Customers (both corporate and consumer) are driving the technology needs of banks. Features like single-window single-sign-on, 24x7 operations, etc. are basic offerings for the online channel. Shorter transaction time, account details, bill payments, basic calculators like interest calculators—once value-added services—are now considered standard for online channel. Imaging solutions are deployed in trade finance, as it is becoming increasingly important to store all transaction-related data in electronic format, including paper-based information. This reduces the reliance on paper-based files and allows the bank to have a comprehensive electronic overview of each trade finance transaction.
New age services such as integration with core banking systems, various financial products for integrated view, and security enhancers like digital keypad and mobile authentication are the main features that can act as a differentiator in customers’ adoption of a particular bank. Supporting WAP browsers and smart phone apps are also high on the agenda of many follower banks and can also be seen as tactical moves to attract more customers to use the online channels. Using popular media like YouTube and Facebook not only educates existing customers, but can also draw in non-banking customers and help the bank penetrate deeper into niche segments transcending geographical boundaries with ease. Similarly, multi-country, multicurrency offerings reinforce the idea of a “global” bank.
The next generation banks need to exhibit the idea of “people orientation.” Customers can freely customize the information and financial services that interest them. According to a customer’s personalized Internet banking layout, banks can know the potential demands to achieve cross-channel selling and realize target marketing. Web 2.0 also opens up a world of possibility for retail customers, such as communication using social media software.