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What It Means to Be a Data-Driven Bank… and How to Get There

By 03.26.20
Reading time: 4 minutes

Banks and other financial institutions continue making waves with digital transformations, but it’s important to keep people (both employees and consumers) at the forefront of changes with meaningful processes and technology.

According to Andrew Beatty, SVP and GM of Next Generation Banking at FIS: “Innovation is now an essential that must underpin the bank’s value proposition, yet the limitations in the bank’s underlying infrastructure often hinder the development and launch of new products and services. Clearly, this situation has not gone unnoticed, as evidenced by the fintechs who are lining up to snatch their piece of the banking pie. In many ways, banks are becoming software companies (whether they like it or not), but too often their digital product leaves a lot to be desired.”

When it comes to the final product, it’s imperative that end users and developers experience smooth transitions, sleek interfaces, and high-functioning technology. Disjointed experiences across platforms can lead to attrition on all sides — customers leaving in favor of competitors doing it better, employees leaving to work at companies with better tech in place.

“In the past few years, the concept of event-driven architecture (EDA) has been adopted as a slick mechanism to respond to changing markets, connected consumers, and mobility. By using events as process triggers across a range of applications (rather than the more interrogative approach of the classical client/server paradigm), EDA brings the possibility to react instantaneously, even preemptively, to changes in circumstances to make the best use of data,” Beatty said.

Unwind legacy technology

Unravelling legacy technology is difficult — certainly not something that you should just jump into with an entire institution. Starting smaller with a group like marketing, for example, where you can engage a group who should have a pulse on all client-facing communications and insight into the sales process and activities across all groups. This allows client and prospect journey mapping to take place that can be partnered with data-driven events; those can be leveraged to trigger transactional, promotional, or insights to the clients and prospects to build trust and transparency as well as adapt to their preferences and needs.

Silverline is helping its clients leverage the MuleSoft platform to add a layer of abstraction to the many systems that are used to run a business, allowing for easier, faster, and modern integrations to be implemented. Instead of thinking point-to-point integrations, why wouldn’t a system talk to a broker instead? This is sometimes called a gateway, a service bus, or a layer. Regardless of what you call it or which flavor you choose to implement, adhering to a pattern of separation of concerns is a proven design pattern that will ultimately help companies achieve their modernization goal, as well as decouple dependencies between systems — allowing for future modernization efforts to be possible.

“Unwinding or replacing a core could paralyze transformation. But wrapping a core and complementary core systems allows for event-based interactions and omni-channel experiences. This, partnered with CRM and origination experiences, gives sales, service, and marketing complete insight into the journey and allows for optimal high-value interactions that can give a tremendous competitive advantage,” said JP Owens, our Director of Banking and Lending.

Keep people at the center of your transformation

A transformation like this takes significant change management and education of the why. The team needs to believe in the purpose and the journey to get there, and you need to invest in them.

“When I started this process in a previous role, we didn’t have Salesforce experts internally. We found internal people with high potential and a hunger to do better than we were doing today. Those people quickly grew from Salesforce beginners to five- or six-time certified Salesforce individuals in 1-2 years. As a group, they knew more about the organization’s business processes than anyone else in the bank,” Owens said.

Banks do indeed need to significantly adapt their current business models, systems, and processes. In order to do so, they need to adjust their internal cultures and place strong emphasis on supporting internal teams. A significant technology transformation requires a major shift for the internal superheroes who maintain the legacy processes and put in 110% every day to deliver the best customer experience they can. Banks also rely on these individuals to stay on top of regulations and compliance requirements. They spend so much time trying to keep processes running as smoothly as possible that they can’t focus on the customer as wholly as they should.

Another shift can come through external brand promises. They can do this by understanding their customers, and the experiences they desire, as a first step. 

Manage milestones within your CRM

The idea that banks should become event-driven enterprises extends beyond event-driven architecture. A move to personalization in banking by catering to milestones, made more seamless with customer insights derived from a CRM solution such as Salesforce, is the next step in revolutionizing banking as we know it today.

Incorporating better AI, better data tracking of big life moments for customers, and improved outreach surrounding those events will bring about better brand affinity. Beyond direct mailing potential clients when they move into a new neighborhood, there are many opportunities for outreach with current customers. Life events and milestones like marriage, going to college, retiring, divorce, moving, or switching jobs are also excellent opportunities to show the value add of your services and offerings.


Visit our banking and lending page for more ideas and inspiration to transform your firm.

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