The days of taking an afternoon off from work to head over to the bank are long gone. Banks have rapidly digitized, offering the vast majority of their services to customers remotely. Now users can save, invest, borrow, and make other financial transactions from the comfort of their smartphone, wherever they are.
Despite this consumer-facing digitization, many banks have clung to the status quo when it comes to their field operations. Such banks still rely on an army of field engineers to fix issues on-site with their ecosystem of devices. They will drive over in their service vehicle to troubleshoot a glitching ATM, repair a self-service kiosk, or correct a smart display projecting incorrect information.
This reliance on field engineers is problematic because these are ultimately more than just hardware issues: They are customer service issues. When an ATM is down, the customer cannot get access to the money they need. When a kiosk needs repair, the customer cannot execute their desired transaction. When a smart display has incorrect information, the customer may be misinformed or misled.
Some leaders in banking might dismiss these issues as mere inconveniences and a necessary evil in an industry that requires so many different touchpoints. But these problems create a disproportionate negative impact on banks in three key ways.
It is expensive to deploy banking hardware across different markets. Banks use associated fees as a means of cost recovery. Withdrawal fees at an ATM, for example, help defray the cost of deploying the machine and maintaining it. When an ATM is down, however, the machine transforms into a pure cost center, providing no revenue to the bank and no value to customers. With a field-based service model, banks will frequently have bricked devices that serve no purpose other than to waste resources.
A bank’s devices exist to alleviate the workload on bank officers and tellers, who can then be reserved for higher level needs. When a device is down, the operational strain on a bank’s workforce increases. Take for example the case of a broken self-service kiosk. When it is not working, those customers will instead head over to the counter to get their transaction done. This doubles the workload of your team, and multiplies it further with each additional inoperable device.
When a customer chooses a bank, he is entrusting his most precious resource: his money. Banks should treat this as a sacred responsibility, one that they should strive to uphold. When banks allow their machines to go inoperable, as in the case of an out-of-order ATM, they violate this covenant. Customers may view the bank as an irresponsible steward of customer funds, and if they are continually denied access to their money, they may understandably take their business elsewhere.
Relying on a field-based service model, in short, is tantamount to operating with a handicap: Banks operate slower, damage their brand, and lose money.
A better way with Mobile Device Management
Fortunately, banks do not need to continually rely on a field-based service model. In the same manner they transformed their other business operations, so, too, can they transform these field operations. While there are numerous tools to achieve this goal, one of the best is a solution in mobile device management (MDM).
Through an MDM, a bank can remotely access and control all the devices in its ecosystem, including those deployed to sites, such as ATMs, self-service kiosks, and smart displays, as well as those issued to employees, such as smartphones or tablets.
Since more and more devices are running on Android, banks may want to consider AirDroid Business, an MDM that can provide competitive advantage to banks in three distinct ways.
24-7 service window
Companies like Uber and Lyft arguably did not only change ride-hailing, but all of consumer services. Now customers expect everything on-demand, and banking is no exception. While customers may understand there still must be traditional banking hours for in-person transactions, they expect that most other needs can be addressed via their other touchpoints at any time of the day. Banks that fail to deliver on this expectation are rightfully viewed as out-of-touch with what customers need today.
A remote access model ensures that banks can maintain this 24-7 service window. When a touchpoint like an ATM or a self-service kiosk experiences technical issues, remote access software enables banks to skip the usual hassle. They do not have to hang an out-of-order sign on the device, wait to deploy an engineer during business hours, and then painstakingly fix the issue on-site.
With an MDM, banks can quickly identify any devices that have issues through remote access. The bank’s IT team can troubleshoot the problematic device, even if it is unattended. In this way, banks can get devices back into service in real-time, as opposed to the much longer cycle required by field-based support. This will dramatically increase the uptime of the bank’s ATMs, self-service kiosks, and smart signs.
When a bank’s touchpoints are always-on, they will enjoy many benefits. Customers will view them as a trusted bank. The bank will gain some income from devices that charge fees for some services, and they will alleviate operational strain on their workforce by handling some of transactions, issues, or knowledge-sharing via ATMs, self-service kiosks, or smart displays.
Consumer expectations about their personal and financial data have also changed. When digitally-enabled banking first emerged, consumers were somewhat blissfully unaware of all the ways that their data can be exploited. Now that such cybercrime has risen to popular consciousness, consumers demand that banks protect their data.
Unfortunately, some banks are still failing massively in this regard. One major area of weakness is field-based support, which has engineers fixing the device in full public view. In this scenario, any passerby can look at the back-end operations of the bank, which is a major security flaw that exposes the bank’s customers to additional risk.
A much safer option can be provided by MDM. Although the engineer will not be physically with the device during the remote control session, it is much more secure due to the solution’s privacy features.
As an example, AirDroid Business has Black Screen Mode, which grays out what is happening on screen and displays an “Under Maintenance” notice. That way, the IT professional can fix the issue, while any passerby will be none-the-wiser on what is going on. When the problem is solved, the IT professional can toggle Black Screen Mode off and push the device back into service.
Higher level banking
The beauty about employing an MDM for banking is that the advantage is two-fold. One, the use of an MDM dramatically transforms the bank’s devices from unreliable hardware to always-on touchpoints. Two, the increased reliability of this device ecosystem enables the bank’s workforce to focus on higher level tasks, which is not possible in a field-based support model.
When ATMs are down and awaiting on-site repair, customers will head to the counter to process simple transactions. When self-service kiosks are down, customers will head over to a bank officer to initiate a service. When smart displays go awry, these customers will instead pose their queries to the bank’s customer service. The slow nature of field-based support means that a bank’s workforce will be flooded with lower-level transactions that could have otherwise been handled digitally.
MDM removes this operational strain from a bank’s workforce, enabling them to concentrate on more valuable tasks, which is a benefit to both the bank and its customers. For example, the bank can guide more small business owners through the process of lending, help aspiring property-owners with a home loan, or coach would-be college students through educational financing.
This kind of service is infinitely more valuable than dealing with the equivalent of low level tickets and queries. Banks will earn more revenue because this service is for bigger ticket needs, like a business, home, or education. Customers also benefit because these are the critical banking solutions that will facilitate their personal and professional growth.
Avoiding commoditization through digitization
Banking products and services are increasingly commoditized. The interest rates for a basic savings account, for example, will not differ dramatically from one bank to the next. In this kind of environment, banks need to distinguish themselves through their customer-centricity.
A bank’s device ecosystem is an overlooked channel for improved customer service. By moving away from a slow, field-based support model to a remote access model powered by an MDM, banks can ensure that their devices reach peak uptime. This uptime will translate into more revenue, operational efficiency, and brand equity.
The implementation of remote access via an MDM will also benefit the bank’s workforce, who can now address the highest level needs of its customers, such as financing for major purchases. By adopting remote access, banks can in fact be nearer and dearer to the hearts of customers, who will appreciate an enterprise that is always available for them. As the saying goes, the greatest ability is availability.