Banks’ digital evolution requires a high-tech, high-touch approach

Rich CrowManaging Director and Head of Innovation and Strategy, Global Payment Solutions; american banktold PYMNTS that due to omnichannel demand, banks are looking for a seamless continuation of digital and brick-and-mortar services.

In fact, consumers are embracing mobile devices and other electronic devices as key interaction points for conducting banking transactions. Additionally, banks are seeing value in using financial centers as important places for customers to go when they need to talk to financial services professionals or get advice, he said.

“But these are not the same branches your parents attended,” he said.

Gone are the days when people would visit a branch or bring their passbooks to cash their paychecks. Crowe said forward-thinking financial institutions, such as Bank of America, are allowing people to schedule appointments online or meet in person to discuss specific loans and other products.

“This allows customers to avoid waiting in line and waiting for a teller. It also helps us be prepared and have the right person ready to respond.” he said. “The result is a more valuable exchange.” This is especially true if a large transaction is involved or the customer may feel more comfortable speaking another language (such as Spanish) during their visit.

The conversation with Crowe was part of our “Next Steps in Payments” series, which seeks executives’ perspectives on what banks are really about today.

high touch and high tech

To facilitate a high level of seamless interaction, “our customers are looking for a high-tech, high-touch solution set,” Crowe said. Financial institutions across the board need simple and intuitive solutions to meet these needs.

Crowe pointed out that payments can lead to deeper engagement and relationships with bank customers, given the advantageous position at the intersection of innovation and payments. He said artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies are proving useful in creating new services that help customers gain insights and take a proactive approach to managing their finances.

Bank of America introduced life plan The feature uses AI-powered chatbot Erica to help users figure out how to plan and achieve goals like saving for college or a new home. The same technology can help engage consumers about when and how to use peer-to-peer payments and tokenization to make checkout more secure. He said rich data across banking channels can help financial institutions understand how they can bring to market new ways to educate customers.

Data and streamlined digital interactions can also help educate and prevent fraud. Crowe noted that Erica can help you double-check and flag repeat transactions and initiate disputes electronically. Additional layers of security and fraud detection can be used to create friction at key strategic points, such as large transactions, allowing clients to confirm that they want to send money to a specific destination.

There is no discussion that attempts to answer the question “What is a bank?” The questions will be completed without delving into Open Banking. The United States is seeing the rise of aggregators and fintechs that work with financial institutions and customers to enable new ways to move money.

In the future, bill payments may become more widespread through direct debit instead of using cards or ACH transactions. But evolution will take time and depend on providing the right experience and incentives for merchants, billers and consumers, Crowe said.

“There’s a lot of innovation, and it’s going to accelerate,” he said. “The best solutions are those that work across the bank and across all types of customer experiences and relationships.”

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