Case Study

Why real-time customer journey curation is the future of banking

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The better the question

How can banks’ digital agendas reframe their visions of tomorrow?

Traditional banks must rethink how their digital agendas work for customers today and tomorrow.

Banks today are in a perpetual race to address current and future customer needs using yesterday’s technology. Changing customer behaviors mean banks need to continually curate unique journeys and propositions to meet evolving customer expectations. Knowing they need to offer more contextual and personalized services is one thing – delivering a superior digitized customer experience is another.

COVID-19 has accelerated banks’ digital agendas. The EY Future Consumer Index indicates that because of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, the switch to digital banking may become permanent for some customers, with almost 40% of respondents expecting to bank online more over the next 24 months.

As a result, banks need to rethink their digital transformation journeys to capture new growth opportunities and unlock greater value for customers now and beyond.

One Tier 1 global bank recognized that, to do this successfully, it needed to collaborate with a trusted partner who could address evolving customer needs and turn them into viable opportunities for the bank. Moreover, the right partner needed to deliver the bank’s vision of how it could become a future-ready, digital bank using sophisticated technology and banking architecture that would differentiate it from its competitors.

Our team set to work with the bank’s senior leadership to challenge the obvious and reimagine how a future-ready bank could transform the end-to-end customer journey. Together with the leadership team, we collaborated to build a vision of what their future-ready technology would look like.

The bank needed a platform that could solve the customer problems of today but could quickly reconfigure technology to address emerging customer needs of tomorrow.

We soon realized that what was needed was a shift from a traditional product-centric and project-centric approach to a proposition-centric approach that would deliver tailored, intelligent customer experiences, underpinned by a future-ready technology architecture and design. To ensure maximum flexibility, this would require an enduring, long-term capability to enable the design and engineering of real-time solutions to individual customer needs – and the flexibility to adapt and evolve as those needs change over time.

To deliver such a radically new way of offering banking services would require a fundamental change to the bank’s existing technology and architecture.

We embarked on a journey to create a world where the bank could provide more customer-centric propositions, delivered in real-time, using rich, data-driven insights, underpinned by sophisticated technology and architecture.
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The better the answer

A scalable, real-time, event driven digital banking platform

EY Nexus for Banking provides real-time, digital customer engagement using context and data to generate intelligent and actional insights.

At its core, EY Nexus for Banking is a cloud-native, highly resilient platform comprising modular architectural building blocks. These building blocks work in harmony to absorb transactional data from banks, or third parties through open banking, to provide contextual and tailored insights. Using advanced machine learning models, it generates real-time, tailored insights and integrates domain-specific data services into banks’ channels in real-time, within context.

A modular approach to generating in-the-moment insights

The Nexus platform’s flexibility allowed us to employ enriched contextual and transaction data in response to streaming events, developing actionable insights for the right customers in the right channels, and at the right time.

Crucially, these customer journeys weren’t just hypothetical, but were based on a clear understanding of customers’ recent financial interactions and histories. The underpinning platform collated fit-for-purpose data from various sources, including real-time event streams, to address each customer’s unique set of needs, based on marketing preferences and consent.

This enduring, sustainable capability to identify priority customer journeys marked a defining moment for the bank and a direct departure from building campaigns around specific banking products.

Now, customers are nudged along their preferred banking journey via a highly sophisticated set of enabling components (i.e. building blocks) that are assembled to drive a unique approach for every customer. This customer-centric flexibility means the platform propels business prioritized journeys for today (e.g., home loans or cards) while supporting emerging use cases for tomorrow (e.g., fraud analytics or deposits) – among many other adaptive, personalized solutions.

Real-time is a term that everybody talks about but unless it includes the right time, place, channel, context and customer solution, it won’t work. All of those elements have to work in harmony for it succeed.

A working digital world

The deployment of the Nexus for Banking platform involved the amalgamation of EY teams from three different countries, multiple time zones, and everyone working in an “all remote” world.

COVID-19 completely changed the aspiration for any co-location (agile ways of working) and forced the team to work in an entirely new way. Instead of working as co-located teams, the team ended up working across more than 250 locations (i.e. home offices). In effect, as well as developing flexible, adaptable solutions for the bank’s customers, the team has had to develop similarly flexible solutions for how they worked together and collaborated with various distributed teams, working remotely from their home offices.

In practical terms, the teams were organized into ‘chapters and squads’ with every squad comprising 8-10 cross functional practitioners, working towards a common goal. The squads are self-steering, autonomous teams with clear responsibilities for their respective product backlogs. The chapters are groups of functional specialists working across squads, to determine how jobs should be done (e.g. product and platform, architecture and design, build and deploy, validate and test, operate and run).

The team also embraced DevSecOps in practice, which underpins engineering capabilities with a clear focus on velocity, process efficiency and shift-left testing. This increased collaboration across cross-functional teams, and use of automation within DevSecOps pipelines.

Working together with the bank as one cohesive team to an enduring model means that everyone is focused on delivering the components of a future-ready bank, at scale.

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The better the world works

A future-ready digital bank fit for the age of personalization

EY teams have helped the bank reimagine how it can best serve ever-evolving real-time customer needs.

EY’s Nexus for Banking now forms the backbone of a service that continuously adapts and evolves. The platform helps the bank to deliver highly advanced, digitally native propositions using enabling components as building blocks that are reusable across the enterprise. It has enabled the bank to progressively employ more sophisticated, progressive architecture across its entire technology footprint, embracing advancements in technology and engineering to deliver cloud-native applications.

This is a real differentiator for the bank – a step-change from its legacy technologies and a project-based delivery model that could only offer finite value. The platform will continue to progressively deliver future-ready technology capabilities, enabling the client to become a digital bank of the future.

The brilliant thing about Nexus for Banking is that it's a platform, not a single solution. It’s not a piece of software with specific business functionality.

By delivering the right insight, to the right customer, in the right channels, the bank will succeed in not only offering a greater experience, but one that could result in a more robust financial ecosystem around each customer throughout each stage of their lives.

This is something that almost every bank is increasingly realizing is going to be essential in a world that even before the arrival of COVID-19 was already seeing banking becoming more digital, and less in-person. With the right technological backbone, the right approach to data, and a continual focus on identifying and serving customer needs with real-time solutions, banks will be able to both adapt to future shocks and provide the more personalized services that are the basis of lasting relationships.

The starting point is to think differently about how banks deliver. EY Nexus for Banking can enable the rest.

Download the complete report, Why real-time customer journey curation is the future of banking

Transforming financial services

EY Nexus is a business transformation platform that accelerates innovation and powers frictionless customer experiences.

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