Know your customers – know yourself

Tuesday 19.04.2016 Christian Walter
Christian Walter

Christian Walter ist Geschäftsführer und Redaktionsleiter von swiss made software. Bis Ende 2010 arbeitete er als Fachjournalist für das ICT-Magazin Netzwoche, publizierte zuletzt aber auch im Swiss IT Magazin, der Computerworld sowie inside-it.

Financial services providers need an online presence that does more than just satisfy the needs of its customers and employees – they also have to conform to various regulations. The range of requirements to be met calls for specialized tools.

The Adobe Experience Manager gives every customer and every employee exactly the information they need, straight ‘to their door’. (© Malgorzata Kistryn/Fotolia)

Digitalization forces banks to pursue new avenues and create new digital products and services. And yet it is not just technical innovation that is driving change – customer desires and competition in the fintech sector also play a significant role. The key themes here include personalization, multichannel, compliance, and digital consulting.

Adobe offers a complete portfolio of services to tackle these challenges. The central element is the Swiss-made Adobe Experience Manager. A result of the company’s takeover of Day Software from Basel, this software is now the engine behind Adobe’s digital marketing segment – a segment which generated a turnover of 1.36 billion dollars in 2015 and represents 33 per cent of the group’s total revenue.

The Experience Manager is designed for complex environments, such as international financial institutions. It is not unusual that extensive domains with many thousand individual websites must be set up in an organization’s corporate design. “It is important to have an intuitive interface that requires only minimal technical skills,” says Angelo Buscemi, Swiss country manager at Adobe. Reusing individual recyclable components is also vital to achieve quick turnarounds. Experience Manager makes this possible not only on intranet and internet sites, it also allows the quick transfer of existing content for use in microsites or mobile apps.

No app store problems

“The mobile trend is only now starting to influence the financial sector. We anticipate greater investment in apps for mobile banking and specific services in 2016,” says Angelo Buscemi. The Experience Manager makes it possible to quickly add new content to existing apps – for example, an app for the Swiss market can be quickly adjusted to suit the Chinese. The software allows a mix of centralized and decentralized maintenance – content can be centrally distributed and then translated in each region, where it can also be supplemented with local information. Conveniently, no further approval is required by the various app stores. “Our app is a sort of a container which can hold different types of content – text, images, or code. The main app doesn’t change, so doesn’t need re-approval from the app store for each regional release,” Buscemi explains.

Another key driver of the banking evolution is personalization, which comes hand in hand with big data. Appropriate tools can allow companies to better understand their customers and address their individual needs. Surfing behavior can be analyzed to provide useful behavioral data. Which links get the most clicks? What terms are people searching for? Are users finding the content they want, or are they leaving the page right away? What paths do customers take before purchasing a product, and how do they get to the website?

Just analyzing such non-personal data makes it possible to improve user experience. If the analysis tool also has access the customer database, then it can be used to identify the preferences of individual customer groups, too, based on their surfing behavior. These groups can then be targeted with specific products or information. At the most basic level, the IP address makes it possible to identify the user’s country of origin and appropriate seasonal backgrounds can be displayed. Going deeper, this information can also be used to follow up with identified customers once their interests are known: for example, if a customer is looking for information on mortgages, an adviser can then follow up with information specifically on this topic. Adobe also allows the integration of appropriate tools from its own product portfolio on a SaaS basis.

Compliance made easy

But that is just one aspect of personalization, albeit an important one. Equally relevant is the question of which offers can even be made to which customers. Does this IP indicate the person is in the United States or Russia? If so, which parts of the website need to be concealed? According to UBS chairman Axel Weber, there are approximately 60 new compliance regulations to consider and implement every day. In this environment, it is absolutely essential to be able to map these developments both quickly and efficiently in digital form. “It can’t be too complicated or add extensively to a bank’s existing workload. The technology has to support the bank in its work,” says Angelo Buscemi.

Beyond personalization and compliance, customer advice and service is also very interesting to banks. Interaction with customers is becoming increasingly digital – information, offers, and advice must all be available online. This development is being pushed forward by the strong fintech trend. Young companies in this domain are increasingly trying to estrange the old hats from their customers. The banks now have no other option than to shape up and move with the times.

Inside and out

Personalization, compliance, and customer advice do not only affect outbound communication via the internet. It is equally important that the internal implementation is effective and transparent. Adobe’s solution makes it possible to publish company news and other updates instantly across the entire organization. Identity and access management plays a central role here: the Adobe Experience Manager recognizes the location and role of an employee within an organization. The system uses this information to display content and news that is only relevant to this employee. Thus, the Experience Manager not only allows personalized communication to external parties, but can also be used to regulate internal communications. This applies not only to what content can be viewed, but also what can be published. This is very helpful to many organizations, especially international companies, as often more than a dozen people and teams are involved. Compliance matters here, too, as financial regulators such as the Swiss FINMA now stipulate that a bank must always have complete control over its customer data. Banks must be able to clearly demonstrate who has access to what, even when outsourcing to external parties.

The Adobe Experience Manager makes life easier for banks, allowing optimal compliance, personalization and customer advice through just one easy-to-use product.

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