Creating NextGen Digital Solution
Jan Antoš, Executive director
Digital banking products have more to them than just helping move your sales to an online form. What we are aiming at is pushing the limits of possibility – both technical and regulatory. Advanced technologies may transform some of the traditional approaches to banking products. Our ambition is to implement such new technologies and to pioneer the progress.
Nowadays, everyone is going digital, opening accounts and/or offering loans online – the majority of banks offer (or offered) such products, but they mostly do nothing but copy the market. We call this “ordinary” digitalisation, meaning that financial institutions would just use routine patterns to migrate their existing processes online. The first online products were no doubt groundbreaking, but that was back in 2016. It was then that we developed a process for Česká spořitelna to establish a client online and to grant a loan to such client.
Working jointly with EY, we found a way to overcome many obstacles that seemed insuperable at the time (online identity, online signature, scoring based on online data only, instant payments, personal ID documents online processing, etc.). Ever since then, however, the process is iterated again and again as it is and the groundbreaking effect is lost.
We want to push the limits…
We in Trask hate to just reiterate previous solutions. It bores us to death. We strive to always push the limits of possibility. And the result? A NextGen digital products design. NextGen, or Next Generation, is a brand new design of how a process, a product or acquiring a product can work. We have brought this solution because we find that it is quite challenging for product managers to come up with a new design. Of course, they focus on the development in their field of interest and they simply cannot follow every new trend in technologies. Still, if you put together an experienced product manager and a tech enthusiast, you are very likely to get a wholly transformed process. And that’s what our NextGen is.
Our current offer includes, for instance, a ready-made solution for online mortgages. We call it a “standard” solution, because we have used time-tested components to transfer the mortgage- -getting process fully online. However, there is also our new NextGen mortgage design. Compared with the “standard” online mortgage, NextGen makes getting a mortgage even more easy for clients. How is that possible? Designing NextGen, we have followed the rule that the less effort it costs a user to satisfy their need, the better. Whatever can be checked, calculated, determined, assessed or established in the background, we do it for the user.
We do not trouble the client with things that can be done in advance or at a later stage. It must look like an iPhone on the outside – just smooth. No details and almost buttonless. We always ask ourselves: “Can this be done in zero clicks?” Very often, the answer is: “Yes.” Can you pay without clicking? Yes, e.g. for Uber. Can you do your shopping within half a second? Yes, e.g. with the Amazon Dash button…
NextGen solutions must bring groundbreaking ideas to clients and banks alike. With NextGen mortgages, our ambition was to enhance the number of potential clients at the start of the process by 400 per cent. And we made that, even though it required certain level of courage from the bank that was interested to implement such solution. Anyway, what but courage will push the limits? There is no innovation without courage!
New Technologies – And What Else?
What matters most is a constant, obstinate pressure and asking questions such as: “Does this really need to be there?” Instead of inventing reasons why this or that cannot be done, instead of compromising, we look for a solution. We always oppose the assertion: “But this really needs to be there.” We check the laws and dig deep to find the roots of each traditional process – is this done this way now because the legislation expressly requires so? Or is it done this way because it was the only way to comply with the law back when modern technologies were not at hand? Is there no other way how to get this information? Does it really need to be so precise? Perhaps heuristics will do the job just as well? Surprisingly enough, they often do… It is an exhausting struggle, but we will help you win. Our people understand regulatory matters and legislation and together we can find a way how to make things simple.
Which new technologies help us develop NextGen approach?
— NLP (Natural Language Processing): Automated processing of unstructured texts, mostly IDs and documentation.
— Biometry: Allows for borderless cooperation across any distance. Let’s give an example. Currently, we are trying to find out “how to rid bank branches of printers” – i.e. not how to use less paper, but how to not use any paper at all. Is that feasible? And is it feasible within a reasonable amount of time, not years? The answer is: “Yes!”
— Openbanking: Makes available detailed, extensive financial information about a client, supports simultaneous access to several banks at a time.
— Advanced analytics: Allows for data interpretation by methods and at a scale that could not be handled by a human.
— Artificial intelligence (AI): Searches for behavioural patterns, correlations, sets predictors. For the time being, we would employ AI for analytical tasks rather than in specific operational processes. In operational processes, you need to be able to explain your decisions, and that is something AI is not able to do at the moment.
— Advanced image and video processing: Discerns genuine documents from falsified ones, checks photos against client’s likeness, etc. Today’s technologies can often cope with such tasks better than undertrained personnel at a branch would.
— API economy: Provides the ability to combine advanced services and the increasing volumes of data available online, whenever such data are apt for machine processing or at least for capture. Eliminates the need to ask clients for the data.
— Cloud: “Overnight” delivery. We can have our banking projects implemented within two months. Would have sounded like a sci-fi back in the era of waterfall management and on-premise implementations, wouldn’t it?
— Online cooperation: Documents, shared screen, video. Better than having to actually visit a consultant or a bank branch.
— Wearables and IoT: When even using a phone is a nuisance. Wearables eliminate another click or gesture. That definitely does not sound very impressible, but the outcome in terms of client acceptation is wonderful.
— Process discovery: Eliminates those steps in a process that are rare or otherwise questionable. Accelerates and automates processes, eliminates errors and visibly improves client experience. Even less interaction is required from a client to satisfy their needs.
— Online analytics: Allows literally to tailor products to the measure. Also, it helps find where online screenflow can be made even simpler, faster and clearer. That is the key added value of online analytics.