Next Generation Online Banking Solutions
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27 May 2009
I have been receiving many inquiries from banks about what to do with their aging online banking platforms. They recognize the need to upgrade but question what their provider is suggesting or simply would like to know more about where the market is headed. I have spent a lot of time researching the market and I have a pretty strong opinion regarding the types of features/functions that banks need to offer. Usability and customer experience are paramount. Some of the key areas of discussion lately have been:
- Vendor solutions. Should I stick with my current vendor or switch to a new provider? Who has the best solution out there? This is not a simple question to answer, and one that requires plenty of investigation. Celent has recently evaluated the vendors of retail online banking solutions (see the following report). Banks have been approaching us for custom evaluations where we plug in their specific requirements. I enjoy these projects as they always produce different results and I get to meet a lot of interesting and knowledgeable people.
- Web 2.0 Rich Internet Applications. Banks are trying to sift through the hype. They want to build Rich Internet Applications (RIA) but are having a hard time defining the business case. It's a slow-moving process, but banks are recognizing the shift and the need to remain competitive. Non-banks are leading the Web 2.0 charge and banks are realizing that they are playing catch-up when it comes to customer experience.
- PFM. I have blogged about this extensively. Banks know they need to jump on the PFM bandwagon. Should they build a solution, buy pieces, outsource the entire thing? They also want to know how to integrate PFM properly into online banking. Lots of questions here.
- Social Media. Twitter is the talk of the town. I am receiving a ton of inquiries about how banks can leverage Twitter and other forms of social media. Banks also want to know how to integrate this into online banking and customer support.
Thanks, Jacob ... I'd also add two other aspects of the online channel ... one sales, one service. Online Account Opening seems to be a major reason for reconsideration of existing offerings -- How easy can FIs make it for customers to initiate a relationship? The second is online chat ... having a representative available for instant feedback and solving any concerns during the online experience. Especially, or maybe, until this becomes more popular in other non-financial online experiences, consumers may come to expect this type of service in their online banking experience.