Self-Service ApplicationsBy Bob Violino | Posted 2009-07-28 Print
Server virtualization, self-service applications and service-oriented architecture give banks and other financial institutions the tools to increase their efficiency, cut costs and boost revenue.
Managers at SunTrust Banks in Atlanta think it’s imperative to provide customers with the ability to access account information and conduct banking transactions via a variety of self-service channels.
The bank is trying to encourage customers to use self-service access methods “while always striving to ensure that they are able to reach a live customer service representative either at a branch or call center for those banking needs that cannot be addressed via the available self-service mechanisms,” says Ginger Schmeltzer, senior vice president of Enterprise Payments Strategy at SunTrust. “Now, via Online Banking with Bill Pay, customers can check account balances and transaction history, transfer funds between their SunTrust accounts, pay bills, view online statements, set up e-mail alerts and more.”
One of the bank’s newer offerings is Mobile Banking, which allows eligible clients to use an application downloaded to their mobile devices to securely check account balances and transaction histories, transfer funds between SunTrust accounts and pay bills. “As our clients become more comfortable conducting financial transactions via their mobile devices, we are seeing increased adoption and usage of our Mobile Banking product,” Schmeltzer says.
“We have found that the profitability of our clients increases with growing adoption of our self-service offerings,” she adds. For example, users of online banking and bill paying services maintain higher deposit balances, use more bank products and are more than twice as profitable as offline customers.
“Active usage of our self-service channels also results in lower attrition,” Schmeltzer says. “Offline customers are six times more likely to close their accounts than our clients who are heavy users of Online Banking and Bill Pay.”
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