With customer experience being at the heart of every organisation’s plans, businesses are increasingly working towards a dynamic platform to cater to the evolving needs of customers. “From an era when customers had to physically come into a Bank branch to an age where mobile banking is an ubiquitous way of transacting, we are now entering an era of the Bank going to where the customer live (internet)”, says Himanshu Shrivastava, Managing Director, Citibank Singapore in his opening keynote presentation at the CIO Leaders Summit in Melbourne.
‘Customer preferences are changing with the younger Millennials and Gen Zs opting for quicker and seamless technology interaction…’
The need to build a ‘Smart Ecosystem’ has never been more important for businesses. ‘Datafied’ customer interactions, neurons of APIs exchanging data between activities in real time with the addition of AI and Machine Learning results in delivering a Smart User Experience (UX) driving remarkable customer interactions and loyalty. From cashless to contactless transactions, customer preferences are changing with the younger Millennials and Gen Zs opting for quicker and seamless technology interactions enabling daily activities. From shopping without the need to check out to using ride-sharing apps for commuting, customers are already expecting a frictionless integration of their ecosystem based simply on ‘consent’. The same has been experienced in banking where the digitally born and bred banks and Fintechs are creating smart ecosystems giving the traditional financial institutions a run for their money, literally.
Citibank has created multiple revenue streams using APIs to support building new partnerships for growth and customer acquisitions. Study shows that banks that embrace the Open Banking APIs are expected to grow revenue by over 20% while those that are uninterested will decline by 30% by giving away their market share to disruptive challengers emerging in the market by 2020.
While without APIs there is a long cycle of requirements for definition and interfacing contracts to testing and validation between parties. The Investment in bespoke infrastructure, ongoing support and maintenance with partners and scalability are all impacted in the absence of APIs.
‘Dorothy’s ability to traverse the yellow brick road successfully was due to the smart partnerships she created on the journey…’
The many advantages of using APIs clearly outscores the effort required to activate them. It is a one-time effort and investment in API build and deployment. Partners have ready off-the-shelf standard APIs to consume and with a single support and maintenance model, it allows amazing scalability in partnership growth. Taking a leaf out of lessons from the Wizard of Oz story, Dorothy’s ability to traverse the yellow brick road successfully was due to the smart partnerships she created on the journey with Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion whose combined strengths created a level of endurance and capability she would not have achieved on her own. Financial services firms are increasingly concentrating on only their core business, stopped developing tech internally and leveraging collaborations with Fintech solutions and APIs to get ahead in their customer experience journey.
A rich use case, functional sandbox covering all scenarios for independent partner certification and JSON message format, as also being available on public internet APIs are clearly enhancing effectiveness in growth and collaboration plans of business organisations. With a very low budget for APIs, these are surely ‘smart bets’ that organisations can enter to succeed in the long term. In a race to add more value to customers, the financial services industry needs to constantly innovate and collaborate to retain existing customers and to attract prospective ones. A recent survey showed that 69% of customers expect their banking institution to be innovative but only 12% considered their own banks being at the forefront of innovative solutions.
Media Corp’s CIO Leaders event created a platform of a multitude of expert speakers who excited, sparkled and challenged thoughts on the future of the industry all in a well planned and executed day of insights and interactions among top C-level delegates from across top Australian businesses.
– Jilfy Joseph
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