Oracle Industry Solutions—Financial Services

The Engaged Financial Services Provider: Meeting Today’s Customer Expectations

A guide to building enduring customer relationships through technology.

You ain’t seen nothing yet.

The financial services industry has seen major changes over the last decade. And the realities, probabilities, and possibilities that lie ahead are unprecedented. It’s going to be an exciting trip—often at seemingly lightning speed—and the question is, what do financial businesses need to do to stay on it for the long haul? One thing is for sure, they’ll need to take care of the people who buy their products and services.

Today’s customers, from across many generations and wealth levels, are hyperconnected. Digital has become mainstream. Customers are doing their financial transactions on digital channels, using their phone. Banks, insurers, investment companies—financial service providers in general—are having to connect with their customers across all financial stages throughout their lives, from saving for and buying their first home to financing a business to planning their retirement.


As more regulations are introduced, these different stages of engagement must be personalised in a way that focuses on an individual customer’s financial best interests. Customers are also looking for the same experiences from their financial providers that they get from digital leaders in other sectors, such as retail, where they can transact from their mobile device and easily move between digital and in-branch discussions with their advisor.

Advisors are looking for the same capabilities in the business environment and want access through mobile and tablet devices with simple point/swipe actions. This will move them from behind the computer to face-to-face interactions with their clients.

John Marcante, CEO, Vanguard, in “Wealth and Asset Management 2022: The Path to Digital Leadership,” Roubini ThoughtLab
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Becoming engaged, long-term.

Engaged financial services providers must connect with and nurture their customers in the channels of their choice, and in a relevant, fast, and secure way.

In this third of three digibooks, we consider what it means to become an engaged financial services provider, and discuss how they can keep up with today’s consumer expectations and use technology to offer superior customer and employee experiences.

Becoming engaged

1. What’s Driving Change?

Three key trends.

Digital transformation in the financial sector is allowing providers to increase profitability, productivity, and market share. A loyal banking customer will come to their trusted advisor first to have all of their financial needs addressed. If financial institutions are to compete effectively, they need to keep up with the pace of change while being aware of three key trends that are driving this transformation.

Transformation Trends

Trend 1: Customer experience.

Customers know what they want, and they want it now.

In today’s digital world, customer expectations have risen considerably, particularly in the retail space. Now, in the financial sector, customers want a more convenient, engaging, and secure user experience.

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Executives report fast-rising customer expectations in many areas, from product simplicity/transparency (49%) and anytime, anywhere, any-device access (45%) to robust cybersecurity (43%), more innovative products (32%), and reduced fees (27%).

“Wealth and Asset Management 2022: The Path to Digital Leadership,” Roubini ThoughtLab
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Digital natives are already doing business via Facebook and other channels that they use all day and every day. WeChat is a giant social media service with more than 900 million monthly active users. In July 2017, it launched WeChat Pay as a mobile payment option for Chinese tourists visiting Europe. And there are many more examples that demonstrate how the bond between social interactions and money grows ever stronger, as customers become more comfortable within their channel.

A button in WhatsApp could wind up being your bank’s most important touch point. Eyal Lifshitz, CEO BlueVine
“Banks and Fintech in 2025: An Unlikely Alliance,”, 19 April, 2016
Digital natives
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The IDC FutureScape report, “Worldwide Financial Services 2018 Predictions,” states that in 2019 we’ll see peer-to-peer transactions (P2P) worth a total of $6.0 trillion made worldwide using mobile devices.

Consumers are increasingly comfortable with using their mobile devices as tools to manage financial services, including making payments at the point of sale and with friends and family (P2P payments). IDC FutureScape: “Worldwide Financial Services 2018 Predictions”
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Trend 2: Rise of fintech.

Look out—fintechs are stealing the show.

For traditional financial services providers, competition from early fintech adopters is strong. Less regulated, and unburdened by legacy IT and physical infrastructure, fintechs have the agility to quickly launch new mobile services that attract customers away from providers that can’t move as swiftly. Fintech is clearly driving the new business model.

Rise of fintech
The Economist, May 2015

But banks and other financial institutions are seeking to achieve the same level of agility the fintechs have accomplished today. Traditional financial institutions are investing in and collaborating with fintechs by integrating fintech technologies into their own business models to give customers the customer experience they expect.

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Trend 3: Security and compliance.

Protect, detect, recover, and comply.

As financial companies embrace the many possibilities of innovative technology, the rapidly increasing number of services and channels has inevitably meant rising cybercrime and greater risk of data breaches. This will challenge security and compliance for the foreseeable future.

Capgemini: “Top Ten Trends in Banking 2017”

Financial businesses must develop the capability to meet a constant flow of new or evolving regulations. They must keep financial data secure and comply with in-country data residency regulations. Financial interactions must be tracked and meet compliance rules for acting in the best interests of the customer.

However, digital technology also offers automated compliance solutions—while digital leaders are developing systems that not only detect and protect against security incidents, but also have the resilience to recover quickly from breaches and disruptions.

Responding to regulatory pressure, midsize and community banks will begin to look more at cloud-based compliance analytics platforms and data solutions to improve aspects of their compliance programs, particularly those around KYC (know your customer), CDD (customer due diligence), and AML (anti–money laundering). IDC FutureScape: “Worldwide Financial Services 2018 Predictions”
Responding to regulatory pressure
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By looking at just these three key trends—and there are many more—it’s clear that the financial industry is facing irreversible change at a rapid pace. The businesses within it must act now to secure their digital futures and reap the rewards of transformation.

Dean Butler, Head of Retail Wealth, HSBC UK
“Wealth and Asset Management 2022: The Path to Digital Leadership,” Roubini ThoughtLab
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2. The Engaged Provider

Engaging, proactive, fast, and secure.

An engaged provider must strive to do three key things:

  • Proactively engage
  • Create intelligent interactions
  • Be fast, secure, and compliant
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Proactively engage

Meeting and nurturing the customer in their channel of choice.

The channel of choice isn’t always going to be owned by the financial provider who is trying to engage a customer. But the engaged provider will use this preferred channel to detect a customer’s needs and provide guidance by meeting them earlier in the purchasing cycle.

For example, a customer can signal that they may be looking to buy a property by searching for houses on sites such as or They may also be having conversations on social media about their house search—or any other major purchase they may be considering, such as a new car. But they may not necessarily be having a direct conversation with their bank, or mortgage lender or loan companies. So these financial providers must learn from social listening and turn the insights they’ve gathered into meaningful, relevant engagement with their current and potential customers.

MoneyFarm, one of the largest digital wealth management companies in Europe, wanted to build its brand and customer base. Part of its strategy was to automate its marketing processes to improve customer communications. It replaced traditional personalisation techniques with a more streamlined process to better support its marketing team. By carefully managing the introduction of an intelligent automation solution, it ensured customer trust was not impacted.

This online investment advisor implemented Oracle Data Management Platform across search and display channels to help identify site visitors more accurately. Data on visitor digital body language was collected from third-party data, consolidated from websites and social media. This enabled the team to identify the needs of a customer or prospect more accurately for more personalised conversations.

Stefano Giudici, Digital Marketing Manager, MoneyFarm

Create intelligent interactions

Converting data into actionable insights.

Customer intelligence will be the most important predictor of revenue growth and profitability. Financial services institutions have a wealth of historical data about their customers but find it difficult to convert it into actionable insights. They are now investing in machine learning and adaptive intelligence to become more predictive, and to drive their interactions with their customers. They are also using data analytics and visualisation to make sense of that data and deliver value from it.

The businesses that get ahead will be those financial providers that can assemble a 360-degree view of their customer through an aggregated view of household and business, web browsing and social activity. They combine that rich understanding with knowledge of what millions of other similar customers have purchased. This will allow them to anticipate the needs of the customer, engage them in their preferred channel (social, mobile, web, and branch), and provide recommendations that are personalised, yet backed by the learnings from other consumer profiles.

New technologies such as virtual assistants and chatbots will enable financial businesses to respond to customers’ demand for engagement at any time on any channel. And provide relevant information through automated intelligent virtual assistants. This will help free up advisors to provide personal contact when it’s really needed.

Be fast, secure, and compliant

Investing in an agile, secure cloud platform with automated compliance.

Cybersecurity threats and regulatory compliance changes will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. Complex legacy systems are costly and slow to keep up with the pace of change. They consume precious budget and resources that could be better used for innovation.

Financial services providers should ideally be looking to invest in a cloud platform for its agility, and capacity to keep up with the pace of change, as well as its built-in security. Breaches put clients at risk, as well as the hard-earned reputation of the financial provider in question.

Steven Dorval, Head of Advice and Innovation, John Hancock
“Wealth and Asset Management 2022: The Path to Digital Leadership,” Roubini ThoughtLab

Digital technology is providing new solutions for complying with the ever-growing regulatory burden. Providers should automate compliance as much as possible by building it into all of their systems as they modernise and upgrade. Digital leaders are going beyond this. They’re making it a priority to develop resilient systems that can recover quickly from breaches and disruptions.

A large multinational bank with more than 10 million customers recently used Oracle Customer Experience (CX) to address due-diligence compliance. They modeled 5,000-plus rules in less than three months, and updates to those rules are made in days—not weeks or months. This transparent compliance has saved millions of dollars in auditing costs.

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Steps firms are taking to respond to regulatory change using technology.
“Wealth and Asset Management 2022: The Path to Digital Leadership,” Roubini ThoughtLab

3. Engaging Today’s Customers

Eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive.

The customer experience is absolutely key for the engaged financial services provider. Following a negative customer experience, 40 percent of customers will switch banks. Conversely, a positive experience can increase loyalty and wallet share by three times. This can increase profitability by nine times.

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Trends in Financial Services

If customers have a bank they trust, they will go to them first, rather than seek out services from competitors. Therefore, the engaged provider must put the customer at the heart of what they do, and use services to drive innovation, creating simple, frictionless experiences for both the customer and the internal employee. Engaged financial businesses should learn from failure, quickly pausing or accelerating innovation depending on what works. Barclaycard has taken this kind of approach to developing a seamless customer experience.

...Smart failure is also a success—learning from those failures and being quick to pause and accelerate, based on what works for you. Tami Hargreaves, Director of Digital Consumer Payments, Barclaycard
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The Roubini ThoughtLab “Wealth and Asset Management 2022: The Path to Digital Leadership” report suggests seven steps towards building a seamless customer experience.


Steps firms are taking to create an integrated, cross-channel customer experience.

Today’s hyperconnected customers demand secure and compliant omnichannel access to their bank. It isn’t easy to take branch-based processes into digital channels. Consumer experience has traditionally existed largely in separate domains. Digital transformation will streamline the financial customer journey, integrating data from internal and external sources so it can begin and end across any channel and any device.

Research in the Roubini ThoughtLab “Wealth and Asset Management 2022: The Path to Digital Leadership” report shows how digital technology will transform client interactions by 2022.

Digital leaders in financial services are putting far greater emphasis on using technology to drive growth by winning new customers, collaborating with fintechs, and expanding product offerings. Similarly, they are optimising their operations by focusing on platform banking, driving efficiencies, and becoming data-driven.

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Communication methods

Webinars (+20 pts.)
Web collaboration (+20 pts.)
Chat conversations (+19 pts.)
Video (+18 pts.)
Smartphone/tablet (+5 pts.)
Telephone (+5 pts.)
Social media (+4 pts.)
Internet/PC (-2 pts.)
Face-to-face (-2 pts.)
Email (-13 pts.)

How digital technology will transform client interactions by 2022.

4. Transformation and Employees

Technology empowers employees to deliver greater value.

Embracing technology will alter the way employees work and the skills that they need. The workforce will need new technical, analytical, and innovation skills, and automation will free people from routine activities, allowing them to be more productive, and to add more value for customers. Employees are more likely to work in roles that personally address customers’ individual needs for guidance, rather than performing mundane banking transactions.

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The shift to digital will not only transform how firms engage with their customers, but also their employees.

Sometimes we forget it’s not just about client centricity, it’s also about the employee experience. It’s about creating modern ways—like chatbots that understand natural language—to help people retrieve data for clients instead of making them find it in five separate places. John Marcante, CEO, Vanguard, in “Wealth and Asset Management 2022: The Path to Digital Leadership,” Roubini ThoughtLab
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Technology can be used to empower employees, enabling them to provide excellent customer service. Wiwi Gutmannsbauer, Global Head of Omnichannel Management at UBS Wealth Management, agrees that technology benefits employees as well as customers:

Technology is our friend and our inspiration in our efforts to deliver the perfect client and employee experience.
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UBS’s Global Head of Strategy and Business Development, Rainer Hauser, also believes that harnessing advanced technology will be essential for engaging employees:

We must have the best, most efficient, and scalable platform for our people. Then we put them in a position where they can focus on a client’s needs, rather than spending the entire day dealing with broken processes and time-consuming administration.
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Gonzalo Rodriguez, Head of Digital Transformation at BBVA Spain, describes how the bank combines human skills and initiative with technology to provide advice to customers:

We use AI to read those messages and automatically route them either to the contact center or to a wealth manager, depending on how complex the question. In 2018, we will be rolling out the capability to reply to contact center messages automatically, without human intervention.
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American Banker met delegates at the Banking AI Conference in October 2017 and reported on how banks are using artificial intelligence.

Brian Pearce, Senior Vice President of Artificial Intelligence at Wells Fargo, revealed that the bank has a new chatbot that assists customer representatives speaking to bereaved customers. The representative is able to empathise with the customer, while behind the scenes, the chatbot finds the answers to complex questions on laws and procedures around death.

At the same conference, a case of tears of joy was reported:

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Robotic process automation saved one team at Ally Bank so much back-office work that its manager ‘literally cried,’ says Diane Morris, the bank’s president of consumer and commercial banking products. Penny Crosman, American Banker, 18 October 2017
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In its recent research report for technology leaders, IDC highlights that there will be increasing competition between businesses to find and recruit employees with the skill sets they need for their digital transformation journey.

The ability to acquire a digital transformation mindset and talent is constrained by a shifting set of competencies and a limited talent pool. IDC FutureScape: “Worldwide Financial Services 2018 Predictions”
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5. Becoming an Engaged Provider

Planning for transformation.

Financial services providers are at different stages of transformation, so they’ll need to address different areas:

  • Modernising the customer experience
  • Unifying customer data and digitising processes
  • Future-proofing financial platforms
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Modernising the customer experience.

Financial services providers that are yet to fully embrace digital should start small by focusing on a specific area of the customer experience. For example, they could concentrate on creating personalised and relevant interactions, providing secure and compliant omni-channel access, or providing intelligent offers to help ensure financial wellbeing. So they should be open and adaptive to change, but in small, steady steps—for example, by introducing a new innovation, say, every 10 weeks.

Personalised and relevant interactions
Secure and compliant omni-channel access
Intelligent offers to expand financial well-being
“Wealth and Asset Management 2022: The Path to Digital Leadership,” Roubini ThoughtLab

Unifying customer data and digitising processes.

Providers that are already trying to improve their customer experience may need to focus on using data to drive customer-first service, or to integrate channels and front- and back-office processes, or to streamline service overall. Oracle is best in class for sales, service, and marketing using financial profiles. It augments these profiles using enhanced customer data from first-, second-, and third-party data.

Ideally, staff will be able to access a single 360-degree view of their customers—a roll-up of an individual’s household and business records, as well as a record of all of their interactions, across multiple channels. AI and machine learning will prompt “next best” actions, in the best interests of the customer.

Future-proofing financial platforms.

At the same time, financial services companies must also ensure they have a platform that can enable fintech integration. They must update their operating models to get ready for the new normal. This will involve innovating with partners, and providing a broad range of cloud tools and services. A fully enabled, cloud-based platform will offer embedded security and compliance, and an open banking platform. And end-to-end processes provide less risk, better experience, and more innovation.

Staying in the game

Legacy constraints and incremental fixes won’t cut it any longer. Upgrades to intelligent, cloud-based systems offer the opportunity to leapfrog ahead. Doing so is problematic and expensive. Not doing so may be suicidal. Leading organisations are prepared to leave legacy behind where it is no longer relevant. IDC FutureScape: “Worldwide Financial Services 2018 Predictions”
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Financial services providers need access to new digital channels and to make use of predictive analytics and artificial intelligence the norm. Customers should be able to interact with a personalised virtual assistant, and go on to talk to a financial specialist in one seamless conversation. External mobile, social, and digital data can capture financial behaviour and drive the content of personalised assistance. So the customer should benefit from relevant financial advice across their life stages within the context of the financial services they’ve selected.

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What comes next?

When it comes to the pace of change, the foot is down hard on the accelerator. But financial businesses need to be ready to integrate the next big thing that is going to enhance customer experience, whatever that may be. One thing is for certain: To succeed in 2020 and beyond, financial providers need to be combining tactical short-term actions with long-term initiatives that support a larger, strategic vision. They should deploy a platform that can handle complex financial transactions. This must be easily extendable to unique financial processes and/or existing systems, both securely and compliantly.

Oracle is uniquely capable of providing a complete solution that will enable the transformation of customer experience in the financial services sector. For businesses aiming to increase their agility and ability to innovate, while embracing AI and newly emerging technologies, Oracle offers a powerful platform choice.

The Components of a Complete Financial Services Cloud Platform

CX Cloud

Oracle CX Cloud Suite is an integrated set of applications that spans the entire customer lifecycle from marketing to sales, and commerce to service.

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HCM Cloud

Use a single global human resources solution that aligns common global HR processes, supports local compliance needs across multiple countries, and engages your workforce.

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ERP Cloud

Streamline your enterprise business processes with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud. With ERP Cloud Financials, Procurement, Project Portfolio Management and more, you can increase productivity, lower costs, improve controls and bring greater insight to the business.

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Oracle Risk Management Cloud

Oracle Risk Management Cloud, you can confidently manage risk and have systems of control to meet compliance requirements imposed by external bodies; BASEL II and required internally. It can quickly detect potential process and control issues, and provide line-of-business leaders with strategic risk insights.

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Big Data and Analytics Cloud

Oracle Analytics Cloud delivers business analytics for traditional data and big data across the entire enterprise.

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