Unisys spruiks frictionless banking solution

On his third trip to Australia in five months, Unisys global head of financial services, Eric Crabtree, has brought something back.

Ahead of the official launch of Unisys’ integrated omnichannel digital banking platform for financial Institutions (known as Elevate), Crabtree told AB+F, banks’ were navel gazing over incoherent internal processes and in a digital age, customers would not stick around.

“Banks have, in the past, gotten wrapped around the axel focusing just on internal processes. Just think, Nokia’s CEO said they did everything right and still lost – because they didn’t realise that the market had changed around them and that customer behavior had changed.” 

And what the Australian banking customer wants, according to Unisys, is a software-led solution that allows banks to personalise and differentiate services for an improved customer experience. 

In other words, banks that provide an end-to-end, digital banking silver bullet, possibly composed of a suite of applications designed to allow financial institutions to deliver “an instantly secure, omnichannel banking experience".

Customer interface

According to Crabtree, fiddling around with new tech or legacy systems is irrelevant. It is the consumer interface that matters and this is the solution Unisys is offering.

“I think it’s the same around the world - banks are struggling with the new digital reality and their own legacy systems," he said.

“I tell people you really want to focus on the shopfront. This touch point is where you’ll drive value, it’s through the experience, which build the relationship and create the advocacy."

Shielded by “Stealth” one of the company’s security tools (developed in league with the CIA), Elevate should allow financial service providers to deliver “a secure, frictionless banking experience” to their customers.

“Customers are really frustrated with banks right now. We find 85 per cent of banking customers, if they’re researching a product, will start online. Then they might get stuck, they go into a branch and need to start over. We see a very high drop out rate.

“About 62 per cent of people drop out at that point,” he said, referring to Unisys own research.

Customer retention

“As a bank, it improves your drop out rate customer satisfaction, customer retention … and then your customers become advocates for you, so we see an increase in acquisition,” Crabtree added. 

“And they typically buy, then. After that, you can leapfrog competitors and ensure you don’t lose market share to the big banks."

According to Unisys, Elevate can also be adapted to fit a swathe of banking processes, including the origination of mortgages, loans, savings and current accounts. 

Crabtree said the Unisys launch strategy is to pursue tier two and tier three banking customers here in Australia, launching in the Asia Pacific and EMEA this quarter.

“I have five or six prospects here in Asia. We’ve seen an uptick by almost 13 per cent across the region - it’s one of our fastest growing.” 

According to Crabtree, Unisys has chosen initially to keep an eye on payments opportunities, but to focus strongly on a retail and commercial banking strategy.

“We’re looking at what kind of play we want to make on a bigger scale, rather than try to boil the ocean,” Crabtree said. “What we’re saying is that you don’t have to replace your core. Just modernize, keep it going."

Christian Edwards, cedwards@financialpublications.com.au
Article Posted:
February 16, 2017

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