Takeaways from AIBP Insights Hyper-Personalisation for Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance: Revisualising Customer Experiences

AIBP Insights is a series of closed-door regional roundtable discussions which are part of our ongoing engagement with enterprises in ASEAN to look at topics affecting digital transformation for their businesses. The purpose is to enable the exchange of ideas between industry stakeholders and spearhead creative collaboration across industries and countries.

Earlier this year, we hosted a series of discussions ranging from, Elevating Customer Experience among regional FSIsResilient Supply ChainsIndustry 4.0 in Traditional Manufacturing, and The Tech Edge for ESG

The customer experience in the financial ecosphere holds massive untapped growth potential. The Harvard Business Review recently reported that 58% of enterprises are seeing a significant increase in customer loyalty and retention as a result of utilising customer analytics, while 60% of enterprises have acknowledged the importance of using real-time customer analytics to improve customer experience across multiple touchpoints. This is further supported by AIBP’s 2020 Enterprise Innovation Survey results, which showed that 65.8% of BFSIs indicated big data analytics as a key area for investment over the next 2-4 years.

In today’s AIBP Insights discussion, our panelists, from a mix of digital native financial institutions and traditional incumbent banks, came together to share their experiences in hyper-personalising the customer experience for their customers.
Takeaways from AIBP Insights Hyper-Personalisation for Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance: Revisualising Customer Experiences

Enhancing the customer experience and building customer relationships

Karthik Bhaskaran, Chief Product and Innovation Officer, Boost, believes that being proactive when plotting seamless customer journeys would be key. He highlighted that building seamless experiences can enhance their customers’ emotional connections to a preferred brand and consequently the product and/or service they offer. For example, Karthik shared that Boost is looking to integrate recurring bill payment arrangements on their platform by the end of 2021 so that customers can access their bills in a single view. Without having to worry about late payments, he believes that this will increase customers’ delight and enhance the seamless experience. The more cohesive and meaningful the experience, the more customers are willing to build a relationship, engage with, and prefer a brand over time. 

Sharing the key themes he observed across the industry, Bijon Mehta, Global Head of Financial Services, Twilio, agreed with Karthik and highlighted that financial institutions have to figure out how they can enable customers interactions as best as possible, how they can create a proactive engagement style, and how they can personalise messages to each cohort of customers, all whilst securing data and adhering to industry regulations. 

To satisfy the expectations of different customers, Jeffery Teo, Managing Director, Edenred, shared that they are constantly looking to enhance their rewards stack. He believes that finding original ways to reward your employees, customers, and merchants/partners can be key to building long-lasting relationships and loyalty, as well as to stay competitive in this landscape.

Finding the balance between ‘customer touch’ and ‘technology touch’

As transactions get more complicated (even more so for higher value transactions), Julien Ng, Assistant Director, Fintech & Innovation Group, Monetary Authority of Singapore, pointed out that customers would prefer interacting in-person face-to-face. 

Alfred Lim, User Experience Manager, Great Eastern, agreed and shared that having both the ‘human touch’ and ‘technology touch’ in the insurance industry is crucial. Simplifying the return or cancellation processes without compromising the customer experience has been a challenge, with different customers having different expectations. 

Finding the balance between both the ‘customer touch’ and the ‘technology touch’ also resonates with trends across other industries. YY Fong, Vice President, Industry Platform brought up Amazon Go as a reference, a chain of convenience stores in the United States and the United Kingdom operated by the online retailer Amazon, where customers are now able to interact in-person and experience their “Just Walk Out Shopping” technology. With the introduction of Amazon Go, Amazon is also leveraging its cross-channel customer data to build a more seamless, differentiated, and lucrative customer experience. 

Data privacy and data agility 

While having a lot of data is great, the bigger question lies in how BFSIs can leverage on these data to personalise customer experiences. While only a handful are good at it, Bijon highlighted that data agility is something that will be really important in the future – how one captures, stores, and analyses the data. 

Ram emphasised on the importance of respecting customers’ privacy when offering hyper-personalised services. Customers will never leave a bank when they receive the right services, and they may even become a brand ambassador.

Karthik agreed and added that hyper-personalisation can be married with moments of truth, where one can use customer data to improve their experience, and if done well, can prove to be beneficial in the long term. However, if customer data is used to make money, for example via sending advertisements, customers would not agree to that and may get unhappy. 

Kerem Abuc, Executive Director, Global Mobile & Digital Products, Standard Chartered Bank, also resonated with the other panelists and added that it is important to exert caution when it comes to privacy and trust. He believes that financial institutions should prioritise the customers’ interests, which sometimes may mean lower revenue in the short term, but in the longer term, customers will be loyal towards you and may eventually become a high value investment customer. 

Hyper-personalisation is great, but you have to hit the nail right on the head

Ram emphasised that customer experience has become a necessity, a journey accelerated by COVID-19. He shared that speaking directly to customers, understanding their trends and behaviours, and inviting them to their offices for “meet-and-greet” interactions has been key for them to map out their customers’ pain points and look at how they can improve. 

Depending on the purpose of app usage, Kerem shared that while it is imperative to reduce the time spent on app by giving real time information at the right place when addressing an urgent request, it is equally important to increase the time spent on app when customers are using it for lifestyle purposes. This will keep them more engaged and enable them to create micro-segments to provide customers with personalised information. 

With the increasingly high demands and expectations for exceptional customer support, it is imperative for BFSIs to understand and analyse the various contributors towards customer experience, as this would enable them to devise an extensive customer engagement strategy that is personalised and will reduce and address any existing and potential gaps with customers.

Takeaways from AIBP Insights Hyper-Personalisation for Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance: Revisualising Customer Experiences

Concluding the session, most of the panelists highlighted the development of blockchain technology in the industry as an interesting avenue with huge potential in the near future. The technology can be utilised for many other purposes apart from digital currencies, including documents provenance, ownership rights, or to detect and prevent fraud. 

With that, we look forward to continuing our discussion on Hyper-Automation and Low-code as Cornerstones of Financial Services Innovation on Wednesday (13th October), Building the Digital Core for Customer Engagement on Thursday (14th October), and Business and Data Resilience on Wednesday (20th October). 

Stay tuned for our ongoing AIBP Insights discussions which will be held in the next few weeks. Do reach out if you’d like to view the playback of the discussion today, or if you wish to find out more about our upcoming sessions!


23 September 2021

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