"As banks and financial institutions seek to differentiate their online banking offerings, we are seeing that Web 2.0 technologies making a real impact on how these typically traditional organizations can do business,â said David Lavenda, the firm's vice president of marketing and product strategy. âThere is a greater pressure on banks to explore new business models that meet evolving customer demands and requirements, and being able to use diverse tools such as personalized homepages, social networks, RSS, and gives financial services firms a significant advantage, as long as they meet strict corporate security and governance requirements.â
Lavenda comments following the release of a new report from Celent that concludes that a handful early movers are showing signs of moving customers to a Web 2.0-centric environment, and that this trend will accelerate considerably over the next 12-18 months.
âBanks and financial institutions are currently trying to prune the cost of customer support, as well as enhance the level of promotion of new services to small business and corporate customers, and Web 2.0 technology is able to satisfy both these needs with much higher degrees of business interaction, which increases the likelihood customers will do more business with their existing institution."
"Celent's report concludes, quite rightly, that whilst business banking online services provide a raft of services, they look and feel out of date, and are not what today's customers are really after in the Web 2.0-driven e-business world," he explained.
"Banks have been holding back from embracing Web 2.0 technology - and its attendant advantages - because of uncertainty on how to implement these solutions with enterprise-grade security," he said, adding that WorkLight prides itself in allowing banks to offer customers secure Web 2.0 tools in the places where people frequent online, such as iGoogle, Windows Live, Facebook, iPhone and more. âAs more banks move to the Web 2.0 environment, the rest of the industry will follow,â he added.
Celent estimates that the online banking industry will migrate to a Web 2.0 business model over the next three years, allowing the banking industry to better meet the needs of small business customers.
âThe plain fact is that everyone wants a higher degree of interaction online and, if they can complete their business banking as well as learning about new services from the bank, interacting with other customers, and all via secured popular Web 2.0 platforms, this trend that Celent predicts is going to happen sooner, rather than later," he added.