In this topical article, financial services executives can find an overview of what omni-channel banking is, why it’s important and how to update their technology systems.

Omni-Channel Banking Defined

An omni-banking experience represents the leveraging of customer behaviors across all relevant banking channels, which provides the basis for a consistent, personalized banking transaction. Wherever there is a multi-step banking experience that is completed over time, each relevant channel needs to recognize what step the customer is in related to the transaction fulfillment process, and be able progress the multi-step process in a transparent fashion to the customer.

The Rational That Is Driving Customer Demand

Commencing this area of discourse, focus is directed to When you login to their mobile or PC-based site, you find a consistent presentation framework, which offers personally customized offerings based on your buying preferences, as well as the inclusion of new content releases that fit your individualized profile. In addition, the selection and purchasing experience is the same for a customer who first buys clothing, then groceries and finally books. All of these items can go into the purchase cart for single payment processing. Amazon and other similar sites reflect why banking customers are expecting the same type of application interaction with their bank. For banks, the omni-channel banking interaction paradigm is the answer to fulfilling customer expectations.

The Project Internal Assessment

Based upon the context and scope required to fully enable omni-channel banking, the key assessment components that must be delivered by a bank’s IT department include: customer broad based data history which enables predictive and behavior data modeling, ability to standardize processes across all banking channels, the capability to store customer transactions which are in-process, the specific banking step to be fulfilled when the customer reengages in one to many banking processes and the ability to include biometric authentication.

Since the legacy systems present in most banks were never provisioned for this type of technology, the magnitude of legacy system changes are often material. In addition, most banks find that they neither collect the breadth of data required, nor the analytical capabilities required for the requisite predictive and behavior data analytics.

To the extent the factors above require material software modification, project delivery cost will likely be significant, along with a protracted delivery timeframe. Regardless, this project sizing, costing and delivery timeframe analysis is reflective of internal proper due diligence. If the internal project assessment reflects material cost and long project duration, then the alternative of a package software solution should be considered as a relevant alternative. Purpose-built software for omni-channel banking could prove to be materially less expensive as well as reflect a materially reduced delivery timeline.

Package Solution Assessment Criteria

If a package solution for omni-channel banking is to be pursued, below are a number of generic assessment points that need to be supplemented with any additional bank specific requirements:

  • Predictive and behavioral customer specific data modeling, as discussed above, is a key enabling software package component. What are your embedded capabilities?
  • Current customer transactional data storage is not adequate for requisite data modeling. What is the timeline that, upon storing the necessary additional data, you must follow before you can effectively enable behavioral and predictive analytics?
  • What is your approach to standardizing processes to be consistent across all banking channels; and what is the associated timeline? Additionally, based upon muti-channel process flow standardization, how effective is the software at enabling users to re-commence multiple banking processes at the point they terminated their past interaction?
  • Is your software package configured to enable an equivalent look and feel to the online banking customer experience across all current forms of remote devices?
  • A joint IT/Vendor assessment needs to be made with any strong vendor candidate, in order to access how effectively the vendor can integrate with your bank specific legacy software?
  • What security is enabled consistently across all banking channels?

After assessing potential vendors, considering bank-specific assessment criteria, as well as the recommended evaluation points above, there will like be a particular vendor which stands out as the best suited vendor to meet your bank specific needs. (Obviously, the inclusion of price and timeline data is assumed).

Buy Vs. Build Decision

For those who have gone through the software selection process and hopefully considered the assessment points above, you have likely chosen a vendor. That being said, very few vendors are going to be willing to enter into a fixed-fee transaction. This is largely due to unknown complications related to legacy integration issues, which only emerge as the software implementation process is well underway. As such, in addition to the vendors quoted price, a 10 percent to 20 percent contingency should be added to the overall funding requests.


This article is a preview of a white paper that was created for the GDS International FST (Financial Services Technology Summit), which will take place in November 2015.


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