Why collaboration helps accelerate the customer journey

With customer journey’s predominantly digitised in the modern day, companies are always looking for new ways to stand out. Key to standing out is how a company collaborates with its customers.

RegTech firm iMeta recently spoke to Mark Greenway, who is a project manager the company. During the chat, the two discussed the role of customer collaboration and its role in improving the customer journey.

When quizzed on how the industry is changing, Greenway highlighted the big move away from more manual processes. He said, “One thing that I’ve seen is the move away from manual processing. Manual processing should be something that has gone by now, but we still speak to a lot of institutions where they’re heavily entrenched in manual processes and are looking for automation.

“In addition, some institutions are looking at more competitive AI-based solutions, but the move away from manual processing will continue. Our customers describe the benefits of automating manually intensive work as taking workload away from experienced people, allowing them to focus on their specialisation and not being burdened with manual processes that could be moved elsewhere. Ultimately the driver is really enabling Financial Institutions to onboard more clients, more efficiently, whilst utilising their resources as effectively as possible.”

When it comes to succeeding in this space, many companies have to do something that truly makes them stand out. Are companies standing in the space? Greenway remarked, “I think some are succeeding more than others. One of our clients from last year was using an old mainframe system; hugely difficult to change with long turnaround cycles. All the maintenance and configuration for that was done on spreadsheets, but we helped them move away from that.

“Other clients that we’ve worked with have only taken small steps towards automation, but there are others who are thinking bigger in terms of, “We’ve done X, but these are the next five or six stages we are looking to tackle next. They’re looking at more advanced solutions, whether it be documentation or facial recognition, or other AI-based solutions. Therefore, some clients do have more of a vision beyond short-term goals, and they think about how they can make this compelling in the future.

What are the main challenges for companies that are bogged down by operational issues and delivery? Greenway remarked that one of the main things the company hears is that other businesses want to reduce their operational costs and increase operational efficiencies.

He added, “When we talk in the onboarding space, it’s speed in the end-to-end onboarding process. Someone walks in the door, and they want to be doing business with them as quickly as possible. That’s paramount and comes with operational and efficiency savings. But we must also remember that people need to change what they’re doing. What they do today and what we put in as a vendor and as a solution in 2022 might not be exactly what they need in 2023. The challenge they’ll face is that they’ll need to continually adapt as the market changes, as regulation changes, and as the needs of their business changes as well. It’s critical for any modern system not to be static; there needs to be configurability and extensibility to adapt with the needs of the business.”

According to iMeta, the company operates strategically around standardisation, customer experience and front office empowerment.

When quizzed how this influences the company in its day to day role, Greenway underlined, “With standardisation, as we talked about, clients are looking for something off the shelf, but as you say that impacts how we work. Day-to-day, we’re looking for ways that we, as a team, can work quicker and smarter, because ultimately that’s what our customers want.

If we standardise our internal development processes and the way we deliver projects, we’re reducing solution delivery times which benefits our customers, their customers, and ultimately everyone. It’s not just about having a standard product offering, but how we develop everything, such as automating build processes, how we can standardise our development pipeline and streamline the whole end-to-end delivery to be timely and efficient.”

What does Greenway think is going to happen in the next five years in the market? He commented, “I think some of the things we have spoken about before – people are not just looking at historical kinds of automation like data aggregation, they are also implementing machine learning, artificial intelligence.

“They ask, “How can I, from a regulatory point of view, still satisfy that I’m following the right processes, getting the correct auditing, whilst using more artificial intelligence to streamline that process.” It focuses on that – the efficiency side of things – how we can make use of technology to automate that process end-to-end? People are striving for that and it’s almost a nirvana now and more providers in the space have come out offering different solutions and offering little pieces of the puzzle. It’s only going to grow in the years to come. Hopefully, then we can still be part of that and glue it all together for them.”

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