The future of finance is balance–a combination of both the digital and the human element to create a cohesive ecosystem that connects people to solutions that are customized to suit their needs.
As McKinsey puts it, physical channels are evolving to become the bank’s brand ambassadors, focused on “truly complex, empathy-centric” situations while digital is providing the immediacy, the value and the real-time visibility that customers need.
According to the Accenture Banking Consumer Study this is a critical step at a time when customer connections are weakening and people feel disconnected from their finance institutions. If banks work on solutions that allow them to create more meaningful personal relationships, then, says the survey, they could potentially increase revenue by up to 20%. This is reflected in the fact that only 23% of customers rate their bank highly when it comes to products and services, and only 30% believe that the customer service they receive is excellent.
The relationship between bank and customer is growing colder by the digital day. Digital channels may be quick and efficient. They may be remarkable and in real-time. But they are distanced and impersonal and run the risk of increasing customer friction and frustration if there are no human connections. This is underscored by Accenture and McKinsey, as both research firms highlight the value of personal conversations and holistic experiences that move banking out of silos and into customer journeys that carry the warmth of the human connection.
And this shift from silo to holistic, from impersonal to personal, from cold digital to warm human, can be achieved only by creating a digital culture that’s focused on transformation within banking. A digital culture that goes beyond investment into digital technologies and toolkits–the foundational investments of digital transformation–and into smart ways of managing customer expectations across an increasing number of touchpoints. Companies need to move beyond just thinking about how they have to optimize their digital investments in terms of functionality, speed, real-time service delivery, analytics and insights–they have to optimize for the human as well as the digital.
It is an approach that will enable the financial institution to evolve alongside the customer and their changing needs and expectations while navigating volatile markets that are flexing and pivoting in response to intense economic and geopolitical instability. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) captures this shift clearly, in a recent analysis of digital transformation within the financial sector. The analysis shows that the optimal approach to business is a bionic one that combines strategy with both human and technological capabilities to ensure that the organization transforms successfully.
In Africa, this focus is not an impossibility. Yes, there are residual complexities impacting infrastructure and service delivery, but there are also customers willing to take the digital journey with the banking company–customers that value speed, accessibility, security and reliability at a time when many of these qualities are sorely lacking in service delivery. Plus, the continent is already thriving within a culture of innovation, with startups, entrepreneurs and companies coming up with new ways of overcoming old problems within the limitations of infrastructure, politics and economy. All it takes is a commitment to investing in solutions that meet customers on the digital front line and that help them achieve more and do more within their personal ecosystems.
This is where digital and transformation can thrive, especially when a personalized, flexible, and proactive approach is taken by the banks to create digital services that support people in their everyday activities. Here, value can be found in the blend of human and digital as it meets people where they stand, and it can be seen in the organizations that are gaining momentum thanks to their
ability to connect with customers in unique and specialized ways. Digital when you want it, human when you need it. This thinking builds sustainable roads that take customers on a journey that’s forward-thinking and human-centered.
For Nedbank, it is this blend of the human and the digital that defines its Private Clients portfolio. This banking solution is designed to enable financial aspirations through digital solutions that offer a richer and more personalized banking experience. It is an intelligent ecosystem that pulls on the capabilities of digital to fully engage with every client’s financial future.
For more information on our specialised services and solutions, as well as tailored prices, contact us at [email protected]
DISCLAIMER: Brand Voice is a paid program. Articles appearing in this section have been commercially supported.