A good example of this evolution is BMO SmartFolio, one of the best investment experiences in the personal wealth market. Unique in the North American marketplace, it was designed, developed, built and launched in only six months – a fraction of the time it would have taken just a couple of years ago. In the same way as adviceDirect took the guesswork out of self-directed stock picking, SmartFolio, based on our proprietary family of ETFs, helps customers build a personalized portfolio in moments – and build their savings through a smarter experience. If you haven’t had a chance to try it, I highly recommend it.
Our overall digital channels strategy is unfolding at the same rapid pace. In the next few years, we expect to see a further migration of personal service interactions – as much as 50% – from the branch and contact centre to our mobile channels. Customers who prefer to connect with us this way get the quick, satisfying answers and on-the-go self-service tools they’re looking for – with the knowledge that a banker is always there, when they need anything.
We’re also using technology-driven insights to improve the banking experience in areas less visible to customers, such as risk and compliance. Streamlined processes and advanced technology have allowed us to reach key anti-money laundering milestones more quickly, and at a lower cost, than we initially estimated. And just as importantly, the work is yielding deep knowledge about how all of our customers do their banking – and how we can serve them better.
In these examples I’ve highlighted, and many more I could add, the ultimate purpose of technology innovation – and the test of its success – is an enhanced customer experience.
By digitizing our business processes, we enable faster, smoother transactions at a lower cost. But the real goal is to make things easier for our customers: to give them more direct control over the choices they want to make for themselves and to show them that we understand and respect what they value most – their own time.
This isn’t about launching apps and adding convenient features. It’s about saying to customers: “We’re ready to meet you where you are, and when it suits you best, with new tools designed to help you manage your financial life on your terms.”
We all know that our smartphones and tablets are amazing pieces of technology. But for most of us, they’re also an extension of ourselves. They’re how we connect with people we care about, find and purchase things we need, figure out how to get somewhere, and watch everything from last night’s game highlights to a video of the new baby.
And banking belongs there, too.
In helping people to connect with our bank in different ways, we’re more supportive and engaged. And that’s the point: our goal in empowering customers through technology is not to avoid having conversations with them. It’s to have more conversations.
Vancouver Main Branch, Burrard St.
Financial Services Managers training at the BMO Institute For Learning
Management Governance Analyst
Barrie Computer Centre
2015 Technology & Operations annual conference at the BMO Institute For Learning, Toronto, ON
Head Risk and Compliance,
Treasury and Payment Solutions
Peel Branch, Montreal, QC
Trading Floor, Chicago, IL
Data Analytics team meeting, FCP Toronto, ON
BMO Harris Branch, 111 W. Monroe, Chicago, IL
At a bank that has been transformed by technology, branches matter. But the transactions that bring customers into our physical spaces are changing – as are the skillsets of the people who are there to serve them.
You may begin a transaction using your phone, then ask a question and get a response via video chat with a real person. Or there may be a banker next to you, tablet in hand, to see if you need help, and then either show you how to complete the transaction on your mobile device or introduce you to someone else – a mortgage specialist, an investment advisor – for a more in-depth discussion with whoever can provide the guidance you need.
We’re evolving the roles that our frontline employees play – along with the physical footprint of the bank – to complement what can now be delivered to our customers in a more contemporary way, on their favourite device.
And as always, it’s customers who are setting the pace.
We can provide the products and services they need as quickly as they’re ready to adopt them – and as changes in the broader environment, like more available bandwidth, pave the way for further innovation. Because advancing our capabilities with optimal speed does not mean doing things in a tearing rush.
As we enrich the customer experience – and as we limit effort or expense that doesn’t add to that experience – it’s changing how we structure our organization, how we design our branches and offices, and how we do our jobs as bankers.
We’re evolving from linear, sequential tasks to faster, more adaptive processes – and from vertically integrated teams to cross-team collaboration. This creates more meaningful work and greater prospects for personal growth.
We’re also tapping into partnerships with third parties, if they’re using technology in interesting ways that complement our own thinking. And we’re working with our customers in the technology sector, helping them forge partnerships of their own. Collaboration makes sense when we can see the opportunity to speed up change at an advantageous cost.