Mercator Blog

Observations from Omnichannel Banking Early Adopters
Date: June 19, 2015
Ed O'Brien
Director, Banking Channels Advisory Service

As part of our ongoing Mercator Advisory Group Banking Channels research on the movement from multichannel to omnichannel banking, we have reached out to several early adopters to get their take on their progress so far. Most of the input has been positive, with several institutions indicating that they have strong executive interest and support for creating an omnichannel banking infrastructure but are moving cautiously as they assess potential issues and roadblocks to be managed.

Much of this caution is due to foundational data management issues, including data cleansing and deduping. Banks and credit unions know that this work is typically a prerequisite for well-designed and effective integration and interoperability and analytics initiatives. Consequently, they are assessing and working through initiatives to collect, categorize, cleanse, and consolidate needed core and channels systems data for use throughout their organizations.

These financial institutions realize the important role that data management plays in establishing an effective omnichannel banking infrastructure to go beyond basic data analytics and pave the way for powerful customer and predictive analytic capabilities. The required effort is critically important for an omnichannel banking implementation to be effective. Without this background work in such areas in data collection, cleansing, synchronization, interoperability, and data management, FIs can spend an inordinate amount of time trying to build the foundation for an omnichannel environment.

Observations from Omnichannel Banking Early Adopters

Even with significant progress being made on the road toward omnichannel banking, there still are challenges in various phases of an implementation process, such as collecting and categorizing relevant data, cleansing and deduping, quality checking, and having up-to-date synchronization of all (or mostly all) customer data across channels. As FIs have found out, some of these seemingly easy tasks can be quite difficult and time-consuming, particularly for institutions that have siloed lines of business.

While these implementation steps may be difficult, expectations for future benefits for FIs – and banking customers -- are high. Most FIs are well aware of the benefits as well as the need for robust data management to clear the way for increased understanding of customers’ wants and needs and to better meet and exceed their expectations.