Technology is no longer about back office automation but is a true business enabler, and the Banking & Financial Services Industry(BFSI) is evolving rapidly as new-age technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning take center stage. With advanced capabilities involving digital profiles and AI-powered chatbots, and data analytics to better predict consumer behaviour, the industry has adopted various technologies to deliver superior consumer experiences.
Digital technologies have revolutionized the sector by enabling BFSI players to provide more convenient and personalized services to their consumers. Given that today’s consumers mostly have limited time, it is important to bring them solutions that are within comfortable reach. This is where digital infrastructure gains importance and enables consumers to find easily accessible and reliable services. A Mckinsey report suggests that 28 percent of consumers prefer accessing branches for various services. And when it comes to sensitive financial activities and the various elements of safety and security, that percentage reaches nearly 50. Consumers feel the need to have sufficient, authentic, and easily accessible assistance around them. As ‘Digital’ strongly influences present-day consumer actions, they search online for these physical branches and end up taking branch-level digital or physical assistance as appropriate.
While digital offerings have become mainstream in the BFSI sector, physical presence still plays a critical role in some regions. For instance, consumers in rural areas or older consumers may prefer to visit physical branches or offices to perform transactions or seek advice.
Therefore, BFSI players need to balance their digital offerings with physical presence to optimize the consumer experience. Today, every consumer is digitally searching for solutions in close proximity. Hence building branch-level digital business profiles with beneficial information is an essential step, ensuring consumers can seamlessly find the branches in the first place.
Let’s say, for instance, consumers wish to easily book appointments. Branches can activate automated chats on their digital assets that can gather consumer information and book appointments at the nearest branch. Alternatively, call-to-action links can be placed on digital business profiles, taking consumers to local web pages, where they can complete the activity and further explore relevant information to meet their needs. Such digital enablement puts consumers at ease and establish stronger relationships between consumers and brands.
BFSI players today are expanding their ploys to embrace consumers and assure them about every touchpoint in their journeys. With diverse audiences that seek financial services, BFSI brands today are making extensive efforts to keep everyone engaged and covered. For instance, while several consumers smoothly adopt mobile and net-banking options, segments like senior citizens feel the need to have easy access to branches where they can continue to find the comfort of traditional banking, with all their queries answered, and all their financial activities successfully executed. So, awareness about the presence of these local banking units through digital accessibility, leading to physical visits, becomes a critical component of the consumer’s overall experience. Similarly, in rural areas, where mobile banking adoption is low, the presence of banking branches and the necessary financial assistance, powered by digital channels, is something that BFSI players are increasingly paying attention to.
When it comes to urban consumers who are well-versed in technology, the approach for BFSI brands to deliver a satisfying experience takes a different route. Finding self-serving capabilities becomes a key element of the urban consumer’s journey and experience. With technology becoming a key enabler, consumers belonging to geographies such as tier-1 and tier-2 cities enjoy greater control of their financial activities and prefer different modes of online engagement. As a result, BFSI brands make themselves accessible through automated chatbots on their digital profiles which can offer smooth assistance, in alignment with the idea of ‘self-serving’. Such capabilities keep modern-day consumers engaged and help them find greater convenience, refining their overall experience and making long-lasting impacts.
As competition continues to rise, BFSI brands are making focused efforts to deliver enriching consumer journeys and always stay on top of the consumer’s mind, helping them make informed decisions towards their financial needs, which eventually contribute to an improved quality of life.
It is no surprise that security measures in BFSI continue to remain a subject of serious discussion. As fraudulent operations become more and more prevalent, financial institutions want to ensure complete safety and protection for their consumers and themselves. Hence, actions such as verifying listings to prevent potential scams, and ensuring robust digital security at every point, allow BFSI brands to boost their consumer’s confidence. The more there is access to secure and credible information, the greater the chances of consumers expressing interest in a brand’s financial services.
So, if consumers are searching for ATMs in close proximity with search queries such as “ATMs Near Me”, it becomes imperative for Banking brands to keep the details of their ATMs furnished on their digital listings, offering accurate information without the slightest chance of any kind of duplicity or grey area for consumers. Similarly, for the rising number of consumers considering investment options and trying to explore Stock Brokers close to them, keeping the details of the respective BFSI branches digitally accessible is highly important. Such approaches strengthened by digital capabilities, build a distinct identity of the branches and help them engage meaningfully with consumers. These also increase the likelihood of unbranded consumer acquisition and business growth opportunities. It is through such holistic measures that BFSI brands are able to win the consumer’s trust, assure them of safe financial activities, and expand business avenues for themselves.
In conclusion, BFSI has undergone a significant transformation thanks to the power of digital technologies. This has unlocked new growth opportunities and enabled BFSI players to provide delightful consumer journeys and experiences. To fully leverage this transformation, BFSI players must adopt strategies that can productively serve today’s intertwined digital and physical consumer requirements. As BFSI players aim to deliver the best of services, using effective digital technologies to strengthen their branch-level association with consumers will be key to driving business growth. With BFSI continuing to evolve, modern-day digital technologies and consumer-centric strategies will be essential for players to stay competitive and meet the changing needs of their consumers.