Home Banking BANK 3.0 – A Relationship without Secrets

BANK 3.0 – A Relationship without Secrets

by internationalbanker

COMARCH - Anna M LikBy Anna M. Lik, Business Development Centre, Financial Services, Comarch




With the redefinition of a banking paradigm by Brett King in 2010, a stormy debate has sparked off by financial market experts concerning the future of banking. Backed by the leaders of new technologies, they began searching for the golden mean that in times of unfavourable economic situations, will help retain customers and increase profits. Today’s customers understand banking offers; they are demanding and canny; they want to have everything immediately, regardless of time and place; and they want it in an easy and enjoyable way. They find phone consultants annoying, particularly if they are unable to accurately discuss their financial situation. They do not tolerate unexpected interruptions in access to banking applications and increasing banking fees. Above all, they expect the bank to offer them products and services that are tailored to their individual needs. If they do not get what they want, they remorselessly search for another bank that will take better care of them and meet their expectations. Reliability, security, and competitive rates are what matter to today’s banking customer.


Maintaining such demanding customers requires not only effort, but expenses. Simple transactional tools satisfy neither party. Bank customers dream of reliable web and mobile applications, also called apps, which are accessible from different platforms. They prefer ergonomic, visually attractive, highly functional and freely configurable parameters. They want to set up alerts for limits and repayment date reminders. Generating comprehensible reports and expense statistics is important to them, as well. They want to do as much as possible online, and when they need help, they want to contact the bank consultant quickly and efficiently. In addition, they expect an automated advisory service, so they can invest their money and plan their expenses so that they can gain benefits.

Nothing is impossible; however, to meet these expectations, the bank must obtain as much customer information as possible. To get a complete view of the customer, the bank should know and analyse, among other things, their buying behaviour, financial condition, as well as financial instruments and services purchased in other banks and financial institutions. To this end, the bank must ask the customer to enter this information manually. Theoretically, the bank can also use data generated by the customer online from in social networks, such as Big Data. The ongoing analysis of a large volume of customer data is a real challenge for IT providers.

The use of Big Data, however, raises a lot of controversy, especially among customers. On the one hand, customers registering in online stores and social networks voluntarily transfer a lot of private information. On the other hand, they consider Big Data a tool for spying and infiltration. Experts point out that Big Data means the analysis from information is obtained from legal sources. By registering to various networks, internet users consent to the use and processing of their data by these portals and their partners. Current EU legislation limits the use of collected information, but one can expect that in the near future, Big Data will become a catalyst for some changes in these regulations.

The effective analysis of customer behaviour and financial situation results in commercial offerings tailored to their needs, hence a higher conversion rate. The individual approach increases customer confidence in the bank, which not only translates into higher retention, but it can also positively influence the bank’s image in the eyes of potential customers. To do this, the bank must be able to harness the power of internet.

Customers eagerly manifest their discontent with the bank in social media. Positive comments are rare and often seen as a bank’s public relations maneuver. However, there are ways to leverage satisfied customers. For example, banks can reward customers for persuading their friends to open accounts, or give the most active customers better discounts at loyalty programs or a higher money back percentage. Leveraging social media, not only in terms of collecting customer information, but also as a marketing tool is invaluable, as well. In order to effectively compete for customers, banks must demonstrate flexibility in their offerings; as well as make use of the latest technological achievements. They must observe their customers, follow trends, and explore the benefits of the most popular communication channels. 

“Customer expectations are also changing in a commercial banking segment. In the recent survey conducted in London Tech City (October 2013, Comarch), only 53% of questioned SMEs confirmed positive impressions of their business banking experience. Banks are aware of the importance of online channels and are implementing novel strategies to boost their customer satisfaction. Online banking systems are becoming more action-oriented with multiple advisory functions included. SMEs are given online tools to track their cash flows on a daily basis and forecast the future ones. They receive tailored offers fitting their current needs. What is also important, they can run multiple simulations to check how the offered product influences their financial situation. Equally significant becomes the mobile channel. Banks already understand that business customers need individual mobile offering, which cannot be based on mobile apps for retail ones,” underlines Krystian Suchodolski, Business Development Manager at Comarch


By moving the lion’s share of banking activity to the internet, banks have initiated the process of global “de-location” and virtualization. For the younger generation the bank is no longer a synonym of a building or institution protecting savings and granting loans in cash. King calls them “de-banked customers” as they are massively abandoning traditional relationships with banks in favour of banking. Visionaries such as King forecast that banks and banking await further (dis)integration.

In the near future, one can expect significant changes in the structure of financial and banking services providers, as well as in the form of banking in customers’ lives. Banking solutions will be integrated with e-shops, real estate portals, e-offices, and other virtual solutions. Apps for mobile devices will identify the customer, thanks to their earlier log on to the social network or mailbox. These apps will run in the background as widgets, showing the current account balance, creditworthiness, or savings plans. The customer will not have to visit the bank’s web-portal, since all necessary features will be available in a banking app, found on their mobile device.

Plastic cards will also be outmoded soon, as well. Right now, technologies such as NFC enable payments and cash withdrawals from ATMs can be made using mobile devices. With time, more technologies will be found on the customer’s smartphone.


This banking vision can be realized quickly, but only if there is always adequate security and if customers can tame Big Data. Nowadays, software providers are focusing on developing a wider range of tools that are designed to adapt financial products and services to the needs of the customer. This results in significantly improved customer retention.

One solution is Comarch Smart Finance. In addition to standard internet banking platform features, it provides the customer with the ability to manage personal finances. The app analyses customer financial habits and projects monthly expenses and savings. It also acts as a personal financial adviser. At the same time, the bank offers more attractive products meeting customer personal needs. The combination of the online banking functionality, individual offerings, and personal finance management helps the customer make the right financial decisions. Personalized products and services enhance the customer relationships with the bank, as well as strengthen customer loyalty.

Comarch Smart Finance also helps reduce customer service costs. Customers are becoming more independent; therefore, the number of complaints and orders placed to banking call-centers are decreasing. Thanks to Comarch Smart Finance, the bank reinforces its brand and confirms its status as an innovative, future-oriented, and customer-friendly institution.

Recent technological progress has contributed to the total transformation of retail and corporate banking business models. In order to remain competitive, banks must modify their priorities. The focus is now on the customer who expects a personalized approach, tailored service, and support at the highest level. Thus, it is crucial for banks and financial institutions to effectively collect and process customer data, as well as become customer-oriented. Luckily, there are IT solution providers that supply new generations of comprehensive tools, such as Comarch Smart Finance, to help both banks and customers in achieving their objectives.


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