IT for Improving Customer Experience in Banking

The drive for improving customer experience in banking has pushed many financial institutions to embrace new roles for technology. Over the last two years, Bank of America has introduced a range of new services that integrate a range of mobile, communication, and interactive technologies. From back-end infrastructure upgrades to front-facing customer technologies, Bank of America is investing in a range of ways to touch customers in a positive engagement.

“They’re comparing us to Apple and Amazon and the premium customer service organizations,” says Hari Gopalkrishnan, Bank of America’s Director of e-commerce, architecture, and consumer segments technology.[1] “People don’t live to bank; financial institutions are there to serve their day-to-day needs. We have to be humble and recognize we need to be relevant and in the context of what they do when they want to do it.”[2]

Technologies for Improving Customer Experience in Banking

Here are some of the technology developments Bank of America has introduced or is testing to improve the overall customer experience.

Teller Assist – Now customers have 24/7 access to banking services that previously were limited to inside the bank. With Teller Assist, customers can enjoy checking cashing services at the ATM, plus they have instant access to teller help with a video teller link. One of the infrastructure challenges for this upgrade involves implementing a reliable live video delivery service, which has involved overcoming a range of challenges for the IT team.

Instant Appointments – The convenient and high touch customer experience in an Apple store is coming to banking. When Bank of America customers enter some branches, they are met by a bank representative with a tablet who finds out their banking needs and then directs them appropriately or schedule an instant appointment, so the customer doesn’t have to wait in a line.

Mobile Help – If a mobile customer has a problem with their balance or some other issue related to their account, they can press a button on the app and be instantly connected to a call enter agent who can help address their concern.

Bank of America utilizes a program called Momentum to drive new ideas throughout the organization. “Typically, when you think of idea generation you think of people sitting in front of a white board and coming up with lots of interesting ideas and brainstorming,” Gopalkrishnan says. “Momentum goes a step further. We lock the most talented people on the business and development side into a room for a week to come up with ideas. A week later, we have 20 prototypes of working code for iPhone, iPad and Android devices that you can kick the tires of. It’s taking agile and accelerating it to the next level.”[2]

[1] Stephanie Overby. Banking Gets a Face-Lift.” CIO Magazine, February 1, 2014.

[2] Penny Crossman. “B of A’s Gopalkrishnan Uses ‘Hackathons’ to Create Mobile Apps.” American Banker, June 3, 2013.