By Rodolfo Luís Pereira, Enterprise Solutions Director at Noesis
As in almost every branch of the corporate world, the Covid-19 pandemic over the last year has radically transformed the financial sector in terms of technology and digital. Inevitably, therefore, this sector is now going through a phase of massive digital acceleration to provide a fast and effective response to the changing needs of its customers.
Before the confinement, some of the communication between financial entities and their customers could be characterized as not very agile, not very user friendly, and in some cases quite bureaucratic. Electronic processes based on PDF documents where the customer was asked to download, print, fill in, manually sign, scan and, only finally, send to an email created for that purpose were unfortunately still a common practice - an unintuitive process, with too many steps, capable of driving the client to despair.
The pandemic and the social isolation that has limited many actions, including physical interactions, "forced" the financial sector to rethink processes and accelerate its digital transformation to keep up with the pace of requests and meet the needs of its customers.
Given this situation, technology has assumed a central role in this particular sector and has driven organizations to seek innovation and focus on the customer experience increasingly. The bet in solutions that allow the total digitalization of the channel, such as making processes more straightforward for the customer, really dematerialized from end to end, and also automating the Back-Office process.
In this evolution, with the primary goal of providing personalized and more efficient customer service, conversational artificial intelligence (BOT) is an essential part of the process. The Bot allows a 24×7 service, "guiding" the financial institutions' customers through the different steps necessary to submit their requests and subscribe to a product, for example. It is also responsible for previously validating the eligibility of these requests, whenever possible, as well as the documentation required in each step or typology, integrating different technologies, such as, for example, the electronic signature functionality, with all the information combined with the banking systems.
Thus, to imagine a scenario in which the experience of a Bank's customer, which begins with a conversation in WhatsApp, goes through a simulation on the website and culminates with the subscription of a banking product, with the signature of a contract, in digital form, is a use case within reach of any institution. And to this front-office process, one must naturally add the entire back-office process, with automated workflows defined within the organization and where, once again, Bots can be a strong ally in internal efficiency.
Only in this way will it be possible to meet the needs of the "new customer," increasingly demanding, informed, digital-native, who seeks simplicity, easy access, and agile processes. The key to the success of financial entities and all organizations lies in offering a good user experience, regardless of the channel customers decide to use to interact with their bank or insurance company.
Therefore, organizations must adapt to the new demands of customers and offer innovative solutions capable of retaining and retaining their loyalty.
So can we say that the pandemic was a "necessary evil" for the digital and technological transformation in the banking sector?
There is no correct answer, but we can be sure that the near future will be, without a doubt, challenging for the entire financial sector. To succeed, it will be necessary to transform its operating model, invest in innovation, modernize the way it interacts with its clients, customize the solutions it offers to its consumers, in short, accelerate the digital transformation of its business.