The retail banking sector has now entered the era of digital transformation. Advancement in digital technologies, social media, far and wide reach of mobile devices are now redefining the banking experience for all of us. The technological evolution around touch mode and mobility have enabled the anywhere anytime banking in its real sense. The number of customers who prefer to perform daily banking activities ‘on the go’ is increasing. In the flipside, banks operate in a highly competitive environment and are increasingly challenged to deliver innovative products and solutions for their increasingly demanding customer base. Providing greater customer satisfaction and increasing the brand loyalty are two major challenges banks are currently facing. Security breaches and identity thefts are also key concerning factors for the banks as well as its customers. All these factors force banks to adopt a more customer centric model, simplify their existing processes, enable technological innovation and effectively manage the risks.
Digitalization is driving the greatest transformation in the retail banking sector. Instead of the traditional banking process like visiting a branch, waiting in long queues, filling the customer requirement form, visiting the customer executive’s desk, explaining all our background, initiating a transaction through cheque, waiting for its clearance , we are now leveraging mobile and the internet to perform our banking activities. Retail banking is currently going through the ‘one click’ or ‘one touch’ process, which will allow clients to get connected to their bank in a few seconds through their mobile devices. This is often a much convenient and smarter way compared to traditional time consuming processes. These direct channels are now becoming increasingly important in retail banking. We are fast moving into an age where physical bank branches are going to be obsolete and their digital counterparts taking the center stage will be a reality.
The Internet of Things, wearable devices, augmented reality and artificial intelligence are marking its presence in almost all the industry sectors including retail, banking, automotive, manufacturing etc. In the banking sector we can expect a shift from the current mobile enabled, digitalized retail banking into a touch free or click free era of retail banking, aided by wearable devices like Goggles. The advancement in the field of wearable technology can prompt the retail banks to introduce innovative concepts like usage of ‘Goggles’ for banking in the future.
The usage of wearables in banking can make the whole banking process more efficient, simplified and customer friendly, compared to all the existing processes including mobile banking. The whole idea will be backed by Goggles especially like that of the present Google glass. The glass can be operated based on biometric access. Facial or IRIS recognition can be used for authenticating the customer. In our wildest imagination we can expect that, in future, banks will be ‘in front of your eyes’, without enabling any single touch or click. The consumer will wear the bank Goggles and an in- built algorithm in it will call and auto connects to the bank. The consumer gets connected to the bank and the virtual bank will flaunt in front of his eyes. For authentication process, the device will sync up with the server side of the bank and authenticate the consumer by facial recognition or Iris recognition. The goggles can enable the real- time virtual conferencing of the consumer and the executive. Augmented Reality can bring a lot more into the space, like bringing the real branch feeling itself, by enabling a handshake with the executive and walking with him to the branch meeting room. Bank Goggles with biometric- based authentication process can make it impossible to create duplicate or fraudulent identity files.
Even though technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality are in their nascent stages, wearables are expected to play an indispensable role in the future of retail banking. As it is, all banking processes and payments much more simplified, secure and intuitive for the consumer, we can expect that touch free banking will definitely redefine the entire retail banking landscape itself in the future. The technologies are all in the pipeline. However, adopting the innovation and designing compelling customer experiences around these disruptive technologies will help retail bankers stay ahead in the competition.
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