On Tuesday 27th July, Auriga participated in the BrightTalk webinar hosted by Allison Ebbage, with special guests including Mark Aldred, VP of International Sales at Auriga, and Robin Setty, Senior Principal Product Manager (Partner Solutions) at ACI Worldwide.
They discussed how this partnership helped both companies to improve customer service through self-service banking technology, as well as the current trends and issues impacting the banking industry.
Financial institutions are seeking to retain and increase their customer base and have already embarked on their digitalisation and costs optimisation journey, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to substantially accelerate their efforts.
In addition, retail banking customers faced with pandemic-driven realities now expect on-demand, fully omnichannel experiences, hyper-personalised services, and 24/7 assistance.
The substantial change in customer behaviour, such as reduction in usage of cash , has created financial stress for banks. Their response has been to close bank branches and reduce the number of ATMs available to customers as a way of reducing profit loss.
However, social and political pressure to retain ATMs and branches to serve all kinds of communities (urban, rural, and remote) adds to the equation. Therefore, the response to this trend must be a redefinition of the roles of these outlets, instead of eliminating their roles.
ATM pooling is one possible solution that caters to financial institutions’ customer demands at an affordable rate. In some parts of the world, such as Belgium, four major banks are participating in ATM pooling initiatives to ensure cash services are available in a sufficient and cost-effective way.
The decreased usage of cash has further exacerbated as ATMs have never been integrated efficiently into the bank’s digital channel strategy.
According to ACI Worldwide and Auriga, this can be resolved by implementing a better integrated end-to-end solution that enables banks to define an integrated channel strategy, optimising and transforming their branch and ATM estates. The future of banking includes customer-operated digital channels and self-service can be used as an efficient channel strategy.
Improving customer service
ACI and Auriga have teamed up to move beyond the ordinary functions of managing retail payments by evolving into the next generation of ATMs and self-service banking. Auriga’s software enables ACI to create a future–proofed Customer Engagement Platform.
Until recently, vendors and banks invested in infrastructure that was separate instead of integrated, which addressed channels in siloes. However, the webinar highlighted that as customers use different channels, they require a smoother banking experience that outdated infrastructures cannot promise.
To meet customer demands, it’s important to remember that not every customer’s experience is the same. For example, the accelerated uptake in mobile banking does not imply all demographics reacted to this change equally.
To explain further, even though legacy banks may have well-established relationships with their customers, this relationship can still be put at risk by a strategy that only focuses on the rapid migration to mobile-only banking.
Moving forwards, even though app-based banks target consumers that prefer mobile banking, to achieve growth, they need to invest in a wider range of products and channels as consumers need and demand alternative channels.
To combat this issue, financial institutions must consider rethinking their ATMs as a new model, such as a full-service 24-hour alternative to a traditional branch by incorporating low cost, highly automated services.
The webinar outlined the current trend of branch closures and the reduction of ATMs, caused by a behavioural change in customers. Due to this structural shift, this has led to a digitised era of banking. Yet, in doing so, banks risk losing customers that do not always prefer such methods.
It also highlighted how banks can seek ways to improve their customer service through an integrated channel strategy and optimising their ATMs. Another key point raised is that banks need to consider ways to adapt their current infrastructure to offer better integration and choice for customers.
The way to make any channel more cost effective is to increase automation and availability and reduce costs. Our platforms are focused on this. We believe the strength of the legacy banks is in their relationships with their customers and that this is put at risk by a strategy of rapid migration to digital only banking.
A next-generation ATM infrastructure removes many of the complexities that have dogged ATM management and, more broadly, enables self-service branch automation, and ends the isolation of the ATM channel from other digital channels. In other words, the ATM becomes part of the omnichannel customer experience that we expect from any service nowadays.