I have now been in the financial services payments technology industry for more than eight years, and during which period, I have been closely engaged in leading major technology and business transformations. This understanding and experience have provided me now with an effective starter tool kit that if used with deliberation and consistency should lead to success in the majority of cases within the financial services industry.
Today’s financial services businesses need to move with speed, flexibility, and scalability within a market that rewards customer ease and instant gratification. Multiple solutions and financial services options in the market have created a vacuum in the “sticky customer behavior”. To recreate a “sticky-like behavior” in the customer and partner base, financial services needs to today have an agile & flexible technology platform that can then be leveraged to drive highly effective sales capabilities further to differentiate their products and services, innovative pricing methodologies, and excellence in customer experience.
For this reason, the financial services industry is constantly exploring innovative ways to deliver services faster, provide various risk-based instant decisioning tools, while also servicing customers securely and with excellence.- And all along pricing to maintain sustainable, profitable revenue streams.
To achieve these results, financial services companies are investing in innovative technologies via outsourcing technology platforms, expanding current third-party vendor relationships, leveraging API services, exploring revenue-sharing alliances with other service companies, and/or building in house technology capabilities.
"The financial services industry is constantly exploring innovative ways to deliver services faster, provide various risk-based instant decisioning tools, while also servicing customers securely and with excellence"
The ideal goal should be to manage business transformation with technology transformation while aligning with short term and long-term revenue-generating product strategies & market share strategies. This alignment should then allow a feasible evaluation of a combination of technology solutions. Also, given the speed with which businesses need to move to compete in the market, these evaluations should not require months-long of in-depth business cases analyses but the following high-level rough roadmap:
1. Identify at a high-level 10,000- foot view, what is driving this assessment for a business and technology transformation– recurring reported lack of efficiencies, unsatisfactory customer experience, incremental operational costs, lost potential new revenues, lost customers
2. Consolidate from customer service and relationship partner teams the repeatable pain points customers report& reasons why customers leave your services
3. Collaborate with operations, customer service, relationship management, sales, marketing, product & IT to gain an understanding of the main strategic pain points to your company’s short-term and long-term revenue growth plan
4. Bucket these Pain Points into 3-4 Solution Buckets
i. Technology Solutions (e.g., making payments online is cumbersome, the application process is cumbersome, the self-service portal is not userfriendly, the self-service portal is not comprehensive)
ii. Product Offerings (e.g., current product offerings do not meet the evolving needs of the targeted customer base, features & functionalities are not user-friendly, sales & customers can not differentiate the advantages of product and services)
iii. Servicing of the Customers (e.g., call queues are too long, service team is not competent in understanding customer issues, customer service is not empowered to provide immediate solutions, customer service does not have visibility to real-time transaction flow, statements are too cumbersome, requests on transaction reversals, disputes resolutions are not resolved within reasonable time frame)
iv. Service & Technology Partners (e.g., integration of technology stack delays deal closing, customer implementations, customer billings)
5. Any overlapping solution requirements that could be addressed by one transformation path?
6. Identify Key Business Metrics that correlate to these Solution Buckets
7. Evaluate current technology platform features and functionalities:
i. identify the gaps in the features and functionalities related to Solution Buckets
ii. create a matrix of pros and cons with high-level swag cost estimates of what can be leveraged with current third-party service technology relationships versus building in a house with inhouse IT resource and technology capabilities versus outsources certain functionalities build versus full outsourcing
iii. obtain from each business unit and IT the high-level swag on benefits &costs on each Solution Bucket
8. Prioritize required Solution Buckets in collaboration with the business counterparts - operations, customer service, relationship management, sales, marketing, product & IT
9. Develop an “Intent Proposal” inclusive of the recommended solution roadmap with the swag benefits and costs
10. Present “Intent Proposal” to Executive Leadership for their buyin on required changes and budget
11. If approved, design a “Go to Market” roadmap - IT technology, product roadmap, customer experience, sales enablement, marketing, operations, customer servicing, partner relations, communications, change management (how things were done in the past versus proposed)