The bank developed loan consolidation, deferral and debt relief programs to meet the specific needs of these customers, and then turned to call centers and local branches for direct assistance.
Default rates have dropped and customer satisfaction scores have risen because “we offer a mix of traditional and futuristic,” said Phil Thomas, executive vice president. Scotiabank Customer Observatory, Data and Analytics.
This example gives an overview of the technology available to financial services companies and what they dream of contributing to their growth.
While executives like Phil Thomas believe that artificial intelligence and data will come a long way, these types of offers and support will be even more sophisticated.
Financial services, too, are highly personalized and what consumers can do with their smartphones or computers, without visible human touch, is growing exponentially.
The branches do not evaporate or die, but the reasons for visiting them may vary. While customers no longer have to go to a branch to deposit a check, they want to continue to do so to discuss complex issues such as mortgage planning.
“It is a mistake to pretend that (branches) are no longer needed,” said Rizwan Khalfan, head of digital services and payments at TD Bank.
“There are some important moments in life like planning for retirement. You want to go to the department and have a face-to-face conversation with a mentor you’ve known for decades.”
Like Phil Thomas, Rizwan Khalfan believes that artificial intelligence will play an important role in the future and his bank has already begun experimenting on it.
TD uses artificial intelligence to analyze and determine cyclical, monthly electricity or car loan payments or in some cases remittances sent home.
If Artificial Intelligence finds that the customer will have a lower balance based on payments over the next two weeks, it will send a “push” notification to the TD app with instructions to handle the situation.
Personalization becomes key
In 2021, TD’s artificial intelligence will save clients for direct investment advice for retirement and every level of experience, while Rizwan Khalfan will be providing direct service to his daughter’s direct investment account for her 18th birthday.
“She was reluctant,” he recalled. It would be nice if she could gain confidence in her self-service, self-learning and her investment decisions. “
Payments represent another potential area for artificial intelligence.
WealthSimple founder Michael Katchen declined to talk about it, but his Toronto-based online investment management company has tested its cash application, which makes it easy to send money to customers without having to mess with electronic bank transfers.
Michael Katchen, who wants customers to “hold hands” during an epidemic, believes it is important to personalize financial planning at every stage of life.
“Historically, financial planning has been about retirement (…), but when you try to engage a younger audience, it’s harder to find excitement in the future,” he notes.
This means businesses can focus on spending, careers and housing with young clients, but gradually investing and teaching them how to set financial goals.
Banks are juggling technology during or before the epidemic.
According to a November study of more than 47,800 global banking customers, including 2,000 Canadians, only 15% of them made bank video calls before COVID-19.
Today, 46% say they use video calls when branches reopen, and 35% prefer a face-to-face meeting.
Banks may have a reputation for being old-fashioned, but the pandemic Khalfan and Thomas believe the pandemic innovations will continue and grow rapidly.
They found that due to the epidemic the banks had already increased the proliferation of technology beyond their actual time limit, which quickly persuaded reluctant bankers to get out of their beds or bring them to life. Convenient with video calls and messaging bots.
Banks have seen rivals WealthSimple, Coho & Mogo approaching them with sophisticated applications and large millennial customer bases, which they have commented on as a signal to leap into innovation. .
Human touch does not fail
Confidence in the digital rush emerges as a potential obstacle. The Accenture study showed that this migration “exacerbated the long-term trend before COVID-19 of declining consumer confidence”.
Only 34% of Canadians say they trust banks to ensure their long-term financial well-being, compared to 47% two years ago.
But Michael Katchen is not saying: “I believe that a digital relationship does not undermine trust in any way. Instead, he believes technology can boost confidence when it becomes faster and easier to get expert support.
“In a traditional investment relationship where a client has a financial advisor, that consultant may have as many as 200 clients, and the first 20 clients in that advisory book represent 80% of his income,” he says.
“In a crisis, they spend 99% of their time on their first 20 customers, so all we can do is communicate with customers instantly via email, with our message, with webinars.”
Despite having a large number of clients, Phil Thomas insisted that human touch was not possible. “It is even more important to allow people to choose how they want to do their banking with us.”