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Where is the bank employee in the digital experience?

Banks are already shaping what their future will look like in a world of digital disruption, by evolving as the technology becomes more readily available to end users. One of the key questions they are asking themselves today, is what needs to be done inhouse to meet this digital transformation requirement?
Nathen Pillay, sales director for applications at Oracle South Africa

Pillars of change

This is quite a challenge for banks as they have significant investments in legacy approaches (both in terms of technology as well as mindsets). Trying to change the DNA of a bank into one imbued with digital elements requires a different way of working, organisational structure, as well as having a certain appetite for risk.

From a customer perspective, the bank must be aware of what their demands and expectations are from the institution. In turn, they will use that information to deliver better and more innovative services.

The final, and often overlooked leg of this digital transformation pyramid is whether the bank has the right tools in place to enable its employees to better service customers as well as organisational requirements. After all, if I’m an employee of the bank I need to have access to the correct tools to better service the customer. I need to have the right innovation at my disposal to interact with the customer better and have the required skill set to know how to more effectively deliver these digital services.

Employee focus

So, while much attention is placed on digitally transforming a bank from a customer perspective, the employee experience is even more crucial. There must be people inside the organisation that are empowered to service the digital customer better.

For example, the South African digital consumer understands how to transact using mobile apps, withdraw money from an ATM without a card, and many other innovative ways of transacting. But delivering these continuous innovations requires the correct workforce within the bank who must be sufficiently skilled to do so.

In some respects, this employee focus is taking the omni-channel approach and pointing it inwards. There must be a focus on the digital employee journey in the bank. A millennial customer wants to engage with someone in the bank who is ‘on the same wavelength’ as them. Whoever a customer talks to at a bank must understand the specific needs and requirements of that person and engage with them on their preferred platform.

Fintech drive

Banks are now competing against fintechs, which bring innovation to the market and attract a different level of customer and skills sets from employees. Already, numerous banks the world over are experiencing a brain drain where many of their talented employees are leaving to join forces with fintechs who offer a more attractive employee engagement model.

And even though local banks are doing well in comparison to international markets when it comes to digital adoption, employee experience is still not recognised as a priority area. Banks must use service providers that understand both legacy and digital environments and know how to create an employee journey that reflects this.

A shift is happening, albeit slowly, where banks are beginning to invest more in their employees as part of their digital transformation initiatives. To do any less, would seriously compromise their longevity in an age of fintechs
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About the author

Nathen Pillay is the sales director for applications at Oracle South Africa