Self Service Intersection

Blog: Self-Service: The intersection of digital experience and physical fulfillment

September 16, 2020  |  JAIVINDER GILL

Mobile technology is of increasing importance. But how important is it really? 

What if I told you we humans spend, on average, 10% of our daily lives touching our mobile phones? That equates to touching your phone over 2,600 times during a single day. And that’s not even considered a “heavy user.” Let that sink in…  Maybe that just made your jaw drop, or maybe it doesn’t surprise you. 

Now compare that to how often you touch your wallet during the day.  Do you even own a “traditional” wallet? Or is it a phone case/wallet combo? Maybe you touch your wallet 10 or 20 times during a big day of shopping. But some consumers may not even use their wallet at all. 

This juxtaposition in consumer behavior proves how involved we as consumers are with our mobile phones and how BIG that impact really is on how we shop, bank and live our daily lives.

There can no longer be any second-guessing: Traditional financial institutions’ operations need to be disrupted and bring forth major change. This change must come quickly in order to compete with unprecedented consumer behavior changes and with non-bank and digital-only alternatives. 

In fact, a recent report found that the traditional bank abandonment rate climbed to 56% in 2018, showing the appeal of new alternatives and the push-back due to a lack of satisfaction with the status quo. This is evidenced even further (specifically for APAC consumers) by the announcement of the “Most Recommended Retail Bank in 2020” for the region was awarded to a digital-only institution that has only been in operation for less than three years, outranking many long-standing traditional players.

Primary digital channels, such as online and mobile, require top notch service and can provide a personalized experience. But traditional FIs may struggle to bring that consistency into their physical channels, which are often managed through outdated, siloed back-end infrastructure. 

The ATM offers an alternative path. As fewer individuals visit the branch, a conveniently-placed off-site ATM is becoming the go-to channel for physical fulfillment. With new capabilities, open APIs and flexibility that far exceeds legacy infrastructure, modern ATMs can enable FIs to leapfrog over the limitations that have hampered their modernization efforts in the past. Let’s look at a few examples of how FIs can do just that, and outcompete their digital-only counterparts, while offering something a digital competitor simply can’t: easy access to physical cash.

Contactless Transactions and Prestaging
Providing the self-service channel as an on-ramp and off-ramp to the mobile experience is a major initiative many FIs are undertaking. One of the most popular use cases we’re helping our clients enable is the ability to pre-stage a transaction on a mobile phone, then end with physical fulfillment at the ATM—all without the use of a card. It’s quick and frictionless, and consumers have more control over the end-to-end journey. We’re also seeing more traction with NFC, enabling a use case in which a consumer can initiate their transaction though their mobile wallet on an NFC-enabled smartphone. Both of these solutions also meet the emerging needs of a post-COVID society by reducing the reliance on physical handling of cards and touching screens.

Personalized Communications
Open APIs and advanced algorithms are opening up new opportunities to create more personalized experiences at all channels, including personalized offers at the ATM. Relevant, direct, one-to-one marketing can ultimately promote cross-selling and at a minimum, create a pleasant experience for the consumer. For example, if an FI can see that a consumer who just inserted their card into the ATM has recently purchased a home, they can serve up an offer to refinance at a lower rate. Whatever the case may be, data-driven software at physical channels can help create personalized interactions. 

The shift toward digital continues to happen at lightning speed. Change must happen in order to compete with more digital-oriented consumers and other digital-only competitors. 

In order to get there, you must work with the right partner. Let’s start the conversation today about modernizing your ATM channel into a fleet of hyper-connected, digital devices of the future.

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