Hong Kong’s smartphone penetration is among the highest in Asia Pacific. More than 70 percent of residents use smartphones, according to the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA).
In this environment, leading banks in Hong Kong are scrambling for a slice of an emerging mobile payments market. Recently, a leading local cash machine operator announced it is working to introduce an inter-bank solution for peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant mobile and online payments.
Today’s banking customers handle the majority of their transactions across a variety of channels, including personal computers, smart phones and tablets.
Even in markets where financial services are still conducted in person, the internet is playing an increasingly crucial role in the personal banking decision-making process. This era of “omni-channel” banking presents many complexities and challenges to the financial industry.
The challenge for banks is to synthesize complex business processes and optimize management across multiple channels in an era of increasing customer connectivity.
For example, a customer could find out about a savings plan on his or her laptop and research savings plan on a mobile phone before visiting the brick-and-mortar office to make a purchase.
Banks need to ensure that brand, customer experience and banking information are consistent across all channels.
The movement toward omnichannel banking is picking up steam at many financial institutions across the globe. In addition to offering visibility into account information across channels (something traditionally referred to as multichannel banking), today’s institutions and banking customers are also looking for synchronized and real-time/near-real-time information, key attributes of an emerging omnichannel banking environment. And while this transition is a work-in-progress, it is spurring increased demand by FIs, because of the inherent customer-centric focus offered by an omnichannel banking environment.
Overview by Ed O’ Brien, Director, Banking Channels Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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