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Salesforce: The Key Support System of Banks for Becoming Living Businesses


Moving to a digital-driven economy and an accessible ecosystem business model means shifting from a model where the value chain is fragmented to a centralized one. Now, different companies are partnering with each other to deliver a much richer and wider customer experience. This implies mainly two things:

  1. Beyond Insurtech and Fintech companies, other businesses will start fulfilling the financial needs of people across different segments such as individuals, SMEs and corporates that banks and insurance companies cannot satisfy.
  1. Financial services providers will move from a financial life management approach to serving customers in all aspects approach by offering innovative financial products and services and interacting with them in relevant life moments.

This transformation will not occur overnight, but instances of the transformation other industries have already witnessed towards an ecosystem model might give useful indications of what is to happen in the near future:

  • Daimler, a leading car manufacturer cars since 1924, recognized the shift from owning a vehicle to using a mobility service. It is now offering trips on more than 45,000 taxis to over 10 million customers via the MyTaxi app.
  • Amazon began as an e-commerce platform but moved into owning physical stores like Whole Food and Amazon Go and providing its technology services via Amazon Web Services.
  • Starbucks has been concentrating for years on creating a different coffee experience, but what is now setting it apart from others is its early investment in a combined payment/loyalty app that is now processing more than 30% of its payments.

ACI Infotech has identified five critical areas of transformation for banks to embrace an ecosystem world. Let’s have a look at those areas.

Experiential life needs

Banking institutions could play a more vital role in becoming the end-to-end orchestrator of ‘life moments’ in which banks have earlier played an important yet supporting role, like starting a family or improving health. This is a notable change in the financial services mindset, as we are placing the customer at the center. This is no longer about selling a mortgage but satisfying the need customers have to purchase a house. The value banks can add in this scenario is huge and goes beyond just offering a specific financial product or service. This requires partnership with real estate companies, solicitors, furniture retailers, relocation firms and more.

In today’s competitive world, where we gather on the fly the value chains to deliver life-relevant experiences, it is very important to have a holistic 360 view across physical and digital channels. The Salesforce CRM delivers exactly that solution and serves just the relevant information to bankers, partners and customers.

Experiential specialized propositions

The banking industry evolution to an ecosystem model unlocks the door to a more efficient collaboration between banking institutions and specialized players who can provide specific services serving market niches like startups, small merchants and agriculture. One important innovator is Fidor Bank, a German fintech company to re-establish the trust between consumers and banks. They have developed fOS, basically a Banking-as-a-platform solution which can be white labelled and used by third parties to offer banking services. To manage the customer interactions from a service, sales and marketing perspective, Fidor uses Salesforce CRM integrated into fOS to gain:

  • Real-time visibility of customer activities
  • Possibilities to drive commission, transaction and data monetization strategies
  • Enhanced marketing campaigns

Financial Services Augmentation via fintech

Banks and financial services providers are realising they cannot maintain the time to market and pace of innovation by trying to do everything in-house. This is the reason, we have transitioned from a scenario where banks saw Fintech firms as competitors to a scenario of collaboration. This shift has significant implications on the type of technology solutions banks prefer to run their business. Platforms that are open – API-based, cloud-based, zero-code and provide superior flexibility, time to value,  and configurability have distinct advantages over the traditional approaches. These features have been a major driver of choice for many banks in choosing Salesforce.

Value-added services serving SMEs

The SME segment has always provided significant opportunities for the banking sector. However, serving the SME sector is challenging. Despite the good margin, revenue received per client does not always justify high-touch customer service models as in the corporate banking sector. In these circumstances, technology plays a vital role. To add value to SMEs, relationship managers are required to anticipate customer demands in a faster and automated manner. Understanding this multifaceted landscape of stakeholders in the SME and commercial spheres, Salesforce has invested in some key capabilities of the Financial Services Cloud such as building a full stakeholder map for SME customers and navigating through customer centres of excellence. With the help of Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, SME RMs can quickly identify how to add value for SME customers and whom to engage in the decision-making process.

Distribution model and Space monetization

While retail banking institutions are starting the move to an open, digital economy, they are also reshaping the role of branches in their distribution pattern. We have seen many examples of the ‘branch of the future’ where the customer is at the center and provided with a more personalized experience like where start-ups and professionals can meet SMEs, places where events are organized, where freelancers can go and use Wi-Fi and grab a cup of coffee (Startbucks-like model). These all are examples of how banks can create an alternative source of value for their customers. The banking institutions need to be able to use those alternative customer experiences and link them with customer life moments and financial needs. This is the point where Salesforce CRM can add value.

Now, as you thoroughly understand how important it is for your business to smartly interact with your customers in relevant life moments, embrace Salesforce CRM to achieve better customer experience. ACI Infotech is here to effectively integrate Salesforce in your existing IT set up and help achieve core business goals.

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