13 June 2014

Training Manager's Guide To... Online Banking

With customers giving banks permission to be in their home and pocket, online and mobile banking represents a unique opportunity for financial institutions to be there for their customers anytime, anywhere.

Training Manager's Guide to Online and Mobile Banking

Online banking is the performance of banking activities via the internet. Good online banks will offer almost all the traditional banking services such as accepting deposits and bill payments.

With customers giving banks permission to be in their home and pocket, online and mobile banking represents a unique opportunity for financial institutions to be there for their customers anytime, anywhere.

Important to know right now...

Online and mobile banking has undeniably proved a huge hit with consumers in recent years; primarily because of the convenience it offers. An RBS/Natwest survey of its own customers found that using mobile banking apps saves customers 96 million hours and 24 million miles of travelling every year - that's 24 hours and 73 miles each.

But with most banks offering some form of online banking now, the pressure is on to offer even more creative ways to save customers time and offer them innovative new services.

Developments such as Near Field Communication, which allows people to make contactless payments, and ‘push notifications’ which alert customers when they are at risk of going overdrawn, or missing a payment, via a mobile app, are both examples of how online and mobile technology can be used to enhance the customer experience. Banks are coming up with increasingly creative ways to use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to create great digital products for consumers to help them manage their money, for example apps which let people track their savings targets or work out a weekly budget.

Augmented reality is also playing an increasing role within the financial services sector as banks look to engage with their customers, whether by creating online games which educate children about financial responsibility or providing maps which point customers in the direction of the nearest ATM.

Need to know key terms...

The Internet of Things is a concept which describes a time when everyday physical objects will be connected to the web and able to communicate with other objects and database data. The Internet of Things is likely to have a huge impact on the financial services industry in the future as it influences things like payment transactions.

Many banks are running digital banking transformation programmes as they look to ensure they are embracing the latest banking technologies and are able to compete with competitors in the digital economy. Banks need to think about how best to structure their organisation to deliver digital services and how they can embed digital innovation across the full organisation so that everyone, at every level, is making a contribution.

Wearable technology is a top trend at the moment, with many tech providers coming up with wearable devices which incorporate computer technologies. Google Glass and smartwatches from the likes of Samsung and Sony mean that people are in an even better position to access the web on the move.

Who works in online banking?

Product managers have an important role to play within the online banking landscape. In an industry where staying one step ahead of the ever-increasing competition is vital, product managers are charged with investigating, selecting and driving the development of new products their organisation can offer customers.

The CEO of retail within a bank will have ultimate control over all consumer-facing banking activities and will be charged with ensuring that the organisation is offering the right products and services to ensure it remains competitive. This will increasingly include online and mobile offerings.

Head of digital banking is an increasingly important role as banks embrace digital innovation and move their products and services online. They are typically responsible for developing the bank’s digital strategy and boosting online usage and functionality.

Solution architects use their specialist skills and knowledge to help develop and implement plans relating to online and mobile banking, ensuring that they are in line with the overall strategy of the bank.

There are many different strands to online and mobile banking, and banks can have hundreds of projects and programmes on the go at any one time as they try to tap into consumer trends and stay one step ahead of their rivals, meaning good project managers are essential to help keep everything on track.

With so many banks and other organisations trying to dominate the online and mobile banking landscape, marketing managers have an important role to play in ensuring that their bank’s products and services are well known and well-established in the public domain.

Key challenges and common skills gaps

Banks now have to develop relationships with a number of other organisations within the technical sphere, including mobile network operators, regulators and vendors. This requires strong communication skills and the ability to communicate at the right level with everyone from key stakeholders to developers.

Perhaps the biggest threat posed by the growth of online and mobile banking is that banks now have to work within the digital economy, which means changing many of their existing processes and in some cases the overall culture of the organisation. Staff need to be up-to-date with the latest technical developments, which may mean specialist training is required for some employees.

Last, but by no means least, the speed of technological change means that those working in online banking need to be able to effectively analyse and measure success as well as implement continuous improvement activities to keep on top of changing customer expectations.

Find out how Euromoney Training's Online and Mobile Banking Masterclass can help you fill these skills gaps and implement sucessful online and mobile channels.


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