Omnidata or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Omnichannel

omnichannelIf I had a penny for the number of times I’ve heard the word omnichannel mentioned over the last few years, I’d probably have made more than a couple thousand dollars. This trend is self evident in the amount of traction this has picked up as a Google search term. The image on the right shows the upward interest this term has gotten over time.

The truth is that omnichannel represents both a challenge and a real opportunity that consumer facing businesses are grappling with.

Findings from Bain & Co’s 2015 customer behaviour & loyalty in retail banking survey show omnichannel customers are significantly more satisfied, loyal & engaged than branch & digital only bank customers.

customer-loyalty-in-retail-banking-2015-infographic-fig-26_full

Source: Bain Customer Behaviour & Loyalty In Retail Banking Survey

In the banking world, retail banks are now feverishly working on their omnichannel strategies – an attempt to deliver seamless customer experiences across all channels. Experiences that let consumers to do more through the channel of their choice, at the time they choose to do so.

This sounds great, so how do we deliver this?

Lets first understand how we got here.

shutterstock_249571474Growing up in India in the 90’s, I remember the times when my grandfather took me to his old school government bank branch. While he always enjoyed the personal service, the clock never ticked slower for me than it did in that government run bank branch. Bank records were always getting mixed up, laboriously kept on huge hand written logbooks, stored in the basement and frequently damaged by water leaks.

Little did I know that the world was already changing in west. Multi-channel banking was all the rage and customers had numerous channels available to them to do their banking – ATM’s, phone and then internet banking. By the magic of databases, information was no longer at risk of being physically destroyed. This era saved billions in costs for big financial institutions, allowed them onboard more customers and for a while the world seemed to be a better place.

In the 2000s, things changed yet again. The mobile era took off, millennials grew up and demanded a better customer experience. These old channels were silo’ed, they frustrated us and made us switch across multiple different channels to complete a simple task. They made us feel insignificant; the banks were too big to fail and we were too small to matter.

This triggered a movement from multichannel to omnichannel banking. Omnichannel isn’t just about better customer service, it’s about growth and creating value by going back to old-school personalization at internet speed.

Omnidata delivers omnichannel

Today we’ve entered the age of omnidata, a world where banks have all the data at their disposal to intimately know & understand their customers. The access to this data is unprecedented. It includes historical and real-time transaction details, mobile device ids, location information, ip addresses, social graph information, and more. We can now anticipate what customers need and when they need it.

With machine learning and real-time analytics based technologies like Feedzai, banks can harness this omnidata in real-time into ‘segments-of-one’ for all of their customers. Now they can create a complete 360 profile of each and every customer across their histories which can be made available in real-time to power great experiences.

This unlocks unprecedented value, over and above just better customer service. Some simple examples come to mind:

  • A targeted credit card or loan offer the moment a customer is promoted at work
  • Automatically suggesting the loyalty program for a customer’s most frequented coffee shop
  • Approving a customer’s big legitimate purchase in real-time because it’s known that the customer is traveling for work

Isn’t this what omnichannel is really about?

With the advent of omnidata, we are now entering an entirely new phase of banking. Banking that’s not defined by a place you go to, but intrinsically woven into everything you do. 

The data is already available, and so are the technologies that make sense of this data, such as machine learning, real-time analytics, distributed storage and processing. 

The banks that take advantage of this data and technology will be tomorrow’s winners and they will look nothing like yesterday’s banks. At Feedzai, we are building this future every day, and are excited to power all the things that haven’t happened yet.

Written by Ajit Ghuman, Director of Product Marketing, Feedzai, Inc.

I lead Feedzai’s Product Marketing for enterprise and financial services customers. I’m excited about the massive impact that the next generation of machine learning based platforms are having in the market. I joined Feedzai from another software firm in the Big Data and Machine Learning space where we grew from 115 to 901 employees. At Feedzai, I’m firing up the growth rocket engines again and having fun doing it.