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Banks, customers and decisioning

This article came up on bank customers. It talked about how banks need to address new competitors by looking for novel ways to retain and attract customers.

"But cosmetic enhancements and branch renovations can only go so far. Financial-services providers have to make extensive changes in how they sell to customers. The key to these changes will be upgrading information technology systems. In fact, if banks don't transform these systems, they stand to lose customers and substantial revenue. "

I could not agree more. I have blogged before about using decisioning to build the bank of the future and written a banking story showing how things can improve. In addition, self-service is a growing trend that requires systems to change. As the article said:

"However, it's the behind-the-scenes elements that banks truly need to change in order to be successful retail banking organizations in the future"

Another area identified by the article is that of customer segmentation:

"identify their target customer segments and offer service packages that directly speak to the financial situations of those groups"

I have written about how customer segmentation can dramatically improve profitability as noted by McKinsey among others and it can improve customer service also. Finally there was a note about maintenance burdens:

"Research from Celent shows that banks continue to invest in maintenance rather than in new systems, with almost three-quarters [74.5%], or $236.7 billion in real dollars, of I.T. investment going to maintaining old I.T. systems."

Reducing the maintenance burden is a must for banks and I have blogged before about using decision technologies to improve the application enhancement process, to renovate old applications and about modernizing COBOL with business rules.

In the end, banks need to treat decisions as a corporate asset.

If you are interested in banking topics, check out Bankwatch.

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