The financial services domain is experiencing a remarkable transformation, prompted by disruptive newcomers and the rise of Open Finance. These modern players, predominantly digital-only banking entities, are not merely passively accepting the tide of digital transition, but are actively molding it, setting a groundwork for an increasingly open, inclusive, and technologically oriented financial environment.
What distinguishes these modifications is their core emphasis on "access." Technological breakthroughs in the fintech sector, in conjunction with Open Finance principles, are slowly but surely unraveling the intricacies of the financial sphere, making it more approachable, safe, and user-friendly for all. This tilt towards a tech-centric strategy is notably accentuated in the North American region, where the demand for digital experiences from consumers is heightened.
Adding another layer to these developments are environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters, along with the "Great Resignation." As customers demonstrate increasing interest in ESG, providers of financial services are forced to adapt by formulating distinctive fund solutions that address these issues. Concurrently, though it appears to be ending, the "Great Resignation" has amplified the necessity for financial establishments to refine their digital capabilities and organizational cultures in order to attract and retain premier professionals.
Within this dynamic environment, traditional profit-driven structures are being substituted by a customer-centric methodology. Modern-day providers of financial services are discovering that by prioritizing customer value, financial gains follow naturally. To maintain their competitive edge, these institutions are incessantly harmonizing the digitalization of their offerings with the pressing need to enhance security, accessibility, and customization.
According to McKinsey’s 2022 Digital Payments Consumer Survey, nine out of 10 Americans now use some form of digital payments. Additionally, the percentage of respondents who use two or more forms of digital payments has increased from 51% in 2021 to 62% in 2022. This growing segment of consumers using digital payments and increasing competition in the digital payment industry means companies need to work hard to appeal to customers and gain their business.
Although digitization is clearly transforming the industry, it is important to note that many still prefer human interaction when making high-value financial decisions. By incorporating human interaction into digital experiences through methods such as omnichannel content delivery and conversational AI, organizations can make interactions more engaging and personalized to consumers.
Technologies such as data analytics, mobile development, artificial intelligence, and APIs can be used by financial institutions to deliver value to customers while still maintaining a human touch. Conversational AI tools like chatbots let financial institutions offer 24/7 support. Chatbots can handle routine inquiries and transactions and hand off more complex queries to virtual assistants. Meanwhile, the vast amounts of customer data available regarding behavior and preferences can be used to offer tailored recommendations and promotions.
To tie it all together, financial institutions should offer a consistent and seamless experience across channels that incorporates the right mix of digital interaction and human touch. Companies establish familiarity with their customers and build trust when online content is consistent, easily delivered across all digital assets and applications, and managed all in one place.
Ultimately, what makes a great digital financial experience possible is timely and relevant digital content. The most important thing to customers is that they are kept informed of their financial situation. Institutions can connect with their customers by providing content that updates, educates, and motivates them.
Delivering such tailored content requires customer insights, data intelligence, and content management processes to be streamlined through reliable, future-proofed technology. At the center of all this is a Content Management System (CMS), which is a platform used to manage digital content and deliver personalized experiences. Financial services providers can build and manage their digital channels, such as websites and mobile apps, in a centralized manner using a CMS.
In addition to simplifying content creation and management, a CMS can also ensure consistency across digital channels. Details like specific offerings, rates, and locations change frequently. A CMS can be used to publish changes across multiple sites more quickly and efficiently.
A CMS also enables integration with other systems, such as marketing automation platforms and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Integration creates the opportunity to offer personalized experiences based on the account portfolios and branch locations of customers.
Lastly, a CMS enables digital channels to be optimized for different devices and methods of consumption. Using a CMS, financial service providers can develop responsive websites and mobile applications for different devices and screen sizes, which is essential for customers to access financial services anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
As the financial services industry continues to change rapidly and more consumers adopt digital payment systems, IT and marketing needs to prioritize humanizing digital experiences. Customer preference for digital interaction puts the onus on businesses to find new and innovative ways to incorporate human elements into digital experiences. Conversational AI and omnichannel experiences all help businesses connect with customers without putting strain on human team members. With a connected digital experience platform, financial services providers can deliver personalized experiences through managed digital content.
To maximize the value of a CMS, IT leaders should investigate the built-in security, auditing, and compliance capabilities of each platform. Other key factors are advanced workflow automation capabilities and support for secure data transfer. A CMS platform that accounts for all of this will make sure IT leaders can deliver engaging digital experiences in a more efficient and valuable way.
Jay Sanderson is Senior Product Marketing Manager, Digital Experience, at Progress and a CMS Critic contributor.