October 11, 2018The Secret to Serving the “Emerging Affluent” in the Digital Age

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Imagine you’ve recently inherited a large sum of money and have gone from being part of the mass market, people who have less than £100,000 in liquid assets, to being part of the mass affluent, meaning you have between £100,000 to £1 million in liquid assets. You now need different banking products to manage your newfound wealth.


How can your bank guide you, a new member of the mass affluent, to the most suitable products?


The answer is simple:


“Reboarding” and Transition

Your bank needs to be ready to support an easy “reboarding” and figure out how to offer you the right products and services as you move from the retail to the mass affluent market. The way in which banks should support this transition has changed. Baby boomers may make up 47% of affluent investors, but millennials and Gen X investors together also make up 47% of these investors. Millennials and Gen Xers have a very different view of how they want to be served than the generations before. For instance, they tend to be more tech savvy and digitally mature, and they seek out digital engagement more often.


Identifying Customers’ Needs

Delivering to the emerging affluent sounds all nice and easy in theory. But how can banks offer you what you need while helping you best manage your finances? First off, banks need to identify your needs. They can do this by asking you a series of questions that aren’t specifically related to banking products. Like asking you about what types of things you like to do in your life, what your hobbies are, what you do in the evening after work, if you commute to work by Uber, taxi, car, or public transportation, and so on.


Based on your answers, the bank can now create a profile and figure out what types of products most interest you. The bank can also integrate third-party providers, such as ID verification, digital signature, or even a machine learning service. With a machine learning service like the Amazon AI server, for example, the bank can provide the information it’s gathered about you and let the machine learn from this information as well as from the products you choose.


Continuous Onboarding and Non-Annoying Data Gathering

Once you’ve chosen your products, a banking relationship manager gets in touch with you, and then you get to decide if you want to fill out the forms online or if you prefer to work in person. Because your circumstances and needs will continue to evolve over time, your bank will be equipped to “continuously” onboard you, inviting you from time to time to come back and browse new products.


One important aspect of continuous onboarding is data gathering. How annoying is it when you have to reenter your information for a bank that’s already asked for it in the past? Exactly, very annoying. And unnecessary! Once data is captured, the bank should have it indefinitely. Relationship managers also shouldn’t have to waste their time reentering data. This goes for legal and compliance checks, too; automating these as much as possible should be a given. When a bank can pull this off, they’ll be facilitating a seamless customer journey and they’ll have a very happy customer on their hands.


The “Amazon Shopping Experience”

And when it comes to shopping online for a banking product, it should align with what customers already experience when they use any shopping website: the “Amazon shopping experience.” When you shop online, you go on a website and search a company’s products, browse their selection, choose items for your shopping cart, and check out. If you can do this when shopping for a pair of new shoes, why shouldn’t you be able to do this when shopping for your latest banking package? You no longer have to begin a banking relationship by registering with the bank, setting up IDs, and only then choosing your products.


Digital Banking Platform

A digital banking platform is the way to turn the entire scenario I’ve just laid out into a reality. It connects the disconnected by connecting the bank to the customer, the various siloed departments of the bank to each other, the different business lines, and different data and technology service providers that can enhance the customer journey at various stages of the customer lifecycle. With the right platform, banks can gain a lot: cost optimization, transformed customer experience, digital empathy, as well as access to new revenue streams.


Watch our webinar recording, Using AI and Intelligent Process Automation to Engage Emerging Affluent Customers

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Written byJürg TrunigerProduct Marketing Lead, Appway