How Banks in Tunisia can apply a digital transformation: Survey findings Part 4

Before we finish the survey we asked participants to post their suggestions to develop the banking sectors.  All respondents proposed a bunch of reforms especially the adaptations to the new technology. This has become a common request that all users are looking for because the Fintech is not well adapted in the banks’ policy and services.

Let’s learn together about how banks can improve their services. So if you are an employee inside a bank or a bank manager these findings will drag your attention.  

Technical improvement 

Digital services

As we have said before, digital services are no longer about the possibility to have an online interface to run some stuff or about how many services are offered online.

For instance, the core of the concept is about how much a brand is close to its niche and how it assimilates its expectations in real solutions. 

Traditional webpages, are not what people are looking for in this generation and beyond. Users are very smart and look for a fast approach to carry their business.

Thus the customer journey on a bank interface needs to involve a scénario that highlights the user claims concerning: 

  • Creative design
  • Fast services
  • Responsive interfaces
  • Assistance
  • Notification. 
  • Animation 
  • Retargeting techniques… 

Banks institutions need to allow users from better services in terms of variety and quality.

Create an account, check the balance, send & receive money, apply for a loan online, fill-in a cheque… All these services are expected to be 100% online and paperless by the year 2020. 

Users are completely online and they are planned to type, send, and receive all information virtually. 

So when it comes to the institutional stuff they care about the act of moving and wasting time between establishments to confirm a request or to create an account.

Whereas in other websites from China, Europe, or the USA they can buy different products and they can be shipped to their doorstep without any effort. Meanwhile, they cannot open an account online in a bank inside the same territory. 

This flexibility is a common claim between all Tunisian users who find that their national institutions haven’t reached the digital stage where they can say, “yes  we do have an online platform that forward all our affairs online”   

Cybersecurity 

As long as financial institutions go online, they are probably more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This was among the most common claim between customers. They said that they don’t trust their banks.  Because they don’t use a solid ecosystem based on intelligent components. 

At this point,  banks are asked to apply multi-level tools and hold a proactive strategy for cyber risks. This is what so-called prescriptive security in the digital field. To have the “B” plan for everything and being very ready for any attacks or bugs by using intelligent processes. 

This strategy must include authentication materials such as the digital signature and biometric identification like the most advanced industry are doing. 

The eCommerce and online payment are growing fast and bank institutions have to offer a safer payment environment for users,  especially in Tunisia where PayPal is not yet initiated.

This could be an opportunity for banks to provide better services for online payment inside and outside. Because people want the best in everything and they will no longer accept low digital performance.  In a world where digitization has become a language and a lifestyle. 

Talking about payment security triggers us to mention the importance of instant payment. Customers look for more flexible interfaces to pay their spendings in real-time.  

Using a friendly and casual channel to link between the sender and the receiver. Allowing them to track the operation and leave comments through instant messages.

Here is the chatbot integration that will be a common tool by 2020 and in the following part, we will talk more about this technology in the banking sector. 

The chatbot-assistant 

This approach can resolve the interpersonal dispute that happens between customers and bank agents in some situations.  People feel overwhelmed and in some cases, they couldn’t communicate well or they fall in trouble while discussing a client. This can happen anytime.

Due to the misunderstanding that can raise the tension and break the communication between both parties. And in a world where Google assistant, Apple Siri, and Amazon Alexa are revolutionizing virtual assistance.  Customers want something similar to help them while asking for a service online. 

However personal contact requires some protocols and ways of presenting the identity and the customer request with predefined speech.

Also, online assistance and e-contact can go further to assist customers online by scheduling an appointment at the bank agency, Knowing the agent that will be in charge of their request, and Being informed about their qualifications rate to get a loan in advance …

These solutions are pretty effective if they are applied while dealing with Loan requests. These practices would make a shortcut in the whole process for both the bank and the client.

They called that a ‘’Prequalification’’ step in the loan-request journey.  Taking the example of  Bank Of America, which uses the online platform as a complete venue for its customers with explanatory videos and contact-points at any stage. 

Offer New revenues stream

The blockchain and the new business fund models are rising in the financial scene. 

Users are more attracted by the opportunities and resources offered by the blockchain mechanisms.

The blockchain is based on data stored in blocks that are linked in terms of chains where they are publicly available and all transactions would be saved along with information related to time, place, identity, and signature.

That would be an important digital archive and savvy approach to shift toward cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and fundraising.  

The use of AI and  Voice-first banking 

This is what do we call conversational banking. It is to introduce banking services by using The AI and Bots to communicate users and determine their requests.

This technology helps the bank to stock data about users’ requests and reduce the waiting frustrations that happen in direct communication. 

Voice-first banking is another searching approach that banks need to apply to improve customer experience. People will use voice search methods in the near future than ever been.  Because it reduces the hassle of typing and search engines are providing smarter and well-trained bots to understand the Natural Language. 

Added to that,  voice search has become inevitable components in the e-commerce and online business to cherish the customer journey with a more user-centric approach. 

Financial institutions that have frequent interactions with customers and daily transactions need to improve their platforms and adapt the wave of this technology to guarantee customer retention and data stored for future use.  

Where AI technology could add value in the banking sector? 

  • Accounting 
  • Marketing & Sales 
  • Security 
  • Asset & wealth management 
  • Fund & loans
  • Customer service
  • Risk Management 
  • Data generation and  analysis 
  • Internal document and contract treatment/ CION (COntract INtelligent) 
  • Fraud and anti-money laundering  

Mobile banking ====> Conversational banking 

Mobile banking is not a trendy option, it is already a commonly used subject. But the turnkey in this solution is about the way of presenting services and how to please the user to stick around. 

The actual Mobile solutions don’t represent a complete journey or a process. Their services are limited and very common between all bank institutions. Even if you want to create an account you need to pay a visit to the bank agency otherwise your account will not function. 

They need to think about the mobile process from the customer’s point of view and expectations. In terms of design, customer journey, touchpoints, advanced services, notification system, messages, onboarding text guide…

So, when we say conversational banking, we meant to have more interpersonal and communication channels between institutions and customers. 

Top concern that customers care about when choosing a mobile banking platform, is security. The idea of data-breach increases the demand for more security services that allow the user to run all transactions without fear. 

The mobile Wallet is another claim that is still immature.  It needs more emphasis with powerful tools to allow users to pay online or in-store without holding cards. 

The future of E-banking is glowing and users are more aware of the digital solutions that they can get. So, The role of the banks will not just offer services online.

On the opposite, their responsibility will go further to help users to manage their spendings, grow their savings & fortune, and living well.

In other words, online banking will offer a better way of living. 

Open-banking modern practices

Open-banking is a system based on network and offers the users data about financial institutions throughout Application Programming Interfaces ( API).

Here, banks create, share, and determine access for related data with different financial institutions.

These practices allow customers from faster services and rely on the network rather than services centralization. 

Within this process, banks will be able to offer a wide range of services and have further access to customers’ data in other institutions. That will facilitate the information transfer and reduce the process length in a highly-secured environment.  

Thanks to that, financial institutions, and related departments would have more coordination and data access that help in boosting the user experience and service quality.

For the customer, that solution will reduce the steps and allow him from a  comfortable and paperless approach. 

Cloud-based solutions  

Big Data and Cloud Computing are the core concept in the field of finance. Financial institutions are asked to get rid of the old-school data treatment. Either between staff members or with customers’ data. 

In today’s fast-paced world, data are a currency. And in banks, it is no longer acceptable to deal with numbers, statistics, and data with the same mindset that has been used before. 

The use of Cloud-Based solutions will speed-up data transfer, Risk and problem management, effective analysis, and high security. 

In Cloud-based solutions, all Hardware,  Softwares, and applications are connected to a savvy system.  That system manages and connects between all received data based on a digital infrastructure that treats, analyses, transfers, stores and secures data in a convenient way.  

It is crucial for bank institutions to use cloud-based solutions to put an end to the irritating complaints that users keep reporting.  The main reason behind that dissatisfaction is the reluctance and incapability to respond to users’ requests. 

These requests are mainly related to a credit application, account updates, mobile payment completion, money transfers…

 For these tasks; Cloud-based solutions are an important tool to overcome the actual financial troubles. 

Digital Signature 

A very common issue that agents may face is that customers used to modify their signatures several times. That could lead to a serious dispute with banks.  Simply customers can deny that they signed and that can result in many issues. 

However, if bank agencies imply digital signature,  they will get rid of all these issues.  Especially that the system will be able to save the first signature used by the customer and it will remind him of his initial signature. 

The marketing and commercial assets 

Customer assistance 

Of course, as it was the main pain point, it would be on the top priority reforms in financial Institutions. 

Banks are asked to improve staff skills and train them on different devices and software to develop the customer experience. It is incredibly important to gather as much data as possible about customers.  That reduces the hassle and long process each time they deal with similar requests. 

The agent speech, language, and Tone of voice need to be refined to please the customer, even if he doesn’t complete the process. because his impression will serve the bank’s reputation for future marketing purposes. 

The use of plain language and clear orientation is capable to motivate the communication and pamper the customer journey in a friendly environment. 

The customer service agent must 

  • Understand what the customer wants and needs before he asks
  •  Protect him from situations that may negatively impact his financial well-being.
  • Communicate with him on the channel(s) or device(s) that he prefers.
  • Learn about him over time, and share what he learns with all the bank departments so the customer doesn’t need to repeat himself.
  • Store data and pain points and treat them for not being irritated.

At the same point, Banks are asked to offer digital and easy to access datastore includes all information related to all financial operations that customers implied.  This datastore will avoid disputes and misunderstandings that occur between customers and agents about financial transfer or missing money.   

Because in some cases customers claim that they didn’t withdraw money just because they forget the operation, they accuse the agent. Thus, digital tools are incredibly necessary to solve such issues that used to happen. 

Offline branches are not dead 

When Customers claim for digital operations, This doesn’t necessarily mean that Brick and Mortar agencies are no longer needed. 

However, they represent another physical stage in the customer journey. Thus, they need to be involved to combine digital and physical services together. 

In both situations, ( physical or digital) customers want to have seamless switching, where they can be assisted with all types of solutions and tools that are relevant to their questions, issues, or services.

Banks are invited to fight for more skillful workers in order to survive and align with the technology giants and fast digital transformation. 

Because it would be meaningless to find that an online retailer offers a wide range of facilities with the trendiest techniques. And on the opposite, the bank is unable to fulfill the payment step on a particular portal.

Consistent assistance and acknowledgment are crucial across all mediums; digital or physical. In other words, agencies need to delete the frustration that comes to the customer’s mind, when he is planning to visit the bank to solve any task.

Customers used to care about the process line and the support quality offered by the agent, and how many documents they need to bring with them. And the most important concern is the uncertainty about the solution availability and coming back to the bank for the same reason. 

Social Media Marketing 

Focus group – focus channel

When we asked participants about their most-used social channels, we got Facebook as a premium choice, after it we had messenger, Instagram, then Youtube.

These channels are the most dominant ones and users are very active there. So when banks address these platforms, they need to plan a clear strategy for them to meet the targets behind. 

Banks need to use all the solutions offered to raise awareness, increase engagement, viral ads, retargeting, retention, communication,  and user segmentation. 

Content classification and quality 

The deliverables need to be perfectly designed and creative to captivate the audience. People are more aware of visual trends and graphic improvements. Thus,  they ask for a better experience in terms of figures, illustrations, images,  videos …  To highlight information and to drag attention. 

Stories offered by Facebook and Instagram are among the most used content distribution channel, especially for making sales. The story will not remain more than 24 h and it tells the user who saw that story content.

Also, it is based on a smart way to tell the audience that you posted new content and at the same time, the story content will show up only for users who haven’t seen the content. and that is a great targeting method to reduce irritation and increase engagement. 

Brand Advocacy 

Brand Ambassadors are important to promote the bank’s values and services.  Facebook groups represent an important channel to do that.  Especially with active admins who will spread the brand and communicate the audience.        

 Planning

The above will not bring a good result if the financial institutions don’t set a posting strategy for each channel. Organization and time are key standards in social media marketing. 

There are many tools that help in organizing the content posting schedule and offer an analysis section to determine the KPI. ( Buffer, Friends+me, Hubspot, Hootsuite, sprout social…) 

But the issue is that Financial institutions and public establishments, in general, don’t consider that as an important method. They don’t recruit the best staff to do that as they used to think that social media and digital communication don’t deserve a high level of expertise and spendings. 

Also, It is important to consider the peak time when the user is very active on a particular channel per day and per hours. Because the random posting will not guarantee the user response and engagement. 

ASK for Opinion = direct contact 

To improve any business, data collection and customer feedback represent the fuel that helps companies to draw their vision and strategies.

If banks want to understand their target audience they need to run research, studies, and surveys. To hold a clear view of customers’ opinions and being able to set the flaws. 

Otherwise, they will not understand the community claims. As a result, they couldn’t deliver relevant services. 

When we complete the survey and we started analyzing data. We were surprised by the feedback toward banks and we discover various milestones that were hidden about the Tunisian consumer. 

So financial institutions are invited to fresh-up their data store and learn more about the target group and draw a personas profile that fits with the users’ expectations. 

SEO Planification  

When we say digital transformation and online communication.  This requires a good understanding of the search engine mechanism and crawling materials.

These practices are important to be firstly ranked.  When visitors are looking for particular services or keywords.  Such as ‘’insurance”, “credit”, “mortgage”,” funding”, “money transfer”, Create account’’….. They will have the optimized bank website at first in the SERP. 

These techniques need to be applied in the platform’s pages content, page titles, keywords targeting…  The most important tool in this context is the blog page. 

There,  banks can talk about their values and important information in a written format with clear language and optimized content. 

This is a part of the content marketing layers that masters the current digital generation and over. Banks need to value these techniques to complete the digital transformation. 

The blog page is the archive and the newsroom of any online business. On this page,  Banks can share their success stories, financial updates, and all the industry-related-concerns. 

This is how modern banking needs to look alike.  Therefore financial institutions and public departments need to re-consider the workforce profiling method. 

They need to be open to newly-born job titles. Jobs that have to do with the digital business. Such as community managers, digital marketers, content writers… 

Online reputation is important to reach the prospect and to build authentic links with the audience. People are using search engines (typically google)  as a premium alternative in their research about any query.

Thus, banks have to develop these tools and go in-depth inside these techniques.  They need to recruit qualified people who can optimize the brand in the search results.  And assist the user with the right answer. 

ADS

Digital advertising is an effective method to generate traffic and sales in a predetermined timing. It is more specific than the old method.

In that time brands used to stick leaflets or introduce a spot during a program on TV or radio. 

We cannot deny that these mediums are still functional, but with less customization.

However, ads, are cost-effective and focus on the parameters that the user puts on his campaign. 

That way increases the opportunities to reach the most convenient prospective.  Who is ready to purchase and make a deal.  These ads apply  AI techniques, searching history, and user-behavior tracking…  To raise conversion. 

Added to specific indicators where the advertising platform will focus on the indicated profile to guarantee more traffic and turn the user into a customer.  

These solutions are getting more advanced skills.  Either, those offered by social media channels Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Or the one offered by search engines.

All tools offer the best advertising experience and increase ROI with more focus on targeting materials. 

For some programs, banks are asked to plan effective campaigns to rebound particular services that have more to do with particular targets, in predetermined timing and occasions. Such as ( Students, clerks, newly-married, entrepreneurs, companies…) 

Online advertising isn’t well applied in institutions,  and it is not at the level of the current digital use. It lacks planning and orientation toward the business OKR. Therefore they don’t get enough benefits from it, as they don’t use these tools in an optimal process. 

Video and Animation 

Video explanation either inside or outside the platform is a smart technique.  they can communicate the audience and encourage them to use the bank services.  Especially if the video content showcases the user concerns and raises questions in his mind.

Videos help to translate the bank values with easy and modern forms where the niche audience can be easily engaged. 

The idea is not to create just one video to introduce the brand on the website. The key point is to frequently edit videos with updated content and modern techniques. 

Added to that the video content is the most influential tool that brings leads and raises interaction between brands and customers. 

For visibility and online ranking, it amplifies the optimization chances on search results. 

Wrap Up

This was the final part of our survey findings, we wish that you find worthy information to help you in your business.

You may miss previous parts:

The Key matters of E-banking in Tunisia: Survey findings Part 1

Why customers in Tunisia don’t trust their banks: Survey findings Part 2

The digital maturity of Islamic banking in Tunisia: Survey findings Part 3

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