Internet Banking: Relevance in a Changing World

Surprising, but true – Internet-based activity is not the preserve of the young “digital native” generation alone. A 2008 survey says that Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1976) uses Internet banking significantly more than any other demographic segment, with two thirds of Internet users in this age group banking online.

Gen X users have also professed their preference for applications such as Facebook, to share, connect and be part of a larger community.

This is some irony in this, since online banking, as we know it today, offers minimal interactivity. Unlike in a branch, where the comfort of two way interaction facilitates the consummation of a variety of transactions, the one way street of e-banking has only managed to enable the more routine tasks, such as balance enquiry or funds transfer.

It’s not hard to put two and two together. A clear opportunity exists for banks that can transform today’s passive Internet banking offering into one that provides a more widespread and interactive customer experience.

It is therefore imperative that banks transform their online offering, such that it matches the new expectations of customers. Moreover, Internet banking must journey to popular online customer hangouts, rather than wait for customers to come to it.

There are clear indications that the shift towards a “next generation” online banking environment has already been set in motion. It is only a matter of time before these trends become the norm.

Leveraging of Social Networks

Forward thinking banks are leveraging existing social networks on external sites to increase their visibility among interested groups. They are also deploying social software technology on their own sites to engage the same communities in two way discussions. Thus, their Internet banking has assumed a more pervasive persona – customers are engaging with the bank, along with its products and services even when they’re not actually transacting online.

Heightened visibility apart, banks can gain tremendous customer insight from such unstructured, informal interactions. For example, a discussion on the uncertain financial future among a group of 18 to 25 year olds could be a signal to banks to offer long term investment products to a segment that was previously not considered a target. Going one step further, a positive buzz around a newly launched service can create valuable word-of-mouth advertising for the business.

Collaborating through Web 2.0

The collaborative aspect of Web 2.0 applications has enabled banks to draw customers inside their fold more than ever before. Traditional methods such as focus group discussions or market research suffer from the disadvantages of high cost, limited scope and potential to introduce bias. Feedback forms merely serve as a post-mortem. In contrast, Web 2.0 has the ability to carry a vast audience along right from the start, and continue to do so perpetually. Thus, an interested community of prospects and customers participate in co-creating products and services which can fulfil their expectations.

The pervasiveness of Web 2.0 enables delivery of e-banking across multiple online locations and web-based gadgets such as Yahoo!Widgets, Windows Live or the iPhone. This means next generation online banking customers will enjoy heightened access and convenience

A New York based firm of analysts found that 15% of the 70 banks tracked by them had adopted Web 2.0, a number of them having done so within the last 12 months.

Standard Chartered Bank employees connect with their colleagues through Facebook and use the platform to share knowledge, clarify questions and participate in discussions on ongoing company activities.

Bank of America, Wachovia Bank and Commonwealth Credit Union have built a presence within interactive media to create awareness and keep up a dialogue with interested communities. They have employed a variety of methods, ranging from creating YouTube communities to launching campaigns on Current TV, a channel in which viewers determine content.

Personalisation of Online Banking

Vanilla e-banking divides customers into very large, heterogeneous groups – typically, corporate, retail or SME, with one type of Internet banking page for each. That’s in sharp contradiction to how banking organisations would like to view their clientele. Banks are moving towards customer-specificity, almost viewing each client as a “segment of one”, across other channels, and online banking is set to follow suit. For instance, a specific home page for home loan customers and another for private banking clients could well be a possibility in future.

Interestingly, National Bank of Kuwait had the foresight to do this several years ago – they enabled customers to determine which products they would view and access, and were rewarded with a dramatic increase in online transactions.

Money Monitor from Yes Bank allows customers to choose their landing page – for example, they can set “all transactions”, “net worth” or “portfolio” as their default view. Other features include the ability to categorise transactions as per customers’ convenience and the printing of custom reports.

Empowerment Online

Beyond doubt, Internet banking has created a more informed, empowered class of customers. This is set to climb to the next level once customers are allowed to proactively participate in many more transaction-related processes. The Internet has already made it possible for customers to compare product loan offerings, simulate financial scenarios and design custom retirement portfolios. Going forward, they would be able to consummate related transactions – which means, after comparing interest rates, they could originate a loan online, and once secured, they can begin to repay it online as well.

Portalisation

The emergence of Web 2.0 technology coupled with banks’ desire to personalise their e-banking to the highest degree is likely to result in “portalisation” of Internet banking. The idea of banking customers being able to create their own spaces online, filled with all that is relevant to them, is not that far-fetched. Customers can personalise their Internet banking page to reflect the positions of multiple accounts across different banks; they could include their credit card information, subscribe to their favourite financial news, consolidate their physical assets position, share their experiences with a group and do more – all from one “place”.

Money Monitor enables customers to add multiple “accounts” (from a choice of 9,000) to their page. Accounts could be savings or loan accounts with major Indian banks, or those with utilities providers, credit card companies, brokerage firms and even frequent flyer programs. Users can customise their pages as described earlier.

As banks seek to develop their Internet banking vision for the future, in parallel, they will also need to address the key issues of security and “due defence”. While it is every marketer’s dream to have customers work as ambassadors, adequate precaution must be taken to prevent the proliferation of malicious or spurious publicity. Therefore, before an individual is allowed to participate in a networking forum, he or she must have built up a favorable track record with the bank. The individual must be a recognized customer of the bank, having used a minimum number of products over a reasonable length of time. Qualitative information about the person’s interaction with the bank’s support staff (for example frequency and type of calls made to their call centre, outcome of such interaction and so on) may be invaluable in profiling the “right” type of customer who can be recruited as a possible advocate.

Collaborative Web 2.0 applications may necessitate opening up banks’ websites to outside technology and information exchange with third party sites, raising the spectre of data and infrastructure security. A robust mechanism of checks and balances must be built to ensure that the third party sites are secure, appropriately certified and pose no threat to the home banks’ sites. Likewise, before a third party widget is allowed to be brought on to a site, it must have passed through stringent security control.

Due diligence must be exercised before permitting users to place a link to another site to guard against the possibility of inadvertent download of malicious software, which could, in the worst case, even result in phishing originating from the banks’ sites.

It is equally important for a bank to guard its customers against invasion of privacy, data theft or misuse. The concept of portalisation envisages deploying technology to bring information from other banks’ or financial service providers’ websites into the home bank’s site. The home bank must ensure that its customers’ personal or transaction related information, which may be shared with the other providers, is not susceptible to leakage or outright misuse.

Banks will do well to partner with an Internet banking solution provider which has not only the expertise to translate their vision into a cutting edge e-banking experience for the user, but also the foresight to define boundaries for safety. With security concerns adequately addressed, next generation Internet banking is full of exciting possibilities. Banks that seize the opportunity may find that Internet banking can become a means of differentiating themselves from competitors, rather than a mere cost cutting tool. Clearly, providing a more powerful and interactive e-banking experience, is the way forward.

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Questions About You Must Know the Answers To

The Rights of Maritime Workers

Most countries are experiencing an increased demand for maritime workers. Some people fear to take training that will lead them to maritime jobs. Workers in the maritime industry are exposed to a large number of risks. Understanding the rights of the workers can help to reduce fear among learners to take out the maritime courses. Workers get to have peace of mind with a proper understanding of their rights within the maritime jobs. People can create interest with maritime jobs by reading maritime worker injuries to get a proper understanding of their rights enabling them to have peace of mind.

Individuals working in the maritime industry are protected certain laws. People injured within the workplace due to the negligence of other individuals are entitled to compensation according to Jones act. The workers should be compensated for medical expenses. Pain and suffering of the workers are among the issues that need to be compensated. Present and future loss of wages need to be compensated. The workers should visit maritime worker injuries learn about other losses which need to be compensated. Employers need to have proper understanding of the employee rights to avoid financial losses.

Employers are liable for ensuring the safety of the equipment and proper working conditions. Workers should be trained on the requirements for the given positions. The companies are liable in case of assault of the employees by their co-workers. Proper working conditions is a necessity for the maritime workers. The warning signs should be properly placed for visibility by the workers. Companies should consider maritime worker injuries to understand their responsibilities in ensuring employee safety. Overtime resulting in fatigue calls for compensation of the employees.

The cure and maintenance require employees to get compensation regardless of the incidents in which the accident occurred as long as it’s within their duties. Rent and food of the injured are covered according to maintenance and cure. Marine workers dealing with navigable Waters are entitled to compensation according to the Longshore and harbor workers policies. In case of disabilities, the employees are entitled to compensation. In case of death the dependents such as spouses and children should be compensated according to maritime worker injuries.

In case of accidents the maritime workers should be aware of the right procedures to follow for their compensation. Experienced maritime attorneys are of great importance for the workers to achieve their compensation in case of accidents within their duties. Information regarding the right procedures for the maritime to get compensated can be acquired from maritime worker injuries. Employee should give priority to reputable maritime attorneys.

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: 10 Mistakes that Most People Make

Why It Is Vital To Rely On A Skilled Pool Construction Lead| Why It Is Important To Rely On A Leading Pool Construction Company |Benefits Of Choosing A Reliable Pool Construction Company

Several people want to construct a pool in their home, and other people want pools in their hotels and schools. It takes time, skill and effort to construct the pool, and it needs to be done in the right manner. Settling the leading pool construction company will make it easy to get the best outcome. It is essential to secure the reliable pool construction company in order to get excellent leads. You want to get good value for your cash and have a pool, which shall enable one to secure the best offer. Simply choose the efficient construction company and have the ideal outcome.

Investing in the right pool construction company, you will find there are different portfolios and you stand to secure the right leads. One needs to make sure they invest in the trusted lead, you will have the capacity of ending up with the best offers. This means clients will invest in the provider who shall create the pool in the manner they want. Failing to check portfolios making it hard to secure the leading construction team.

There are different types of swimming pools and one needs to know the one they need to have. You now have the chance of getting the infinity pools. These days, you realize several hotels will invest in the Olympic pools. There are different types of pools ranging from salt water pool, plunge pool and the lap pool. Once you take time and invest in the different leads, you have the opportunity of making the right choice.

Applications are easy to use making it easy for many clients to sample different designs ideal for their homes, or hotels. Several people are investing in the trusted pool construction company, which shall make it easy to access the plans. The applications will come in handy towards enabling clients to get the designs and star the construction.

Budgeting is a good move for many people since it allows one to initiate the project when they have secured sufficient funds. You find there are cases of stalled projects due to lack of funds. Simply connect to the reliable provider in order to start the construction when ready. By consulting the pool construction company, you have the opportunity of knowing all about the budget and know the right time to start construction. Once you invest in the right provider, you will know the right materials to use.

One needs to invest in a provider, who shall invest in the maintenance of the pool. It is the duty of the pool construction company to handle the different repairs and ensure the pool is in good state. Several clients are finding it ideal when they choose the leading provider who will make sure the pool remains in good state. This has led many people to invest in the best pool construction company in order to secure the best leads.

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8 Lessons Learned:

Your Guide to Building Storage Units

Currently, the self-storage industry is booming, and it is possible that you want to venture into a self-storage business or you want to build some storage units for your personal use. You need to know various things before you venture into building self-storage units so that you take the right steps. You first need to consider various things before you build. Some factors such as location, especially for a business, matter since they will affect the accessibility levels as well as the availability of room for growth. You also need to look at the economic feasibility of building your self-storage units to be sure that you have a profitable business and you can afford taking care of the project. The team that you are going to work with to complete the project is also something essential to think about because it can affect the success of the project. It can be a tall order for you to build the units all by yourself, and you should get the right team to work with so that you will do this well and on time.

It is necessary to start with setting a budget before you start building self-storage units. You need to determine how much you can afford to spend on self-storage units before you can project. Some of the expenses involved in building self-storage units are the costs of land, materials, and hiring. Be sure to set apart an amount that is suitable for the project you want to carry out and give yourself an allowance so that any variances will be taken care of without struggle.

You also need to write a business plan. When you are building self-storage units as a business, you need to have a detailed business plan that indicates the vision of the project and will also help you with guidelines to follow when continuing with the project. You can benefit from having a business plan if you need to borrow money for the project because it will help you get financing.

It is necessary to choose a location wisely so that you can benefit the most from the self-storage units. You have to think about the square feet that you will need as well as the preferred place for the units.

It is also necessary to think about your unit mix. Think about the different types of units that you want to have, different sizes, any special features, and how you want the different units to be accessed.

Hiring the team to work with is the next step to take. It is necessary to determine the kind of assistance that you require so that you get the right people for the job. You can then get to figure out the site layout and keep checking in often to be sure that you’re getting what you wanted.

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