Open Banking: Universal language for customer experience projects

With voice-controlled applications, technology groups are already heralding in the next round of innovation, whereas many other industries have only just started to transfer interconnected concepts from commerce into their own business models. To fulfil the ever changing expectations of demanding digitally savvy customers in banking, there is no way around API-based opening banking technologies.

Jim Marous, one of the top five fintech influencers, in his article How The Connected Lifestyle Is Impacting Banking last week again urgently called on representatives of the financial industry to closely monitor commerce with a view to the customer experience. The digital players, in particular, managed in recent years to shake an entire industry in many regions of the world. Hardly anyone is willing to do without “the benefits of an interconnected lifestyle”. As a key feature, Jim Marous notes the seamless interaction that goes hand in hand with the virtually immediate satisfaction of needs. Regardless of what is to be sold to the customer: anyone wanting to participate in the life of the customer must become an integral part of their interconnected lifestyle.

Low tolerance for frustration: the customer in the digital age

For banks, Jim Marous derives from this the requirement to develop better digital solutions, including mobile banking with an optimised user experience. Overall, customers are responding increasingly impatiently to long forms, a lack of transparency and insufficient options to conclude a transaction digitally – the media gaps often evoked in the past. If, as is already the case today, social media and widespread messenger services are also included in the mobile customer journey, the complexity of technological integration will increase. What is more, the acceptance of voice-controlled terminal devices is increasing so fast as only previously seen with the smartphone, and integrating the, as Jim Marous calls it, “smart concierge” in the banks’ front end is another matter in its own right.

Open banking instead of insular solutions

The finding that it is impossible to integrate one application after the other in the banking infrastructure has long been established. The dynamics of the development with short innovation cycles already shows how absurd this approach is. Instead, institutions are opening up and establishing open banking ecosystems. As a catalyst of innovation, these systems reduce product development times significantly and accelerate the market launch. Like a lingua franca, the API-based open banking technology can be shared with developers of entirely different backgrounds: a universally understandable developer language that facilitates the exchange and collaboration of bank and fintechs irrespective of the legacy systems in use.

Focus on digital customer experience

In the current market segment study on digital customer experience services conducted by Lünendonk , the 121 CXOs (customer experience officers) from major companies and groups surveyed in Germany stated expenditure of more than four percent of sales on average for “projects to modernise the customer interface and develop a digital customer experience” this year. They have recognised “that customer-focused strategies can only be successful if the customer experiences a high digital customer experience along the entire process chain of the business relationship, i.e. their customer journey.” The market volume in this area in Germany currently stands at EUR 3.8 billion according to Lünendonk. Integrative infrastructures such as the Digital Banking Hub create the preconditions for these funds indeed going towards the improvement of the customer experience – and do not peter out as programming projects for interfaces and additional developments for legacy systems.

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