The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a heavy list of challenges to individuals and businesses. In a world of uncertainty, clients want frictionless solutions that address their individual pain points, and work to protect against risk.
With digital disruption impacting almost every industry, clients have come to expect personalised service that can be accessed anywhere, at any time, via their preferred touchpoints.
In the current reality, these expectations are no different.
With high volumes of queries flooding the channels of those in essential services, clients will want these resolved with ease and speed so as to not further contribute to already heightened stress levels. This is where big data, automation and artificial intelligence – already visible throughout the banking sector – have a role to play.
The way in which companies interact with clients has evolved significantly as a result of digital innovations. Instead of a single (face-to-face/phone) contact, technology has paved the way for customers to connect with brands across multiple channels.
With customers increasingly using multiple channels to interact with brands, they expect to do so in a way that is seamless and integrated. This has been a challenge to the industry as traditional models have had to evolve and transform to cater to an omni-channel approach. This means engaging with customers and capturing insights on a much wider scale.
Leveraging data and AI
However, if further digital structures are implemented to support teams with capturing and analysing data, it leads to a better understanding of what customers are looking for. This also gives a brand the ability to match their desires proactively by developing solutions tailored to those specific needs.
Standard Bank is already leveraging data and artificial intelligence to better understand each client as an individual. Live data points are analysed to provide informed insight for improved product development.
Through innovative telematics solutions, for instance, we can use information to better ensure that we are providing customers with bespoke solutions. The Standard Bank Insurance telematics app offers South African motorists the opportunity to prove that they are a safe driver by initially passing a ‘driver test’ through the app. Safer drivers are a lower risk, and could benefit from a discounted insurance solution.
It has also made immense strides to harness technology to drive more integrated solutions. The My360 app, for instance, provides a global, consolidated view of someone’s entire financial life across more than 20 000 global financial institutions from one touch point. Customers can view their assets and liabilities regardless of institution or geography where their accounts reside.
While this technology holds the power to reduce friction for the client and to provide them with tailored solutions, to be truly successful requires an approach that sees digital and human capital working alongside one another. The automation of tasks, for example, will allow employees to focus on areas where it matters most.
Chatbots and AI
Artificial intelligence is also being used to manage other processes. Standard Bank’s WhatsApp-based chatbots allow customers to use a familiar interface to conduct simple transactions and get questions answered 24/7. In support of customers during the lockdown period, Standard Bank launched a Covid-19-specific chatbot on WhatsApp to keep customers up to date with relief offerings and other important relevant information.
This always-on solution saw high volumes of activity in May and June, with a total of 110 284 conversations initiated by consumers with the bot.
As part of the measures to help ease the financial burdens of customers at this time, Standard Bank offered its clients 25% cashback on car insurance premiums during the lockdown period. This allows for customers to earn an incentive – without hassle – that will provide the most value to their lives during this critical time.
Standard Bank continues to enhance the value of its offerings by leveraging technology to provide a better understanding and risk assessment of each client. This is bringing efficiencies to our organisation and allows for staff to focus on more meaningful areas of the business. The end consumer will ultimately feel the impact as we are better equipped to deliver exceptional, universal financial services solutions delivered in a digital and human way.
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