It is increasingly becoming clear that the entire banking ecosystem and the way consumers interact with financial institutions have been shaken as a result of COVID-19.
Today’s customers have different expectations of their financial partners, and prefer to interact with them in more innovative ways as current circumstances demand by providing the right functionality, communication tool and technology to create an experience that forges strong relationships with customers.
For us at Stanbic Bank, part of the largest bank in Africa, our Research & Development team envisaged a fundamental shift in customer behaviour in the banking industry when the novel coronavirus was declared a pandemic hence decided to initiate a new banking modus operandi to decrease physical transactions at our respective branches while simultaneously increasing online transactions.
Upon thorough analysis, it came to light that over 70% of what customers do at the branch can either be automated or done online through our digital channels.
To lessen the terrible effects of the current situation, we embarked on a two pronged approach. The first; digitalization with the aim to protect our customers from the threat of covid-19 and the second; a strategy to protect our staff.
Resultantly, robust Robotic Processing Automation solutions were developed. These robots emulate human actions to automate the tasks that require human intelligence, without necessitating changes to the underlying systems and processes. These rule-based software solutions automate repetitive tasks efficiently.
- Customer service
The volume of everyday customer queries in banks (ranging from balance inquiry to general account information) is enormous, making it difficult for staff to respond to them resulting in low turnaround time. These robots automate such rule-based processes to effectively respond to queries in real-time, thereby reducing the turnaround time substantially.
By shifting much of these tedious, manual tasks from human to machine, Stanbic has been able to significantly reduce the overdependence on human involvement, thereby having a direct impact on everything from performance and efficiency levels to protecting our staff by reducing the number of times they frequent the office.
As a bank, we understand the need to continually evolve, remain competitive, and provide exceptional customer experience to our clients. To help attain our tasks efficiently, we developed a solution; Service Request.
Service Request has increased the total output of the bank and has positively brought value to customers. Service Request has also significantly improved turn-around-time which directly impacts customers. Our flagship, Service Request, allows Stanbic bank to automate mundane, rule-based processes to effectively respond to queries in real-time, thereby reducing the turnaround time substantially. It has also increased delivery rate hence aiding in providing expedited services that lead to customer satisfaction in real time.
Our quest to be a leader in the digital banking space has birthed platforms that can help us to perform the following transactions without visiting a physical branch; a much needed intervention.
- Mobile money linkage
- Payments and Transfers
- Mini statements
- Checking of account balance
- Locating the nearest ATM
- Increasing transactional limits
- Gaining financial insights of daily transactions
- Reset passwords/PINs
Enhanced Virtual Assistance (EVA)
EVA is a banking chat robot (chatbots) powered by Artificial Intelligence. In recent times, banks have come to understand that one of the most effective technological solutions is a chatbot and Stanbic is no exception. Apart from helping staff to automate lots of routine tasks, EVA also improves customer support with an additional capability of attracting new customers. Customers can now expect frictionless service delivery and innovation.
In today’s post covid-19 era, serving the customer right and in the most personalized way is the key factor for any business to grow. Providing 24/7 customer service and ensuring complete customer satisfaction is helping Stanbic to sustain itself and become a leader in this competitive market.
EVA performs three crucial functions in customer delivery. These are:
- Account Opening and Profile Management. Here, potential customers can open Stanbic account instantly on social channels like facebook and whatsapp. A distinct account type has been defined for this product with supported transaction types and limits in accordance with the central bank’s guidelines on EMI accounts.
- Account Actions. This feature allows customers to initiate banking transactions with their account on social media using EVA. Customers can make payments and transfers, request for financial insights, instantly request for account statements and many others.
- General queries. Here, customers and prospective customers of the bank can get responses to general informationregarding the bank. Existing customers can also log complaints and issues to us for resolution.
Customer experience is now reaching new pinnacles with the use of EVA to simplify customer interactions and introduce new types of products and services. Since the implementation of EVA, the branch is increasingly becoming a channel less preferred by our customers because of the convenience our digital platform (EVA) is providing. We are not just providing the functionality people want. We are providing a seamless experience.
The sole object of all these innovative tools and platforms is to enhance the digital experience of the customer, leading to an ultimate customer satisfaction without the risk of exposure to the deadly corona virus.