How digitisation is opening up a new frontier in banking


For much of the past year Nedbank Corporate Investment Bank (NCIB) has been rolling out a concept it calls ‘Warm Digital’ that automates many routine tasks, simplifies the client experience and blends it with enhanced face-to-face interaction.

Warm Digital is based on a deep understanding of client needs from client feedback interviews and surveys.

Though online banking has been a huge step forward for business efficiency, the range of banking products on offer has become ever more complex and unwieldy – and confusing to clients.

That’s part of the problem NCIB set out to solve.

Products are generally designed in-house by people who understand banking, rather than the problems businesses are trying to solve. There’s a vast and often complex range of products that clients have to study up before making a choice.

Think of that as banking 2.0 – a wide choice of products, sorted into silos, with each silo operating more or less independently from the others, and the ability to transact online. If you had a banking problem you wanted to solve, you chose from one of the silos, logging on each time with a different password and user profile. What banking 2.0 did really well was make it possible to transact safely online, without leaving the office. It’s time wasting and inefficient.

Banking 1.0 was old style bricks and mortar transactional banking.

Warm Digital takes this to a new level by giving the client a single dashboard view of their banking relationship, their local and international transactional accounts, and the ability to maintain their profiles and transact with a single sign-on.

“Warm Digital is a process of digitising how things are done without losing the relationship component. It’s a balance of these two components,” says Rui Paixao, digital channel executive at NCIB.

“The whole idea was to eliminate waste and inefficiency out of the process, which is what we have done.

“It’s been running for much of the past year and we have been onboarding clients for most of 2022. We have also recently incorporated the global transactional component as part of the Nedbank Business Hub, further enhancing the capabilities offered through the hub.”

The response from clients has been positive, says Paixao. Warm Digital is an evolutionary process that will continue to build on the foundational blocks already in place.

“In the initial phases, we focused on the security layers, now we’ve migrated functional components that make it easier for customers to transact online while boosting the human interaction with our relationship managers.”

Previously, each product channel had its own security protocols, which meant clients had to log in and out of one channel before accessing another.

Now they have a single sign-in, giving them a full view of their relationship with the bank, all undergirded by the same robust security.

In practical terms, it means clients are able to service themselves online for approximately 90% of their needs and call on a relationship manager for the remaining 10%.

There’s less requirement for signatures and juggling passwords, creating time efficiencies and a more seamless interaction with the bank.

Another benefit for clients is gaining a better understanding of working capital requirements by having a consolidated view of their banking position. That translates into better interest earnings on deposits.

Crucially, there is no increase in banking costs by migrating to Warm Digital.

Clients can open a new account online within minutes once the Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering procedures have been completed. They can sign on to the Nedbank Business Hub with a single sign-in, view their domestic and international transactional accounts, apply for new products and services, and take care of most of their banking needs themselves.

They no longer see separate product channels, only a single, consolidated view of their banking position.

That’s not to downgrade the importance of the relationship manager, says Paixao.

“We know from client feedback that they value the human relationship side of banking. No matter how far we go down the digital path, clients want to deal with a person who understands them and their business. We have strengthened that relationship, while using digitisation as much as we can to simplify and automate the banking experience.”

Brought to you by Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB).

Moneyweb does not endorse any product or service being advertised in sponsored articles on our platform.

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