In 2019, the Swiss Banking Association did something unprecedented. It advised banks to embrace Cloud technology. This was head-turning for several reasons. A shift in culture, a prioritisation on tech … and most of all, an end to the 1960s “outside the country, outside control” regulatory mindset which held the banking nation back in recent years. With the cloud-based cat out of the bag, Swiss banking strategists will no doubt be scrambling to install the latest Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products. But they are missing a trick. Because at this history-making moment, it pays to stop and consider all the options. Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) platforms, delivered via SaaS are surely the only way to get the best of the cloud and the best of customer service in one move. For a nation that prides itself on unparalleled security and customer service, what could be more important?
Here’s three ways Swiss banks can re-assert their banking dominance using SaaS CLM solutions.
While SaaS could be described largely as a modern equivalent to existing legacy technology, CLM offers so much more. In particular, one of the most valuable things which CLM provides is unprecedented levels of data-driven customer insights. With CLM, wealth managers know their clients like never before.
Of course, this is music to the ears of product builders, client service, compliance departments, marketing teams and more. It means that products can be improved and amended based on facts, not speculation. And so, CLM opens the door to a world of highly-relevant product and service innovations which will stand some banks apart from their competitors. It also means that there is less need for expensive marketing research agencies, who inevitably would provide less relevant data anyway.
When it comes to understanding clients, CLM has the potential to offer significant savings and unimaginable profits. Of course, it also means that bankers can bring products to customers with much more accuracy. Offering the right thing at the right time has never been so easy.
The vast majority of wealth managers have not fully updated their legacy technology. And it makes the waiting times for processes and new products agonising.
“For example, just 2% of banks in the UK – a famously tech-forward financial hub – can offer a new product online in less than one month. ”
The overwhelming majority take between six and twelve months, meaning they miss out on first-to-market perks. In Switzerland, even with the impeccable organisation of bankers, it’s likely to take even longer as the regulations have been slower to allow Cloud-based innovations.
Straight-through-processing means products and decisions can be implemented quickly. Without waiting around or bumbling along, innovations hit the shelf fast with plug and play SaaS technology. CLM takes it one step further. By focusing on the client so intensely, CLM makes it easier for the clients to notice, find and navigate new products effortlessly.
Of course, another clear advantage of increased agility and efficiency will be the reduced carbon emissions. This plays well into what clients are looking for and can help gain a nod of approval from regulators or watchdogs too.
Legacy technology severely affects the profitability of banks. The issue is so prevalent, it’s been dubbed the “technical debt”. Spending unbelievable sums on maintenance is just the beginning. Where the banks have suffered even more is in glacially slow implementation, near-zero agility and processes which are rife with work-arounds, manual processes, and friction. What’s more, the missed opportunity cost of launching new products with a seamless online experience is eye-wateringly painful.
Much like an agile FinTech, SaaS CLM platforms undo the technical debt, by providing the best online customer experience with as little human interference as possible. Targeting potential customers, onboarding them, using algorithms to provide them with highly-relevant products and retaining them is done for the banks. And it’s completed at scale. So, significantly more customers can get the most cutting-edge service, at any time of day, without burdening human bankers or wasting their time.
This is where CLM really presents itself as superior. Putting the client at the very centre of the technology, the platform strategically focuses on gathering and retaining as many customers as possible.
The regulatory side should be taken care of too, by the CLM provider. The only time a banker may need to intervene is in a complicated case, where their expertise and experience is better suited than a machine. The CLM platform will flag up special cases on an easy-to-use dashboard, with all the data and information needed to make the decision.
Being a little late to the Cloud party gives Swiss wealth managers a surprising advantage. Firstly, they have the benefit of hindsight, and can learn from the journeys of others. And secondly, as the range of service options to implement has increased, and they can select the crème de la crème of what’s available.
Now is the time for Swiss wealth managers to ask themselves what their service is about. Is it about merely updating the old way of doing things? Or is about providing world-leading exceptional service for clients? The type of SaaS model they opt for will reveal a lot about their priorities.
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