Single View of a Customer: are financial institutions still seeing double?

So is Single View of a Customer (SVoC) or Single Customer View (SCV) new?

Single view seems to have made its debut as part of the Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive (DGSD) (December 2010) to ensure that compensation can be paid out quickly in the event of a Bank default. But Single View Of a Customer must surely have been in existence prior to 2010 or before the new entrant and challenger banks started to emerge…

Challenger banks and new entrants are fighting for those last remaining USPs that will galvanise customers into switching from their current provider at a faster rate than the 802,036 customers who switched during the first nine months of 2016 (source: BACS CASS dashboard 20 October 2016).

But these USPs need to be underpinned by systems, solutions and the latest FinTech, often from multiple providers, to deliver both a dream service to customers and the rewards the new entrants and their investors are looking for.

The shopping list of components grows and once the new entrant has a full basket and has gone through the checkout, they need to complete the task of plumbing all of these components together to create that seamless customer journey to (and beyond) customer satisfaction.

These shopping list items have often originated from multiple providers, from those on robust platforms with many years of implementation experience, through to the latest and greatest on the most leading (and sometimes bleeding) edge technology.

Will they talk to each other? Do they want to talk to each other and can we expect them to work together? “Who’s the Daddy…?” becomes the issue: which one single component will step up to the plate to orchestrate the other components, what to do and when to do it, all whilst delivering 24×7 availability?

It all boils down to how that Single View of a Customer is delivered: if each component operates in its own little world and creates a customer profile and footprint that is stored in that little world, then how is this information shared, analysed and used to provide an enhanced customer experience? In such a scenario, there seems little chance of creating the bigger picture and instead we continue with lots of small, single dimensional views of the customer.

Both the Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) and the Core Banking host have big parts to play in solving this dilemma, but that still leaves us with two primary candidates vying for the key role of providing the Single View of the Customer. The Core Banking host clearly has its role to play in storing financial information and in maintaining the lifecycle of the account. Likewise, the CRM looks after customer interaction – but it is also looking after prospects before they mature into customers, an area which may not be covered by the Core Banking host.

Let’s use the scenario of customer complaints to help us understand the answer. The complaint may be about an interaction that has taken place, what was said or perhaps what was not said to the customer. The catalyst for what turns into a complaint may have been an interaction which can be traced back through the CRM.  However, the counter-argument from the Core Banking host side might be that the complaint could be down to an issue with the lifecycle of the product, a payment problem, a fee charged or the amount of interest paid. This analysis from the FCA shows that complaints can arise from a number of areas within a bank:

pie chart: 60% Advising, selling, arranging; 26% general admin/customer service; 11% T&Cs; 1% Arrears related; 2% Other

(Source: Financial Conduct Authority – March 2016)

So who has the edge over the other components on the single view at this stage? It has to be the CRM, doesn’t it? After all, it manages the interactions and holds the non-financial view. However, we have to guide the CRM, as it is not a single ‘fix-all’ on its own: we need to consider the number of external service providers, how they are working together and whether they are using standard communication platforms and methods not only to output information but also to receive fresh inbound data. This leads to a parent-child relationship, where the CRM (and that’s a unified CRM platform) is the parent and all of the other service provider components need to abide by the standards and toe the line.

The CRM needs to be fed information that is accurate and consistent in real-time (or as near as it gets). It needs to be able to know when customer interactions take place, what was the nature of the enquiry and who is handling it. If further interactions arrive, who is available to manage these, as there is little point in routing to already busy agents or distributing multiple interactions for the same customer to different agents. A customer interaction routed to a customer advisor they have previously spoken to or one that has dealt with their case in the past should increase the level of customer satisfaction by at least a couple of points.

So, by first accepting that customer delight and attraction may require some complexity within the solution design, an SVoC solution should:

  • start from the CRM host and build out
  • maintain clear flows of data where the latest data set resides in the CRM
  • use common communication methods
  • rationalise the number of external service providers to maintain a single focused view

But the main message here is – don’t underestimate the potential complexity and critical importance of creating your information and single customer view strategy at the start of your journey, especially where there are multiple service providers involved.  Putting off your SVoC strategy until later can leave you with a siloed, inefficient and costly environment to manage………

What do you think? Leave a reply below or contact me by email.

Reflections on London Technology Week 2016

 Last week our feet didn’t touch the ground. Throwing ourselves into the annual jamboree of London Technology Week, we were blown away by the vibrancy and energy of the experience. As a dynamic, innovation team, we’re always open to great insights from the cutting edge of tech. And yet, we made surprising discoveries, courtesy of the tech festival’s diverse contributors, on the four consecutive ‘Digital Breakfast Bites’ we hosted.

On Monday, for us it was all about the challenge of moving beyond the prototype. In a lively canter through Blockchain, we investigated the state of play for shared ledgers and how this seemingly unregulated and risky technology can not only work alongside a large enterprise, but be used to enhance their regulatory compliance and security.

On Tuesday, we learnt how great service design is shaping the banks of the future. Stepping out of the wilderness of fintech, we discussed how the foundations of great UX and customer centric design are shared across all industries, and how a fundamental grass-roots upheaval is required by the big players in the banking sector to keep up with innovative new challenger banks.

Wednesday saw us enter the store of the future, with a whistle-stop tour of the technologies and interfaces that are being used to engage with the customer. From virtual reality to motion sensing, we explored how all digital experiences are linked by the fundamental desire to gather and analyse data and to better understand our customers.

On Thursday we traversed the vast reaches of ‘Digital at Scale’, where large enterprises tackle the nexus of digital technology and legacy platforms. We saw how the two, apparently irreconcilable powers can have a symbiotic and not mutually exclusive relationship.

And that’s where we left it – with belief in the reconciliation of two opposable forces to achieve a transformational outcome. Quite apposite you’d think for a week marked by a referendum of tumultuous consequences. When the dust has settled we’ll still be reflecting on the great experiences we has as a London Technology Week host. Bring on 2017.

Did you participate in a London Technology Week 2016 event? Leave your comment below, or contact me by email.

The future of mobile payments is contactless

Mobile payments may well be set for a period of explosive growth, according to the recent Guardian article “Mobile payments: the brave new cashless future”, but it won’t just be down to Apple Pay, despite its apparent success since launching in the US in October of last year.

Yes, Apple Pay might be convenient and secure – two of the three consumer-centric attributes which MasterCard’s Jorn Lambert identified in the same article as key to the success of m-payments – given its reliance on a tokenized set of card credentials in an embedded Secure Element, a Touch ID payment authorisation process and a slick user interface. However, it falls short when it comes to the third attribute identified by Lambert, namely ubiquity. Never mind that Apple Pay is only accepted at the 3% of US retail terminals which have been upgraded to support contactless payments, it is also only available today on the iPhone 6 (and soon on the iPhone 5 for anyone who pairs it with an Apple Watch) so it definitely won’t be everyone’s favourite way to pay, at least in the short term.

Separately, Kevin Dallas of Worldpay took the view that merchants need to ensure that they partner with the “right” payment app since research suggests that consumers will only load one or two payment apps on their phones to avoid confusion. Since in-store retail payments still account for over 90% of all payment transactions by dollar volume, we would argue that the “right” mobile payment app for merchants to support is one which is optimised for use at a point of sale (POS) terminal. The following might help those merchants who are still sitting on the payments app fence come to the right decision:

  • Apple Pay was launched to support both in-app and tokenized in-store NFC (contactless) payments
  • Samsung Pay has just been launched to support both NFC and magnetic secure transmission technology (MST)
  • Google have recently announced support for Android Pay which uses NFC and tokenization
  • MasterCard announced (Sept 2014) that all legacy POS devices in Europe must support contactless payments by 1 January 2020, with all new POS devices to be compliant from the start of 2016

Merchants who today accept card payments will – in five years or less – be accepting contactless card and mobile payments. Those merchants who today do not accept cards but who want to accept mobile payments would do well to consider a future where smartphone penetration is expected to reach 6bn subscriptions by 2020, where the dominant handset models will be mobile payment and NFC-compliant and where their competitors are servicing customers with these handsets at contactless POS terminals for both low and high value transactions.

That’s right: the future of mobile payments isn’t cashless, it’s contactless.