Gen C or Generation Cloud is the new buzz word around the cyber-sphere. But unlike millennials, Gen C is not constrained by age or an era, but are the sum total of their attitudes. They are passionate about the connections, community, content and curation. Relying on peer to peer interactions for decision making, Gen C eschew possessions and boundaries and are comfortable with a borderless world.
So how can you expect bankers in their pinstripe suite and stiff upper lip to connect with the incorrigible young-at- heart?
It becomes highly imperative for banks to transform their products, services and processes to reach out to future customers with a more itinerant but connected lifestyle
Riding the mobile highway
Digital self-service is the way go and banks need to embrace this shift in the market. A 100% digital bank that offers banking operations remotely with fewer documentation, simpler subscription and social media presence is an imperative. Instant services are the mantra for the digital natives and they are getting more comfortable with AI and Robohelp, if it means less paper work. Chatbots, instant messaging platforms, real time financial advisory and multi-lingual support are high on Gen C’s banking wishlist.
Connecting through social media
Gen C spend more than 60% of their waking hours on social media and they expect their community to do so to. These digital natives are looking for sound financial advice and are comfortable with virtual advisors for assistance. Research points out that Gen C will be the real Gen D or “Generation Debt.” With credit cards, mortgages and student loans, these entrepreneurial generation will be looking for personal and professional advice from the bank. Social media advisors with targeted communication about vexing financial problems of the generation will be the sure shot way to reach out and engage with the cloud generation.
Banks are realizing that social media is more than a marketing and branding tool. It is emerging as a transaction hub with immense data crunching ability. Banks are integrating social media data to understand users at the granular level and create financial advisory and product bundles to maximize reach.
The banking and financial sector are responding effectively to put Gen C at the heart of banking. Traditional banking products and strategies based on market based interest rates are putting their onus on consumer centric banking with new age technology and digitization.
Open Banking, Open API’s entrenching customer centricity
European banking system has responded well to the Gen C requirements through the PSD1 and PSD2 guidelines. At the start of the millennium, PSD1 opened up banking to new technological avenues that culminated in zero branch practices. Internet and mobile banking strategies proved to be attractive to the millennials who were warming up to the internet. Today PSD2 is bringing in the concept of open banking where in Fintech and banks are collaborating through open API’s to deliver customer-pleasing services.
This opens an entirely new market for technology based advisors to compare financial products and tailor the best option for consumers considering their portfolio in its entirety. Banks can also win by opening up innovative APIs for the advisors to add sophistication to their offering.
Open banking leading up to borderless banking The European model has opened up a new dimension in banking and financial services. It won’t be surprising to soon find other aspiring economies follow the European model to remove friction in their banking system and ease out financial transactions.
Financial institutions across the world are working hard to remove hassles from their operations and systems to meet Gen C’s demands for instant gratification. New age economies are toeing this line with standardization of financial protocols, connecting systems within and across the domestic network. Organizational and cross border technology relationships are driving instant delivery of automated services. SEPA is a good example where countries of European Union have come together to deliver instant payments between banks across the EU countries. It is widely believed that Distributed Transaction Ledgers (DTL) will play a big role in bringing about cross border financial automation.
With PDS2 Banks will allow fin-tech companies to build upon their infrastructure new collaborative digital capabilities. So basic banking services like transferring money or online bill pay will become commoditized services delivered by third parties. Even you Facebook, Twitter or Apple Mac-environment will be your favourite place to pay your bills.
Traditional banking is in its death throes. Banks will re-define itself as a premier financial advisor and community organizer where Gen C will reach for money matters.
Banks as a hub for money matters
Tomorrow belongs to a collaborative banking community. Gen C will be paying utility bills, credit card mortgages, buying groceries or school tuition through a single window. Mo more cluttering your phones with millions of apps to access services………. Your favourite community will be your bank.
Crucial amenities like instant fund transfers, investment guides, online wallets are gaining traction. Personalized services are emerging everywhere; customers are paying the rent, farmers are procuring seeds and manure, entrepreneurs are shopping for capital and citizens are gaining access to smart services.
Balaji is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Evolvus Solutions Pvt Ltd. He plays a critical role in anchoring strategic priorities for the company to gain leadership position in the payments domain.