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Author's profile photo Emanuel Affatati

Introduction to Omnichannel Banking

This is a short introduction to understand what is the meaning of Omnichannel, which are the differences between an omnichannel and a multi-channel business model, and lastly a brief summary about the SAP Omnichannel banking solution.

What is the meaning of Omnichannel?


Omnichannel refers to a business model where the customer engagement adopts the perspective of the customer by delivering a seamless and consistent message across all channels, allowing a customer to begin a transaction on one channel or one device and move to another seamlessly without losing a quality experience.

That was the general definition of Omnichannel that applies to all the different Omnichannel posibilities (Marketing, Retailing, Banking, Supply Chain, etc), now let’s see how this concept applies to the specific case of the banking institutions.

Banks can take benefit of the omnichannel approach, to get a better understanding of their customers. They already can see product use, transaction patterns and demographic profiles. By leveraging channel usage insight, they can develop an even more detailed customer profile. Understanding not only what the customer looks like, but also how they conduct their banking can allow for improved product offers using their preferred channel.

Developing strategies to integrate disparate digital and physical channels into a single, seamless experience has to be a priority. By analyzing the activity and preferences of their client base, banks can tailor offerings to address the priorities of each individual customer. Mass, low profit segments can be serviced accordingly as can high margin services and clientele.

Multichannel vs Omnichannel


Multichannel: This term refers to companies using multiple channels (e.g. social media, web and email) to engage their customers. Companies with this approach are adopting two or more channels to engage their customers, however, they are not necessarily focused on delivering a seamless / consistent message across multiple touch-points. Furthermore, these programs don’t necessarily factor in optimizing the customer experience based on the different devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets and laptops) clients use to interact with the business.

Omnichannel: While companies using this approach also use multiple channels to engage their customers they distinguish themselves through two additional factors; consistency and focus on devices involved within client interactions. These businesses are diligent to ensure that their customers receive the same experience and message through different channels and devices involved within their interactions with the firm. For example, a company that provides customers with the ability to engage it through a mobile app, social media portal and website would be focused to ensure that the look and feel as well as the messages they receive across each touch-point are seamless.

SAP Omnichannel Banking


Banks continue to spend significant amounts on harmonizing programmed access to back-end systems. And these usually get slotted under SOA initiatives. However, these SOA initiatives are only part of the story. They do not provide a mechanism for delivering an optimized, consistent experience across multiple channels.

For example, if a customer is given an offer for a line of credit on her mobile phone, she can accept it. However, the origination process requires multiple steps. These steps may involve a tablet, a PC, a call center, or a branch visit. At each of these customer touch points, it is important to leverage the data the customer shares with the bank. When a customer has a question, the callcenter representative should have access to the details of the customer’s previous interactions. With this type of insight, banks can drive efficiency across channels and make monetization a real possibility.

To realize this vision of harmonized interactions across customer touch points, the bank needs an omnichannel strategy that places customer centricity at the core.



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