Singapore’s financial sector has performed strongly throughout the pandemic, growing by an annual average of 7.2% during 2020 to 2021, which is four times faster than the overall economy. According to a speech by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, the last two years also saw 5,800 net jobs created in the local financial services industry.
However, amidst the rapid growth lingers a significant challenge: With the ever-evolving financial ecosystem where revenues can be quickly lost to nimble competitors, how can a financial institution maintain their competitive edge, while keeping up with their customers’ demands?
Better CX through digitalisation
Propelled by the increasingly pervasive use of technology in our local financial sector, many firms are now attempting to address this challenge by adopting digitalisation initiatives, with varying degrees of success. Operationally, digitalisation can provide many benefits around automating and streamlining workflows. And in terms of process, a low-touch approach can certainly lead to increased efficiencies and reduced costs. But digitalisation shouldn’t just be limited to processing automation, as it can significantly improve customer experience (CX).
To keep up with customer demands and stay ahead of their competitors, more financial institutions are now recognising that they need a well-defined strategy around CX and personalisation, to operate in today’s highly efficient electronic markets. By taking a customer-first, client-focused, and high-touch approach via a better service experience (digital or otherwise), firms can continue to retain and grow their customer base – thereby maintaining their sales, trading margins, and growing revenues.
Forward-looking firms are also realising how digitalisation can help improve CX for both their internal users and external customers. Much of this revolves around how internal teams collaborate, and how their internal systems can be made to interoperate. Getting data out of siloed systems has historically been cumbersome, but with the growing use of the cloud, APIs, and common data models; data has become much more accessible than ever before. Now, data can be deployed across an entire organisation with personalised experiences for each end user.
Using emerging tech
The rapid pace of digitalisation in the financial markets sector has triggered a deluge of data from diverse sources and platforms, across both the buy-side and the sell-side. With data able to drive valuable insights, many financial institutions are now investing in advanced AI, machine learning, and data analytics engines to predict customer needs, further understand customer intent, and to deliver highly contextual, actionable messages in real time to those customers. Firms that can provide this level of real-time personalisation will undoubtedly gain an advantage over their competitors. Today’s customers’ demands include flexible, fast access to available services and high visibility into the performance of those services.
Another key area where firms are transforming and making improvements to customer experience, is enabling customers to ‘self-serve’ without having to go through long and convoluted onboarding processes. And this can be achieved by partnering with trusted third parties to deliver apps and other services seamlessly through the user interface.
For firms looking to accelerate their digitalisation initiatives and improve their own CX with new data sources and applications, trusted third parties can provision new connections between on-net sites, or upgrades to existing ones – providing customers with near real-time performance statistics of each network connection.