2021. What an interesting year. With the world turned upside down by a pandemic that seemingly had its sights set on...
Enriching the Branch Experience
As a long serving practitioner in the ATM Industry I have witnessed several policy decisions that really intrigued me. For example, some banks take the stance that their in-branch automation is solely for their own customers. Others take a more inclusive approach allowing non-bank consumers to use their facilities alongside their own clients. I have certainly experienced both sides of this question in different parts of the world.
As a fan of consumer-centric businesses, I favor the latter approach, although I understand the rationale of the “my customers only” principles. However, the policy thinking around “who will you serve?” becomes further convoluted when you recognize that many banks run promotions to attract new customers, offering money to new customers as a signing-up reward. Sometimes these incentive payments can reach £100 or more.
Surely, allowing non-bank consumers to use your branch automated services can be a powerful recruitment aid. I mean, you know exactly where they are at that point in time, what they are doing, and you have staff on hand to help and advise them appropriately.
Surely this is a good thing, right?
Once you truly embrace every consumer interaction as an opportunity to learn something new, to deepen the relationship, then you fundamentally change the possibilities for growth.
Traditionally, banking automation was mechanically sophisticated but depended on proprietary vendor software to work. Consequently, banks often faced substantial costs for even simple customizations, particularly if they had a mixture of hardware from different vendors. Under these circumstances it was difficult to personalize the consumer’s experience, or to differentiate yourself from your competitors in a meaningful way. An investment in vendor-independent ATM software ensures true portability across any self-service device, thereby reducing costs and creating a greater choice in hardware.
Happily, this restrictive situation has changed significantly with the growing market trust in vendor-independent, multi-vendor, ATM software. Additionally, the ATMIA’s new blueprint architecture clearly separates the task of terminal management from the payments switch, and embraces the versatile ISO 20022 messaging standard instead of the proprietary and more restrictive NDC protocol. These changes eliminate two of the greatest blockers to service flexibility.
Banks now enjoy ready access to affordable self-service technologies, freeing them to create any branch experience they want. The next leap forward in ATM channel excellence is the application of relevant, real-time consumer information in a way that benefits both the consumer and the bank. Specifically, this step involves the deployment of workflow orchestration and machine learning-based recommendation engines.
Typically, the workflow management is achieved with a modern payments switch that interacts directly with the ATM client software for both the consumer information retrieval, and the transaction processing. Ideally, the recommendation engine will be integrated with the payments switch so that it can directly influence the consumer’s interactions. The recommendation engine should embrace both rules and a variety of machine learning methods to accommodate the widest possible spectrum of applied learning. Lusis Payments’ TANGO platform is a good example of an integrated workflow orchestration and recommendation engine.
So, how might a bank leverage workflow and recommendation engine technologies to improve their in-branch experience for their own and the non-bank consumers?
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