Internet of Things (IoT) and Banking; helping customers bank better by extending the fintech ecosystem

What are the benefits and opportunities for IoT in banking; have we moved from buzzword to business value and how would it change the banking experience?

Accenture’s 2015 mobility research surveyed 2000 execs across 9 industries in 15 countries; 89% believe IoT will have a major impact on their business. The banking perspective is likely to be about improving customer experience through insights, convenience and money management. Additional data points about customer behaviour from connected devices (the “things” in IoT) means we can help customers transact better, save better and bank better. [paragraph 1 of 5]

Specific examples of this might be in a branch where we know a customer has walked in before they speak to a service agent. Proactive face-to-face service is helpfulness 2.0 and builds trust; “good morning Mrs Smith, are you here to collect your debit card that you requested online last night?” Some bank’s ATMs ask what language the customer would like to use (who are you?); FNB’s ATMs know their customer’s most frequent withdrawal amount and offer it as a quick select (how can we help you?) [2/5]

iBeacons are bluetooth sensors that can be picked up by the customer’s banking app on their mobile device when they enter a store (for example). This enables highly customised push messaging, personalised product offers, welcome info, wait times and more. On the spot credit approval linked to time and location based special offers coupled with loyalty programmes starts to create a real shop-better value proposition with significant “braai marketing” equity. [3/5]

Businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit as well from this extended ecosystem of connected and intelligent devices (read here about how FNB’s banking ecosystem supports techpreneurs). Payment innovations like SnapScan, Zappper and Payment Pebble already offer new mobile point of sale solutions for businesses and their customers. Will IoT open up the concept of DaaS (Device as a Service) and go beyond payments in the front office right through to supply chain and operations innovations in the back office? [4/5]

If technology can improve a bank’s helpfulness as well as their customer experience and create rich, actionable insight then the value is clear. In any industry the challenge with IoT is likely to be careful selection of highest impact scenarios that will really add value to customers and operations. Banking customers want convenient money management help from their banking-partner, not digital spam from an omnipresent big brother. [5/5]

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