Banking is transforming with a focus on improving regulatory compliances, bottom lines, and customer experiences. The Covid-19 crisis has the spotlight on customer experiences, as remote access to banking services is no more a convenience but a necessity. Therefore, digitization or providing access to financial services at customer touchpoints such as malls, shopping centres, super-markets or even local grocery stores, is bound to play a key role for banks looking to get ahead.
By proactively changing and adopting digitisations such as cloud-native computing, API, and AI-first technologies, banks can offer personalised and low-cost services to billions of consumers, small and medium-sized businesses. This will change the way they access the bank’s financial services leading to happier customers.
What is In-store banking?
In simple terms,In-store Banking as a concept is an attempt to provide customers with easy access to banking services at various touchpoints in their life. Whether these are individual consumers or small businesses, the ability to use your basic grocery stores, supermarkets, supermarket chains, or convenience stores to access financial services is convenient and simple. For instance, a person walks into a convenience store. As he checks out of the store through the installed POS, he realises that he can draw out cash, take out an instant loan or perform other actions on his bank account quite easily. This saves him time and a trip to the ATM too.
Why In-store Banking?
In simple terms, the need for such an approach is ‘differentiation’. Often banks or financial institutions struggle with distinguishing themselves from the competition. Whether it is targeting a new audience, using brand-new technology, offering new conveniences, or even marketing the same services in a completely different manner, it is bound to help you get ahead. It is certainly time to abandon the ‘all -services- to-everyone’ strategy and offer something unique.
The present situation with Covid-19 may have been restricting to a certain extent but it has created opportunities for businesses as well. Banks must reorient their customer-experience-enhancement efforts to accommodate the present situation. It is important to address safety, security, and everyday convenience.
In-store banking checks off all the boxes in this regard, as it helps banks to approach customers at a convenient setting (grocery stores, merchant outlets, or malls). The accessibility, ease-of-use, and choice of services are more than likely to appeal to both existing and prospective customers of the bank.
What can Banks offer?
There is an entire gamut of services that can be offered through such a medium.
How can it be accessed?
Retailers and Merchants are always on the lookout to make the customer experience better. Banks can not only use these customer-touchpoints to create experiential value for the end consumers but also tap into the huge captive customer base these retailers serve daily. Once adopted, irrespective of the size, the technology can be used effectively through Sale Tills, POS terminals or mobile-POS devices at retail locations.
Once the platform is in place, customers using the convenience or retail stores can access the entire gamut of services (payments, discounts, vouchers, prepaid-instrument top-ups, cash-in/cash-out, account openings and many more) offered by the bank at the point-of-sale.
With customer engagement becoming a priority, banks and financial institutions can create an omnichannel presence – online and offline, ensuring that they provide a relevant experience for customers at every touchpoint.
Why it is the perfect solution
- With everyone adopting digital solutions during the lockdown period, financial organizations are accelerating their digital transformation to suit their customer’s needs. While In-store banking technology makes banking easy for customers, it’s a great cost-saving measure for banks too. For instance, remote working policies (under Covid-19) and digitized transactions have allowed leaders to reimagine banking operations with a distributed workforce (with most of the workforce at home). This means that they can think about a smaller footprint (lower costs) as far as real estate is concerned. Besides, this technology will help expand the customer base without investing in additional infrastructure.
- Before the lockdown, the daily average digital payment transaction constituted about 50% of the 2.2 billion transactions (approx.). However, during the lockdown, this number rose to about 72 %. While these numbers pertain to just payments, imagine being able to offer the entire gamut of services including those that require a visit to a branch.
For instance, consider services such as Customer Onboarding or Instant Loans. It may seem impossible to access these services without loads of documents or human interaction at a branch. However, the In-Store Banking acts as the perfect conduit in this case as these services can be accessed through a POS terminal in your regular grocery stores and retail outlets.
- Banks or financial institutions do not have to wait for customers to walk into a branch to appeal to them anymore. They can be approached as they navigate through their day-to-day activities. By offering their services at the stores they frequent, banks can create opportunities to expand their customer base while enhancing the experience of their existing customers.
Better customer experiences are not a trade-off for financial performance but is essentially a driver for the same!
Financial technology is gradually becoming more relevant as smartphones, integrated systems and mobile banking become the norm. In an attempt to distinguish themselves, banks must look at technologies that are relevant and will bring their services to customers directly.
If you’d like to understand more about how to leverage In-Store banking do connect with us.