The pandemic has forced innovation in customer relations

The pandemic has forced innovation in customer relations

“The pandemic has changed the mentality of people who have so far been sceptical about the use of technology. This will pay off in the coming years as customer habits evolve, ”said Marek Tomczuk, Vice President of the Management Board of Bank Pekao SA supervising the Retail Banking Division, during the 10th European Financial Congress.

"Omnichannel", "customer-centricity", "customization" and the fight against digital exclusion were the leitmotifs of the debate "Customer relations in the era of accelerated digitization - key conclusions from the pandemic period and beyond", hosted by Bank Pekao SA The panel was held on October 13 during the tenth edition of EKF, which this year is online.

According to experts from the banking, mobile technology, IT and insurance sectors, the Covid-19 pandemic did not cause a digital revolution in the banking sector but significantly accelerated the evolution of Polish financial institutions towards digital transformation, which has been going on for years.

“At Bank Pekao SA, we started the digital transformation much earlier. We have solutions that were created before the pandemic and that worked very well during that time - first of all, the process of opening an account with the use of a selfie. We created this process, largely based on biometrics, as the first on the market, ”emphasized Marek Tomczuk.

The data cited by an expert from Pekao SA show that the use of electronic banking during the "lockdown", when customers significantly reduced visits to bank branches, increased by 40%. Currently, 27% of customers use the option of setting up an account remotely, including via selfie, and the number of loans granted via digital channels reaches 70%. To streamline the process, the bank aims at "omnichannel" service, i.e. easy switching between channels (physical - in a branch and digital) and services selected by the customer.

The surge in demand for electronic banking services has shown that customers are getting used to remote service, including processes using artificial intelligence or biometrics. In some age groups, however, this process is slower: seniors account for almost 25%. of society, almost 9 million people - half of which have not been in contact with the Internet so far. Special activation programs should be directed to them.

“We think about customer needs. The approach evolves from customer-centric to the next stage - customer obsession. An example is the company Amazon, which has brought it to perfection ”- said President Tomczuk.

Meeting the expectations and needs of customers requires not only a personalized approach, a dose of empathy and great flexibility - but also tools that, by collecting and combining a series of data, allow you to create an optimally matched offer profile. According to the president of Tomczuk, this allows, on the one hand, to reach the client in a timely manner and respond to his needs, and on the other hand, reduce the so-called spam, i.e. sending all offers blindly in the hope that one of them will hit and the customer will benefit from it.

Pekao also develops mobile applications. These include PeoPay KIDS, a complete financial and educational ecosystem for children and parents. The youngest (6-13 years old) learn to save and manage money, a virtual trainer advises and introduces them to the world of finance. “The application for children and their parents educates children on how to save and spend money and allows parents to control these expenses. For four months after the implementation, children have already made 200,000. transactions, as much as 85%. non-cash transactions made by children are contactless card transactions. For seniors, we have prepared a special educational program + Take the internet by the horns +. The technology has to be simple. Thanks to it, we will be able to counteract the digital exclusion of older people, ”said Marek Tomczuk.

Digital transformation requires an efficient communication system and reliable internet access. “It has forced an acceleration and quality improvement that affects the ability to use digital channels. The speed of data transmission and the range of connections became the key issues. From the perspective of business clients, we have realized the important role we play. That is why we are constantly increasing the availability of the network and optical fibre. We are not doing it for ourselves - but to ensure the provision of services at the highest level, ”explained Jolanta Dudek, member of the Management Board for Customer Experience at Orange.

Remote banking, however, will not replace personal contacts with an advisor, and 100% transition to an online system, according to experts, is not effective. What works is the combination of technology and human, which builds trust and loyalty.

The key role of the front office should be introducing the elderly into the digital world - but not only. The study, conducted by Bank Pekao among people setting up their first account, showed that young people appreciate a visit to a branch because they treat opening an account as a unique experience, confirmation of adulthood - they also want to obtain detailed information on how to use the account and banking infrastructure.

The data published in the report of the Polish Bank Association show that in the second quarter of 2020, the number of individual customer accounts with the possibility of using electronic banking was 37.59 million. Compared to the first quarter of 2020, there was an increase in users who log into e-banking at least once a month by 0.73%. 67.82% among active users of electronic banking, they use the mobile banking application. The number of active users of mobile banking applications increased by 4.49% during that time. and at the end of the second quarter of 2020, it amounted to 12.93 million.

Source of information: PAP MediaRoom