From agriculture to hospitality, the Internet of Things (IoT) is ever-prevalent today. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on consumer behavior, accelerating digitalization and in turn increasing genuine audience demand for rich omnichannel CX. Ergo, IoT is increasingly becoming a key part of this omnichannel horizon, and the banking sector is no exception to this trend.
In this blog, we’ll cover a few key IoT devices and scrutinize 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.
What are beacons? 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.
Industry use cases:
Major 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 boosted overall efficiency. Time is saved as people don’t have to wait in serpentine queues or make a trip to the nearest bank branch.
The 24/7 availability of the kiosks allows 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 demand processing.
Another benefit of 24/7 availability is the ability to add third-party services, making the service station a one-stop-hub for customers and bringing in additional revenue for the institution.
Industry use case:
The Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank implemented smart kiosks at uBank, its digital banking experience center in Abu Dhabi. On a touch screen kiosk, the bank’s customers can open accounts, complete card requests, and print bank statements on their own.
Virtual assistants and chatbots
Virtual assistants and chatbots have greatly lessened the infrastructural demand of providing 24/7 support. Thanks to machine learning, these technologies have gained the ability to personalize conversations with customers to deliver optimal assistance.
Industry use cases:
In 2017, Capital One launched Eno, the first natural language SMS-based assistant in the US. Available 24/7, Eno tracks spending, warns customers about fraud, and answers questions about their accounts.
Bank of America also created its virtual assistant, Erica, which is available through the bank’s 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.
Smart speakers provide brands the opportunity to engage in seamless conversations with customers without becoming obtrusive to their lives. A bank customer can use them to inquire about their account balance, handle transactions, and make voice payments.
Industry use case:
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.
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. This is the key to a brighter IoT future.
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