNC looked the most interesting proposition from a self-service point of view with a solution that allows acquirers to remotely access the ATM software and upgrade the OS without the need for a site visit. The solution enables upgrades to multiple ATMs at the same time from a centralised location – which would certainly help to reduce operating costs.
While these companies clearly have interesting and well thought out propositions - will we see adoption of these types of companies within the Self-service and wider banking community? It is certainly something to follow more closely.
Listening to VTB24 on managing customer flows in the branches showed some of the challenges faced in Russia, not least a 10 hour time difference East to West. The battle to understand customers and their behaviours is both critical and increasingly difficult. Finding the balance is the key to making it easy for the customer to fulfil the primary objective.
Machine learning up next with Privredna Banka Zagreb. Whilst I don’t get a sense of machine learning as such, although failure rates and feedback is captured and impacts future promotions, I do like the centralisation of real-time offers and customer segmentation. Consistency across channels has been a long held wish for a number of banks and this is a good example of how targeting offers by customer and channel can improve conversion rates.
Lunch afforded another opportunity to walk around the exhibition hall and following the break the presentations merged back into one so there were no difficult decisions.
The focus for the afternoon session was how to take ATMs and self-service to the next level. First up, a look at how retail banks need to continually adapt and plan for the future in order to emerge with a successful self-service strategy. Ray Ehscheid from Bank of America highlighted the challenges retail banks are facing and how this can be used to create a successful bank of the future.
The following presentations looked at assisted self-service and how self-service can be the face of a bank. The concept being that how a bank presents its functionality to the customer could act as a conduit for improving and enhancing relationships.
As we come to the end of the conference, my key take home from the two days is that a lot of companies are trying to embrace digital. The level of customer engagement, analysis and focus needs to increase hugely. There’s evidently a starburst approach to this i.e. everyone is rushing to build something and there’s a danger all the different approaches will become fragmented and undermine the networked and open environment we have all worked hard to create and that customers have come to expect.
I can’t help but make one final point, in a time of massive change and evolution there are some things that cannot and must not change. RELIABILITY … SECURITY … TRUST.