The next frontier in Financial Services

It starts with creating a better, omni-channel customer experience.

It’s 2017 and the Financial Services industry is squarely focused on creating the best possible customer experience. This means offering fast, convenient access to products and services at the point of sale, with less friction. It means creating a seamless customer experience across multiple channels, including mobile, online and in-person. It means confidently offering more services to more customers, particularly those with little to no credit. And finally, it means doing all these things without increasing fraud and security risk.

Forward-thinking providers like Equifax are helping firms achieve these goals and more, and here are a few ways we’re doing it today.

Financial companies can conduct business more efficiently for less, reaching customers through different channels and providing a wider variety of products and services. Using integrated, cloud-based platforms that put key customer-facing teams—including marketing, credit, customer service—on the same page, we’re helping organizations better understand customers across all areas of their business. In addition, these platforms also serve as a centralized data resource where firms can instantly enrich customer files with expanded, relevant insights from a diverse mix of sources.

This provides increased transparency that drives a better, more informed customer experience. Firms can also better recognize and understand customers no matter where or how they engage with the business, and offer them a more seamless experience across multiple channels. Having better visibility across their business and customer channels, businesses can resolve service inquiries more efficiently and knowledgably, and make more competitive credit and product offers for stronger selling, cross-selling and upselling throughout the customer lifecycle.

Alternative data, evolving security, fraud and authentication capabilities can now allow account acquisition and underwriting to happen across any customer channel with the click of a button. The single best opportunity to optimize account values is at the point of sale. Yet, to make your most competitive offers, you need instant access to more and better customer information. At Equifax, we’re providing financial companies with centralized access to premium, differentiated data sources in real-time, at the point of sale, through solutions like Equifax Ignite. This includes:

  • Instant identity verification to support specialized industry regulations and assist in regulatory compliance.
  • Traditional credit data plus alternative data to help firms serve a wider audience of customers, particularly those who lack traditional credit.
  • Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) compliance screening that’s automated at the point of sale for stronger, more consistent and cost-effective compliance.
  • Prescreening insights for additional product offers or next-best actions at the point of sale.

Within the online and mobile environments, you need an added layer of fraud and security protections to support point-of-sale transactions. But, asking customers to complete additional security and authentication questions—often on a small tablet or smartphone screen—creates friction. To address this issue, we apply specialized data and technology to reduce the number of required security and authentication questions from multiple screens of data entry down to a few short questions. Using a few key identifiers, we can automatically pull in additional data such as credit, email and other information to help validate customer identities and auto-fill the fields required to set up a new account.

In each case, everything happens automatically in a matter of seconds. The customer experiences a smooth, consistent account set up process that requires minimal effort on their part, no matter which channel they’re using. Meanwhile, the provider acquires a much more robust view of the consumer, without compromising fraud and security risk.

Looking ahead, the Financial Services industry must continue to innovate in order to better connect and engage with customers over the channels they use the most. Established financial organizations must be nimble and committed to quickly responding to rising customer demands for multi-channel products, services and support. Startup providers must develop and introduce fresh channel solutions that are both unique and capable of resolving real-world use cases. Here are a few things to look for mentioned by Prasanna Dhore, Equifax Chief Data and Analytics Officer, in a recent  interview with FinTech leaders:

  • Current and future technologies will mature or fall based on how efficiently they tackle real-world issues.
  • Data will be democratized, giving users more control over their data.
  • Artificial intelligence capabilities will enable mundane tasks to be automated.
  • Large organizations will be ready to adopt cloud-based technologies.
  • As newer technologies mature and become mainstream, regulations will evolve to bring innovation to the marketplace.
  • Consider partnering with FinTech providers to add quality, speed and ability to scale to existing processes within the customer lifecycle.

It’s time to think differently, and that’s where Equifax comes in. We’re redefining access to data and speed to market through our revolutionary portfolio of premier data and advanced analytics solutions . Learn More.