Banking Software Archives - POPi/o

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Hitting a Moving Target: How to Meet Consumers’ Rising Digital Expectations

By | Blog, Digital Communications, Video Banking

The financial institutions that succeed are often defined by a never-ending mission to enhance their Customer Experience (CX). The people leading these organizations know that the rapidly evolving digital landscape is constantly raising the bar for consumer expectations. And with new metrics for measuring success and an increasing willingness for consumers to share information, there is an almost endless opportunity for CX improvement, including personalized experiences, targeted offers, visual engagement, conversational AI, and a host of other digital communications tools.

In the financial services industry, more than 70% of companies are undergoing a CX transformation, with 39.7% of institutions having a project completed or in-progress, and 30.9% planning a project by the end of 2022.

In a study by Metrigy, business metrics were evaluated before and after CX transformations. They based the transformations on four major categories: conversational AI, visual engagement, workforce engagement management, and self-service knowledge management. By tracking the impact these efforts had on customer ratings, revenue, operating expenses, and agent productivity, Metrigy determined that the CX solutions which resulted in the highest average improvement was visual engagement. This category includes video, cobrowsing, screen sharing, and other interactive tools.

According to The Financial Brand, “Consumers have grown accustomed to interacting with video and other visual means in their personal and professional lives.” They went on to say that banks and credit unions “are catching on and increasingly extending video to their customers,” adding that the most efficient way to do this is by integrating their call center and Digital Communications Platform. This allows representatives on web chat to send video links to prospective customers, providing a seamless transition to a more comprehensive level of care.

When CX leaders were asked what benefits their video implementation provided, they offered six key points:

  • Video makes interactions more efficient to solve issues faster (50%)
  • Video improves customer relationships with more personal interactions (49.2%)
  • The pandemic made everyone used to using video (45.9%)
  • Customers were asking for it (40%)
  • Interactions required agents or customers to see something (36%)
  • Agents wanted to use it (36%)

Video is also exceedingly cost effective when comparing its capabilities to traditional alternatives. By leveraging services through these convenient channels, financial institutions can operate outside their service area without the added expense of expanding their physical branch network.

And because the financial services industry has a high average number of agents working from home (54.7%) compared to the average (47.2%), implementation of Digital Communications Platforms that facilitate remote work have become routine across the industry. Along the way, it’s important to use data to make sure the tools being implemented are having the desired effect. Using analytics and surveys to better dial-in the customer experience, successful financial institutions will evolve to meet the changing needs of consumers.

It can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. We recommend starting simple, implementing the most vital digital solution for the needs your institution has and growing engagement from there. To learn more about how you can get started with your own Digital Communications Platform, click here

Digitization Around the World: How Banks and Credit Unions can Plan for the Future

By | Blog, Digital Communications

If you find yourself wondering what the future looks like for the financial services industry, you’re not alone. Businesses in almost every sector have undergone fundamental changes in response to the turbulence of the last few years. The majority of these changes consisted of using digitization or data to compensate for the disturbances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But not every effort at digitization results in the business or organization merely compensating for the detriments resulting from COVID. Some have achieved new levels of engagement, and have also seen secondary benefits such as better operational efficiencies, increased security, and more brand awareness.

To see where digitization may be going in the States, we’ll take a look at what’s going on around the world. 

How Public Services are Changing

In the government and public services sector—both in America and abroad—many services are moving online, and citizens interacting with them are often incentivized to use new digital channels. This often results in increased adoption, which provides mutual benefits, as the digitized services not only make things more manageable and organized for the government entity, but make the citizen’s life more convenient as well.

In Albania, for example, the government has worked with the World Bank to introduce more efficient electronic services, which significantly increased satisfaction among citizens and saved them time in the process. In their economic update titled, “Data Digitization, and Governance”, the World Bank relayed, “The time needed to register a vehicle fell from 5.3 days in 2016 to 30 minutes in 2020, and the process to request a health card, which took 5 days in 2016, could be completed in just a few minutes.” 

These new efficiencies have made life easier for Albanians. To the north, similar government improvements have created new levels of efficiency in Estonia. Their new X-Road system, a connected information infrastructure used for population, medical, and business registrations, allows users to register a new business in just three hours.

What makes these results from Albania and Estonia so compelling for financial institutions is the fact that vehicle registration, requesting health cards, and registering a business are all very similar to the services offered by many financial institutions, such as applying for auto loans, requesting replacement debit cards, and opening new accounts. And as digitized solutions like these become more pervasive throughout the world, digital services will eventually become an expected delivery method for services in many industries.  

Mass Digitization in the Private Sector

Along with government and public services, there are untold numbers of businesses in the private sector that are undergoing a change that involves digitization. It is no longer uncommon for a restaurant to only provide menu access via a QR code, or to only allow orders to be made online. 

Many doctor’s offices and medical institutions have integrated digital solutions into their operations as well. If you visit an office like this unprepared, the administrative attendant will likely hand you an iPad and ask you to complete the intake process online. 

Businesses prefer these new digitized methods because they’re more sustainable, easier to keep organized, and more efficient than traditional in-person meetings that involve filling out paperwork.

Of course, nothing indicates that the world is moving in a “digital only” direction that will do away with in-person meetings entirely. The point of digitization is not to remove the person from the equation, it is more commonly an effort to make things more efficient.

What the Future Looks Like

As we all know, tele-health and virtual learning are not on the verge of replacing in-person school or medical practices. But even with COVID restrictions lifted, this technology will continue to play a key role in markets around the world. The market size of digital transformation solutions is expected to more than double in the coming years, at a CAGR of around 17%. 

This means there will always be some level of virtual learning or tele-health in practice, whether it be after-school tutoring, extracurricular activities, or solutions like Better Help, which provide affordable online counseling.

Although foot traffic in branches continues to decline, nobody is suggesting that banks and credit unions shut down all their branches and rely solely on apps and solutions from the fin-tech industry. In-person banking isn’t going away, it’s just getting better with the help of digital services. 

While things like collaborative video conferencing, document exchange, E-sign, and cobrowse might be seen as added features that aren’t particularly necessary for the success of a financial institution, the question that banks and credit unions will need to ask themselves is this: When people are engaging with their school, their employer, their medical provider, and their government through digital channels, how will they want to engage with their financial institution?  

To learn more about how POPi/o can help you deliver your most important, revenue-generating services through convenient digital channels, click here.

What is a Virtual Financial Assistant? And How Could it Benefit Your Financial Institution?

By | Blog, Digital Communications

Since beginning our partnership with Abe.ai, creator of the Virtual Financial Assistant (VFA), we’ve been touching on this unique solution in our communications. But we’ve never really taken the opportunity to give a comprehensive look at what exactly a VFA does, and how financial institutions could wield it to their advantage—especially when used in conjunction with POPi/o’s Digital Communications solutions.

Who is Abe.ai?

Founded in 2016 and later acquired by Envestnet | Yodlee, Abe.ai is an artificial intelligence company that’s focused on building virtual assistant products and infrastructure for the financial services industry. Banks and credit unions of all sizes use Abe.ai’s software to create AI-powered, human-like experiences to scale customer support teams and enhance the customer experience.

What a VFA Could do for You

By interacting with consumers in the channels they prefer—such as website, online banking or mobile app—Abe.ai’s VFA plays the essential role of easing the load on customer service teams. Powered by machine learning and natural language processing, the VFA can interact in a natural and conversational way, resolving many common customer inquiries, freeing up call centers to use POPi/o’s Digital Communications solutions on more in-depth customer needs. With the ability to recognize thousands of utterances related to the most commonly asked questions at financial institutions, a VFA delivers a considerable amount of value to the customer experience. With a friendly, personable tone and rapid responses, it can field issues as they arise. 

Some examples of inquiries that the VFA can assist with are:

“I can’t remember my password.”

“What are my branch hours?”

“What’s my routing number?”

“Where’s the nearest ATM?”

“Debit card shipping time?”

“When will my deposit clear?”

“I’m locked out of my account.”

Digital Tools With a Personal Touch

Allowing a VFA to interact with customers on behalf of your institution takes a certain level of trust. It’s important that the software meets customer needs and effectively responds to questions. But it’s equally important that your customers are willing to engage with the VFA in the first place. Making the technology approachable to the common user may seem like a tall order, but the VFA comes pre-trained right off the shelf, making it fast and easy to implement. To make the technology more engaging, financial institutions can do things like give the VFA its own name and profile image. This helps assure that the VFA comes off as friendly and approachable, and also creates an opportunity to brand it as your own. By designing a user experience that feels natural to customers, you build rapport and brand loyalty.  

Abe.ai exampleLooking to the Future

Because conversational AI is a technology that continues to evolve over time, a VFA is a solution that constantly improves, providing greater value as machine learning continues to enhance its responses. And when matched with POPi/o’s Digital Communications solution, you can leverage the most convenient and comprehensive digital tools in the financial services industry. Commonly asked “nuisance questions” can be resolved without the interruption of your customer-facing staff, and more involved customer inquiries and transactions can be resolved using POPi/o’s extensive digital tools, like collaborative video, cobrowse, and more. With a Digital Communications solution, you can provide digital services that are not only fast and convenient, but friendly and personalized as well.

Are you interested in learning more about easing the load on your call centers, preventing abandonment, and meeting customer needs as they arise? Let’s talk.

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10 Reasons to Look to the Cloud

By | Blog, Video Banking | No Comments

Financial institutions have been wringing their hands for years, wondering when tech giants Amazon and Google will compete against them directly.

The answer might be never.

According to an article published in The Wall Street Journal, Amazon and Google aren’t as interested in banking as they once were. The reason is that as financial institutions increasingly transfer technology to the cloud, Amazon and Google are making more money offering cloud computing services to FIs than they could make competing against them offering banking services to consumers.

Business is booming for Amazon’s AWS, Alphabet’s Google Cloud and Microsoft’s Azure as financial institutions transfer infrastructure, platforms, software and recovery systems from on-site servers to the cloud.

POPi/o Mobile Video Cloud recently changed its name to reflect our Software as a Service structure (Saas). When it comes to leveraging everything the cloud has to offer technology, we’re all in.

Why has POPi/o and the financial services industry finally embraced the cloud? Here are 10 reasons.

  • Disaster recovery
    • We’ve all seen the horrific damage to buildings that Hurricane Michael caused. I’m sure there were plenty of bank and credit union executives who watched nervously as the hurricane veered dangerously close to their service bureau or backup facilities. Don’t let natural disasters – from which you’re protecting your systems – be the weak link that causes disaster recovery failure. Cloud-based disaster recovery services will keep you up and running and allow you to focus on serving victims of natural disasters who need your help.
  • Faster updates
    • The policy of prevention over cure rules today’s digital-first marketplace. The cloud allows you to automatically fix bugs, update customization and make other updates without having to individually upload to each workstation.
  • Quicker deployments
    • The cloud allows you to deploy new technology and services in hours instead of days … or weeks … or even months. All you need is a browser and a bit of training.
  • Serious cost savings
    • This is a biggie. Not only do on-premises hardware and the required software upgrades cost big bucks, but you also have to pay for someone to install and update software, install and manage servers and run backups. With the cloud, those expenses are the responsibility of the vendor; you only pay for what you need.
  • Security
    • For too long, financial institutions were afraid the cloud posed a security threat. Yet research has consistently shown that human error is a greater risk. The cloud doesn’t require in-house physical access security and deployed security protocols. Encryption can be deployed across a wider network quickly, and cloud servers are located at secure locations that are rigorously tested and have multi-factor security.
  • Ongoing education
    • Cloud service providers take the guessing out of getting a new solution to work for you. Rather than relying on in-house expertise, which will require you to pay for educational courses and conference to keep current, your vendor will be your expert.
  • Flexible scalability
    • The cloud is scalable as you grow. If you need more licenses, you can get more licenses. If you need to take some away, go right ahead. As your business grows or slows, the cloud will adapt with you.
  • Mobility
    • Cloud-based services are internet based, so you can access your systems from wherever you or your remotely-based staff have an internet connection.
  • Competitive
    • The cloud allows you to disrupt your market with enterprise-class technology and speed while staying lean and nimble.
  • Environmentally friendly
    • Not only will you reduce the space required in branches and your headquarters to store and access servers, but cloud protocol is also greener than onsite technology because you only use as much as you need.