How are banks carrying out successful digital transformations in 2021? 


In the last few decades, financial institutions have been relying on technology to simplify and optimize various processes. From computers that stored customer data and helped with calculations, banks now use machine learning in  cash forecasting  to accurately predict the cash requirements of each ATM.  

Technology has undoubtedly helped financial institutions cut down costs, increase profits and make many processes quicker. With the widespread availability of computers and smartphones among the general populace, it was inevitable that banks too would carve out their own space in the digital world. Most banks around the world were already engaged in the gradual digitalization of their various products and services when the 2020 pandemic hit and accelerated the need for digital transformations. While many banks did feel the repercussions the pandemic had on the financial world, they recognized the need to act fast. With customers staying home and rarely frequenting the branches, an online platform was the best option to reach everyone and to make themselves accessible. 

Better customer experience 

In the 2010s, internet facilities and smartphones became available in more and more regions. It became harder to spot an individual who did not own a mobile device. As brands and their products started shifting online, people started enjoying the feeling of getting something as soon as they desire it, or in the case of online shopping, in just one day.  

Banks had to get in on this trend primarily since people now relied heavily on digital services to carry out a multitude of tasks. They expected smooth and quick services from their banks, and banks had no choice but to comply. By the middle of 2020, the digital world was no longer restricted to the younger generation, and digital banking services were availed by people of all ages.  

Banks have to now use customer data to provide a personalized experience to each person. Since going digital, many banks have also trained their employees on evolving alongside changing customer behaviours and attitudes.  

Innovation in various fields 

Today, technology is available to all institutions. What matters is how each firm uses and manipulates this technology using the right expertise and decisions. The banking world is bound to see numerous innovations in the coming years, especially in the product development and delivery sectors. For these changes to occur, it is essential that those who work within these organizations feel motivated to transform and simplify various processes.  

The best way to bring out innovations is by learning the needs of the customers. By making small changes in different areas, banks improve customer experience and engagement.  

Data Analytics 

During the pandemic, it became evident that customers now expected service providers to learn and understand them to give them the right options. This includes everything from shopping to entertainment recommendations. Banks also are now using data analytics in multiple areas to improve their services. Previously the use of AI and machine learning was restricted to security and cash optimization, but today many have realized the necessity for using such advanced systems in data interpretation.  

Utilizing the latest technology 

Apart from coming up with innovations on their own, banks also feel the need to use the latest developed technologies in their processes. Customers are aware of what can be made available to them due to their interactions with other services, and different institutions are always trying to stay ahead of the competition. This makes technological advancements incredibly crucial in the financing world. 

Banks today have their own mobile applications customers can download to carry out quick online transactions and even contactless payments. These applications are regularly optimized to ensure that customers face no hiccups while using their hard-earned money.  

Banks have come a long way from storing data in printed sheets that had to be kept secure and protected from damage. While earlier computers provided limited storage services, with the help of cloud computing, data collection and scaling are much more manageable. There is also increased security and transparency of all recorded transactions and information. 

Customer service 

This is another area that can benefit greatly with the help of artificial intelligence. Though customers previously displayed reluctance to communicate with a non-human agent to solve their issues, today they have realized how convenient it is. Many banks have been developing specific AI-powered chatbots that can help customers with any issues and even recommend them the right products based on the information they have provided.  

The use of AI customer service gets rid of the need to have in place a large number of employees engaged in this task. Customers can also have their problems solved at any time of the day with these chatbots. Soon, with enough advancements in the field of AI, customers will be able to hold conversations via call with these AI customer service agents.  

Summing up 

Financial institutions in the 21st century have recognized the need to go digital to grow and succeed. While new banks are emerging that are entirely digital with no physical locations, customers prefer a hybrid structure with which they can access services both via the bank’s online platforms and at ATMs and branches.