Banking’s Hottest Trend for 2017: Redefining the Customer Experience

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bank-in-skyDeloitte recently published its annual Banking and Securities Outlook, and 2017’s edition highlights the customer experience as the main catalyst for technology that drives a bank’s core transformation, digitization, and automation. And it’s not just Deloitte making these predictions; leaders from across the industry are anticipating the customer being the top priority for banks in 2017.

There’s been a massive change in how customers engage with banks. Take for example, Venmo, a digital wallet that allows users to make and accept payments from people they’re connected with. Or Acorns, an app that funnels your spare change into a mutual fund. These applications allow you to transfer, accept and invest your money instantaneously without ever coming in contact with a human being. Financial technology startups are nipping at the heels of traditional banks and forcing them to abandon their traditional strategies and embrace digital transformation to maintain and attract customers. In fact, 73{07c2b926d154bd5dc241f595a572d3349d41d98f2484798a4a616f4fafe1ebc0} of millennials said they’d be more excited about a new offering in financial services from Google, Amazon, Apple, PayPal or Square over their own nationwide bank.

As a bank, how can you redefine your customer experience?

Move to the Cloud

Banks must move away from their cumbersome legacy systems and embrace a cloud-based platform. Simply put—the cloud provides banks greater agility to satisfy their customer needs at a lower cost. It allows banks to deliver computing and solutions globally, and offers their customers secure, and innovative products faster than ever before.

IBM Cloud for banking does just that—and much more. With IBM Cloud, banks can build secure, engaging solutions that integrate existing IT with hybrid cloud options, plus use a private network that spans global data centers and is backed by world-class engineering and technologies.

Cognitive services available on IBM Cloud can also help banks access and act on deeper, more immediate customer insights to drive greater levels of engagement, satisfaction, and efficiency. By turning data into competitive differentiation with Watson on Bluemix, banks are now able to better serve and retain their customers.

Embrace Blockchain

Blockchain has jumped on the banking scene in the last twelve months and hasn’t looked back. In case you’re unaware of what blockchain is, IBM defines blockchain as a shared, immutable ledger for recording the history of transactions by fostering a new generation of transactional applications that establish trust, accountability and transparency.

A key pillar of blockchain is security, and security is paramount for customers. Through the application of blockchain technologies on cloud, banks can streamline operations by adopting a one-time process with secure data protection and enhanced identity verification. Using the open-source Hyperledger Project, Fabric, immutability, traceability and privacy of the information is provided on a permission-distributed ledger, which is critical in a highly regulated environment.

Specifically for customers, banks and financial institutions must comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, which has been seen as a fierce global challenge. Blockchain holds potential to help address this need to prove the identity of a person or organization, source of funds, business interests, history and also monitor for changes. Take a look at how IBM has addressed this challenge by helping to enable financial services providers to more rapidly on-board their customers in a secure environment.

Offer an Omnichannel Experience

Today’s empowered and tech-savvy consumers demand services according to their individual preferences whenever, wherever and however they interact. Omnichannel allows banks to connect with their customers via multiple channels. It detects their wants and needs through analytics and systems of engagement. Additionally, Omnichannel permits customers to bank with their smartphone, computer, or in the bank itself as if they worked with a single teller who has a clear understanding of their preferences the entire time. Without Omnichannel, banks risk an inconsistent experience that may or may not lose customers.

With the IBM Cloud and its robust financial services expertise and offerings, banks can catapult into 2017 with a newly defined customer experience. Learn more at


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