From agriculture to hospitality, the Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere. COVID-19 has had a lasting impact on consumer behavior, accelerating its digitalization and in turn shortening people’s patience for brands that fall short of delivering rich omnichannel CX. Increasingly, IoT is becoming a key part of this omnichannel horizon, and the banking sector is no exception.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at a few key IoT devices and how some banking organizations have incorporated them as effective marketing channels to enrich customer experiences.
As an IoT channel, beacons have proven especially helpful in a variety of customer journey scenarios. Beacons are transmitters that connect Bluetooth devices to trigger contextual notifications to move consumers toward relevant action as they approach a branch.
For banks, beacons can be a versatile addition to their marketing arsenal. They can capture new data, identify returning customers, and trigger communications to expedite progress towards different lifecycle stages—all in real time. And when paired with a holistic martech engine, beacons can enrich engagement on other channels, bridging the online-offline gap.
Leading banking organizations such as Citibank, Barclays, and U.S. Bank have been leading the way for beacons in the industry. Citibank, for instance, tested out beacons in Manhattan where customers could enter ATM lobbies without a card and use their mobile Bluetooth to receive a cardless entry.
Barclays introduced beacons to simplify entry into branches for disabled people. After a customer has downloaded the bank’s app and registered their information, the app will trigger a notification to staff when the customer approaches the branch. The staff will then arrive to assist the customer instead of making them wait.
The digital transformation of banks can also be seen through self-service kiosks that have helped overall in efficiency. Time is saved as people don’t have to go to traditional banking outlets or wait for people to be available.
An example of this can be when people need to renew their cards. Rather than having to go physically to the shop and wait a few days, the kiosks help save time with customers receiving their cards with a printed statement in real-time.
The Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank which launched uBank, a digital banking center experience in Abu Dhabi, implemented smart kiosks. As a touch screen kiosk, the bank’s customers could open accounts, complete card requests, and print bank statements on their own. Any service that they requested would also be completed without any wait.
The 24/7 availability of the kiosks allow customers to complete their services anytime at their convenience. With fewer branches and more efficiently managed staff, the data collected from the kiosks in real-time will help them analyze data for better customer flow.
Another bonus due to its 24/7 availability is the ability to add third-party services, making the service station a one-stop-shop for customers and bringing in additional revenue for the institution.
Virtual assistants and chatbots
Customer service will never be the same after virtual assistants and chatbots have greatly lessened the burden of providing 24/7 support. Thanks to machine learning technology, both have gained the ability to personalize conversations with customers to deliver optimal assistance.
In 2017, Capital One launched Eno, the first natural language SMS-based assistant in the US. Available 24/7, Eno helps track spending, warns customers about fraud, and answers questions about their accounts.
Bank of America also created its virtual assistant, Erica, which is available through its official app. Using AI, predictive analytics and natural language, the chatbot helps users monitor their balances, make transfers, and even set up appointments at branches. Besides performing such actions by selecting corresponding options in the app, users can also issue voice commands or communicate their needs through texting.
Among the central values smart speakers provide for brands is the opportunity to engage in even more seamless conversations with customers, to be an unobtrusive element of their lives.
A bank customer can use them to inquire about their account balance, handle transactions, and make voice payments. The Royal Bank of Canada, Barclays, and Santander Bank, to name a few, have partnered with voice assistants like Siri to make voice-enabled banking possible.
What happens from here?
The banking industry has made considerable strides towards customer centricity. From further personalizing customer experiences to improving operational efficiency, IoT has gradually become a key part of this whole transformative process.
As they venture further into the IoT-enabled CX evolution, however, banking organizations need to ensure that they have laid a durable but flexible foundation, one that can extract the most value out of their data and support contextual, cross-channel experiences at scale. This is the key to a brighter IoT future.
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