Financial institutions and other FinServ and FinTech companies are spending more than ever building applications for web, mobile, kiosk and even in-branch experiences. It’s encouraging to see the dedication of resources to this area, but the spending is spiraling out of control, becoming frivolous, and, in some cases, redundant.

Today’s leading institutions are taking innovative approaches to enhance customer experiences and improve business offerings all while saving time and money. Here’s what we’ve got our eye on.

Omnichannel Applications

The number one culprit of overspending is the duplication of resources. Most FIs build a new and separate application for each channel and in each market. Think about the time and money it costs to build and test the application, nevermind maintain, refresh and update it. The internal resources alone for managing these applications is enough to make one stop and think: Why are there so many solutions that overlap but don’t talk to one another?

Omnichannel applications are the answer.

For inspiration, take a look where omnichannel is done best: in retail. Crate and Barrel, Starbucks and Sephora are three great examples of companies that are creating seamless customer experiences that translate across screens and stores.

Many financial institutions confuse omnichannel with multi-channel. Today FIs actually do multi-channel quite well. For example, I can view my account statements on my desktop, my tablet, or at the ATM. While this gives me options, there’s often no consistency between them. In most cases, each of these channels is managed independently in terms of dedicated teams, goals and technologies. This may be a traditional structure within organizations, but it does not make sense for your customer, and increasingly it doesn’t make sense for your business either.

Omnichannel puts the customers in the middle and the experience is built around them, for them. Your customers will interact with you across many channels for different reasons and convert when it’s convenient for them. Think of it as an integrated experience that understands where your customers are at, can answer their questions no matter where they are or how they’re accessing your services, and is ready for them when it’s time to buy.

Customers want integrated experiences. They may not use the word “omnichannel,” but ultimately that’s what they’re after.

Open Banking

Open Banking is an innovative movement that is calling on banks and financial institutions to share data through Open APIs to empower innovation across the industry, increase transparency, and ultimately provide better, more modern customer experiences.

Banks already use APIs and open source technology to develop solutions for customers, but the Open Banking movement calls for greater access to data in order to drive innovation across the financial sector.

For many leadership team members, Open Banking has the potential to allow the establishment of superior digital services without significantly increasing overhead expenses. Rather than building everything in-house, FinServ companies can take advantage of these Open APIs that have already been built and, ideally, regulated. A key component of Open Banking is ensuring the security of data, which means if Open Banking turns into what it has the potential to turn into, FinServ and FinTech leaders can have measures in place to protect a customer’s financial privacy and confidentiality, while improving the customer experience and enhancing the bottom line.

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Adoption of Agile Methodologies

FIs love talking about Agile methodologies. Finally the time has come to start putting them into action.

One approach I’ve seen is setting up an Agile unit. It’s a walk-before-you-run approach that I recommend using to introduce the Agile method and test its efficacy for your business. Agile methodologies promote cost savings, allow the management of complex products, and enhance customer experience. A McKinsey report found that banks that apply Agile methodologies to half of their projects saw 96% of those projects completed within budget, and 79% delivered on time.

Of course, any project can fail, and Agile accounts for that. Agile projects allow you to plan for failure and minimize the costs and damages that may result. The short feedback loop will surface any issues fast so you can act on them early on in the project, prevent wasting time and resources, and allow you to pivot quickly when things don’t go as planned, or if a better solution comes to light.

Like any new methodology, introducing Agile takes some adjusting. "Agile programming requires a change in mindset. It is important to have mentoring,” said Agile proponent Fred Tingey, UK head of risk IT at BNP Paribas, in Computer Weekly.

Embracing Agile is a joint business-IT activity. The full benefits of Agile cannot be achieved without engaging with business leaders, management, and the user community. But when done right, Agile organizations can become as lean and innovative as the world’s leading, fast-growth startups.

We’ve seen firsthand what Agile has done for us and our clients. We built an internal React Native app to present at a Fintech conference. In four weeks, we built an iOS and Android app in one codebase, showed how to structure the project and reuse code between iOS and Android (for example, writing one component that works on both operating systems), all while presenting it across different layouts. This was made possible through an Agile methodology that was fast, efficient and agile. It’s a perfect example of how much you can achieve when Agile joins your team. If you would like to see a demo of this POC, click here to contact us about it.

Omnichannel, Open Banking and embracing Agile methodologies are three approaches you can take to enhance your business offerings and improve customer experience without having to break your budget. To learn how Rangle can help you implement them into your business, contact us today.