Despite pandemic-accelerated digitalization, financial services here could still be underutilizing big data. This calls for more intelligent automation, connectivity and integration

Today, the only constant in the Asia Pacific’s financial services market is digital evolution. The hypercompetitive landscape is keeping providers on their toes, especially in terms of driving digital customer experience and satisfaction.

For traditional financial services players, staying relevant in the age of liquid consumer behavior and digital-native new entrants to the market can seem daunting. However, striving to understand their customers deeply can reverse the fear and provide a new business impetus.

While the substance of financial services providers’ relationship with their customers continues to be trust, ease of use, and personalized nuanced offerings, what has changed is how these providers interact through the new channels opened up by digital banking.

The fact is that banks actually sit on a veritable gold mine by way of the sheer volume of data they sit on. This offers real avenues to tailor services and generate added value, but rests on data being managed strategically, handled securely, interpreted correctly, and finally used to execute fresh offerings.

Converting challenges into opportunities

An EY report has noted that, although data and analytics constituted the second-highest investment area for the region’s financial services industry in a survey, a mere 8% of respondents had described themselves as data-centric.

Yet, harnessing big data is key to increasing customer value, and its growth has led to an explosion of opportunities. As big data contains information on preferences, needs, and buying patterns, it can be leveraged to deliver new digital products and services tailored to customers at the point of need.

To sharpen the focus, the approach must be to move away from ‘target group management’ in favor of ‘targeted expectation management’. This hinges on holistically managing all information with a unique approach that integrates state-of-the-art methodologies and technologies.

Financial service providers that implement modern tech stacks will be in a position to leverage data analytics from datasets and gain a more comprehensive understanding of their customers.

Hon Chew Seetoh, General Manager, Asia, Boomi

Generating continuous value with an integration platform

Customers’ financial needs change and evolve over the span of their lives. The imperative for providers is to meet these needs better and faster than competitors. However, beyond that achievement, providers also need to meet continuously changing needs quickly, responsively, and helpfully:

    • The first step to achieve this is to recognize that obtaining a full and rich view of their customers provides pathways to deliver the desired services quickly.
    • Then, to realize the added value for their customers and themselves, providers need to create an ecosystem that enables close collaboration and seamless data sharing across all departments. This is critical to catering for the operational and analytical mapping needed to solve the complexities around customer processes.
    • To start with, providers need to review their technology stack; investing in modern customer relationship management systems is one thing, but process management and application integration should not be sidelined. Failing to account for integration can result in an environment fraught with disparate applications unable to work at its optimal level.

Here is where an integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) can offer financial services players the ability to glue together the different departments and systems and bring together the organization’s applications and data sources.

With an iPaaS, providers can easily and quickly build interoperability across legacy environments and cloud applications. The boost in flexibility will position the business to meet even the most acute challenges.

Through a cloud-native integration platform, institutions can unify data for analyzing profitability; managing risk; and providing exceptional customer service. At the same time, this will allow legacy infrastructure to be modernized.

With modern middleware designed to raise agility and make a business more lean, the region’s  financial services industry can adapt at unprecedented speed to stay competitive and meet and exceed customer expectations — even as their own corporate financial needs shift and change.