6 Initiatives of Banks in converting Investments into lower Distribution Costs

1. Understand customer’s current channel/transaction behaviour and their attitude

2. Sophisticated customer research to analyse the impact of tactics to change that behaviour

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3. Develop integrated channel integration migration plan so that the economic and non-economic incentives are used to target the right initiatives for the right customer.

4. Protect sales effectiveness by utilising the ability of non-branch channels to select prospects and differentiate the marketing message

5. Design non-branch channels to emphasize personalised interactions to counteract decreased loyalty among remote customers

6. Develop tracking mechanisms to allow you to assess and revise your migration strategy on an ongoing basis.

The goal of all banks is to convert “all things to all people” branches into a highly differentiated system for delivery of products. The promise of lower transaction costs increased sales productivity and more convenient services, lured banks into multiple channel banking. In comparison to international counterparts, banks in India are still to exploit technology more substantially. However, in spite of their advantages reliance on technology-based channels exacerbates traditional risks:

a. Operational Risks: Since it necessitates changes in processes, procedures

b. Reputational Risks: If it fails to deliver secure, accurate timely service

c. Legal: Uncertainty as to which legislation applies to E-transactions

d. Emergence of other risks: Business and Credit Risks

Bankers will have to take a comprehensive view of Delivery Channels, which till now were considered in terms of cost and technology. However, with more advances in wireless technology, flexibility of channels should be the forte of the banks. Banks will need to build integrated delivery channels with both horizontal and vertical integration and for which the bank has to have a multi-channel platform for seamless integration.

In today’s distributed computing, retail users will be happy to have a one-password sign-on facility, at the ATM, Web, etc. The process cycle of such as “Sign-on” should be such that once the PIN is entered, all channels can be accessed.

In short the Bank must have a comprehensive system, which will allow them to deliver dynamic end-to-end service that can reshape customer base, maximize cross-selling opportunities and return a positive ROI.

Retail banking is a very exciting business to be in if the various aspects are properly analyzed, understood and considered in decision-making. One of the well- tested ways of transforming an organization towards the path of retail banking is making an attempt towards creating a marketing oriented organization. In this, strategic marketing tools at Strategic (Bank level), Tactical (Branch level) and Functional Level (product, Service level) can be extremely useful.

Thus, a Strategic Marketing Plan embracing these 3 Levels can pull the entire organization towards a market savvy environment. The other important aspect is CORPORATE CULTURE. Literature on corporate culture emphasizes that the shared values, common beliefs and behaviour of a company take a considerable amount of time and effort to change. Cultural dimension is often the most important link in the organizational value chain, requiring massive efforts towards reorientation for customer focused business.