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Banking for Humanity: Technology to Increase the Human Touch

By Antonella Comes, CMO, Auriga

Technology versus Humanity?

Banks have been struggling with the concept of being more personal with their customers. ‘Banking for Humanity’, a concept explored by fintech guru Chris Skinner, is considered as a remedy for this; with new banking technology innovation spearheading the way for banks to adopt a human touch and be more empathetic.

Chris Skinner stated that the concept is about “how banks can make their services more human”. According to Skinner, there are five primary aspects for discovering Banking for Humanity: financial literacy, financial inclusion, financial wellness, financial capabilities for the vulnerable, and promoting sustainability.

However, with the aftermath of the financial crisis earlier in the century, lack of confidence and trust is prevalent amongst customers.

A study by the UK’s financial regulator, the FCA, reported that over 40% of UK adults have little to no confidence in the country’s financial services industry. In order to rebuild that trust, financial institutions will need to provide services with a personalised touch.

Here are some initiatives that banks can implement to attain Banking for Humanity success.

Allowing AI to increase the human touch in banking

If carefully implemented, artificial intelligence can play a vital role in humanising banking services.

AI technology and machine learning can be used to facilitate customer care, making it easier to carry out predictions with the use of banking technology by reacting to customer data, which aids banks in learning to understand trends within the market.

With the insights provided, it helps banks to cater to their various demographics with specific needs.

For example, artificial intelligence can be used to guide banks when dealing with the difficult requirements of a customer. By automating such tasks, the role of humans within banking is concentrated on being empathetic, while providing support and advice.

AI creates an opportunity for banks to inhabit processes that develop consultative capabilities, with training in problem solving, compassion, and emotional intelligence.

Greater financial inclusion and literacy for all generations

Another way that banks can practice Banking for Humanity is by providing quality financial services for all demographics. There are several ways that banks can serve them.

As the Gen Z generation are more concerned with being authentic and persistent, banks will need to understand that there is no difference between offline and online words when it comes to building their omnichannel strategies. Banks can also consider creating educational channels to promote discourse with Gen Z.

By digitalising their services, banks can bridge the gap between financial institutions and the older generations as well.

Staff can help to assist older customers with self-service devices so that they have greater control over their money. Branch designs also take into consideration the personal consultation aspect that caters to their needs.

Likewise, video banking can be used within branches to increase access to financial services and assistance for customers who need help with self-service products and technology whenever they want.

Digital banks at the heart of local communities

A bank’s physical services can be carefully merged with the latest digital technologies.

Banks can become service experience hubs that make human advisory resources more available by combining face-to-face services in conjunction with digital services, alongside the chance to use video banking.

Various countries have already successfully built shared digital banking hubs for more than one bank brand, this model can be easily replicated in the UK as well. As the bank remains a central point for the existing hubs, it can also look to repurpose its real estate to benefit the communities they serve by developing new facilities, as an example.

If we don’t want the level of uncertainty for financial institutions to increase, banks will ultimately need to find themselves positioned alongside the needs of society, especially as the banking industry continues to evolve.

This is what Banking for Humanity is all about.

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