Top Challenges Facing Bank CIOs Over the Next Year

Bank Systems & Technology asked several industry experts for their take on what will be the next big issue bank technologists will tackle in 2014.
October 04, 2013


Achieving Outstanding Customer Service

Ed O'Brien, Director, Banking Channels Advisory Service, Mercator

As most banks are in the midst of strategy planning season, now would be a good time to take a look at the most vexing challenges in the coming year. At the top of the list is a need to extend their reach beyond DDA accounts to all accounts — and all customers and lines of business — beyond traditional core banking and multichannel systems toward a more holistic omnichannel infrastructure.

This new view of banking is needed because today's banks are looking to extend their capabilities beyond traditional mainframe-based core systems with a primary mission of managing checking and savings transactions, and integrating core operations more deeply with their other financial and back-office systems. Among the bank-led initiatives are projects to tie together various legacy systems that have evolved over the years as part of organic growth or mergers and acquisitions.

These organizations, as well as their FI customers, are also working toward greater integration of their systems and other channels, marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), back office, and analytics systems toward something called omnichannel banking.

Although the desire to offer outstanding customer service is central to most banks' mission statements, the ability to execute on such plans has been limited. Only recently has the underlying technology of banking systems begun to enable truly interconnected systems.

Furthermore, many of the large core system providers are in the process of planning or implementing enhancements to their solutions to increase their interoperability with various customer accounts and back-office systems to improve overall customer experience.

To execute on this new, omnichannel banking paradigm, many banks are thoroughly evaluating their processes and systems and seeking new methods to better understand and connect with customers. This evaluation usually requires a thorough review of the way the FI's core, channel, CRM, and back-office systems work before the institution can determine how to make them work together more effectively and efficiently provide a 360-degree, real-time view of the customer.

[See Also: Innovation At Interop: Tackling Outdated Cultures ]

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