Clue: the key comprises mindset shifts and the use of multiple technologies to provide instantaneous personalized, flexible, omnichannel and intuitive service.

In the drawn-out battle against the coronavirus, consumer patience is wearing thin.

Nowadays, people expectations smoother, faster and hassle-free experiences online. In one Experian survey, one third of APAC respondents were only willing to wait up to 30 seconds before abandoning an online transaction.

As more people embrace digital banking, this trend has been widely reflected across the fintech industry. In one survey, organizational speed was necessary for businesses to outperform competitors in the long-term.  

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that catering to the need for instant gratification is necessary for success, particularly within the finance sector.

Boosting convenience and availability

Imagine having the ability to split payments for essential purchases without jumping through confusing hoops, or easily managing investments via a mobile app without having to meet a financial planner in person.

Today, a click of a button is all it takes to get verification and credit scoring in a matter of minutes for many financial services. All these can be achieved thanks to advanced technology like AI.

Such technologies transform financial services through tailoring products and services to individuals, allowing them to make more informed decisions, and refining internal processes while providing better security and lower risk. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and robo-advisories are perfect examples of how AI can be leveraged to drive efficient payment offerings.

Nowadays, faster is never fast enough, and businesses that are just seconds quicker will remain ahead. Banks and financial businesses have been accelerating their digitalization journey, yet even such resource-rich organizations still need to find ways to keep up with the rapidly evolving needs and expectations of customers.

Barriers to transformation

While fintech companies are more tuned to meet consumer demands for fast convenient personalized experiences, the traditional finance and banking sector still has a gap to close. Earlier this year, the World Retail Banking Report had found that leading banks and non-banking firms across 23 global markets were still trying to catch up with changing customer expectations. Why?

A few factors are involved:

  • A common problem involves embracing open banking and effectively integrating and streamlining mid, back, and front-functions to offer a seamless customer experience.
  • When only 58% of banks surveyed were prioritizing the need to provide an omnichannel experience, against 76% of customers expecting this as a given in the survey, there is a gap to be filled.

To retain loyalty today’s banking systems need to keep up with payment speed 24/7. If a major online banking service were to take a hit or experience an outage, the disruption would feel like an eternity in a world where online transactions take place every second.

Banking on advanced technologies

Financial institutions are sitting on troves of rich customer and behavioral data—and AI can help them leverage and translate this into valuable and actionable insights that lead to more intuitive customer experiences.

Beyond this, there is also plenty of potential for banks to improve integration of their technology and services within the customers’ natural journey. A prime example is the rise of embedded finance, which seamlessly blends banking and financial services at the point of exchange in any customer transaction, be it online shopping or ride-sharing.

Another promising technology is the use of edge computing to reduce processing and lag time. This moves beyond traditional cloud-based networks to improve speed, scalability and security that enhances the overall customer experience, while reducing back-end complexities.

As we move forward, it is clear the APAC financial industry can bank on the use of advanced technologies to not just assist with business operation improvement, but to win over customers by keeping up with the constant evolution of customer expectations and demands for fast and intuitive journeys.