We speak to the team at unblu about how financial institutions can move away from the bulky silos of old infrastructures to seamless customer experiences
Can you tell us about unblu and how you enable better engagement between financial institutions and their customers?
unblu is a unique software solution that helps banks and financial institutions engage with their customers as if they were in the same room together, in conversation. We help financial institutions bring the “human touch” to their online interactions with customers. Advisors and clients can engage and collaborate in real time while they are using web and mobile applications. And this all happens with the ease and natural flow of a conversation. We think it’s a game changer for the industry.
Do you think customer behaviour and expectations have changed significantly? Do they really expect and demand more from their banks, for example?
Compared to the typical client from a few decades ago, clients are a lot more financially aware and savvy. They want the convenience of conducting banking tasks on channels that they can use without anyone assisting them, especially for recurring activities. Meanwhile, in their other daily shopping transactions, they are getting discounts, convenience, relevance and great customer service and they want the same from their banking experience. But they also want guidance in their future financial decisions and they expect their bank to provide them with personalised, meaningful advice.
A lot of fintechs note the challenges to working with large financial institutions; what would you identify as some of the ‘bumps in the road’? Any advice or top tips to share?
One major challenge for banks is moving away from the bulky silos of old infrastructures to seamless customer experiences – but how do they get there? Our clients know that they need to quickly get on board with providing an integrated omni-channel presence. But there are serious gaps to contend with. There are antiquated back-end legacy systems. There are different approaches to customer experience across an organisation. Website developers don’t speak with customer service teams. So, it’s hardly seamless behind the scenes. We are at the point where digital transformation is a do-or-die imperative for financial institutions. The challenge for banks is to bridge the gap between their transformation strategy and reality. I would suggest that banks assess their appetite for risk as well as their resources for a digital transformation process. I would also emphasise that there are a few different routes for digital transformation. Banks should choose the approach that suits them best. For instance, you can change the front end only, and improve the customer experience on the front end, leaving the back-end infrastructure as is. Or, you can wrap and digitise, using software like unblu as the wrap-around layer. This would allow you to fix the front end while gradually replacing legacy infrastructure with digital technology that integrates with the middle and back end.
What are some of the challenges of creating tech for a highly regulated industry?
The current regulations have been costly for the industry. Getting ready for MiFID II is estimated to have cost the industry over $2 billion in 2017 alone. The rigorous demands of the regulation have forced financial companies to make significant changes to their IT infrastructure, their business processes and their data quality. For instance, wealth managers now must have a record of every interaction with a customer to be able to prove that the decision-making is based on the product’s suitability for the customer’s interest and profile.
But there’s a great opportunity in these new obligations. Firms can harness this new level of required transparency to improve their customer services. They’ve already made huge investments to eliminate risk and remain compliant, so why not leverage these investments and improve their omnichannel presence to improve client communication and engagement? They are already half the way there. The challenge is to get leaders to see regulations like MiFID II as much more than just an exercise in compliance. It’s the first step of a digital transformation journey that can improve business processes, services and customer satisfaction.
Where will we find you – after your demo – at FinTECHTalents? Will you be sampling craft beer and talking tech? Listening to music?
Definitely! We’re really looking forward to being part of FinTECHTalents. Our demo is an opportunity for people to see how the unblu software works and how it can help a financial institution get ahead of customer expectations. There will be lots to talk about over local beer.