The world breathes on social media today. Almost every waking moment, people are on one or the other platform, be it Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, TikTok, Messenger and the list goes on… The millennial generation enjoys this, and attaches a social framework to all their online interactions. Such a social experience now defines the point of their interaction with organizations and devices as well.

Banks are so far just a polar opposite to the social experience. They are very traditional, serious and “stiff upper lip” type service providers. The major reason for this nature is the perception that financial transactions are supposed to be serious in nature, and that an environment with social experience may compromise on information security. This has created an entry level friction for the new generation, who are coming from a more casual, fun and engaging Social world.

Social is an attitude – that makes you warmer, more welcoming, and relationship oriented. While the banks want themselves to transform from a “impersonal service provider” to a friend who guides you to wade through the “financial maze”, there is no reason for them to keep themselves away from such an attitude. Rather than being a platform where someone can get-in, get done, and get out, banks can transform their channels to encourage their customers to spend time – understand financial relationships, analyze the transactions, and have some nice time on a regular basis. While they transform, they also graduate themselves to become a platform that the young generation would like to spend time on. This obviously creates deeper relationships, that too from the young generation!

The transformation is about creating experiences through redefining and redesigning the channels to reflect the current trends. For example, statements can be transformed from being a mundane listing of activities to a more personal and interesting “Memories”, which will link users to their banking events. Why should investing always be a separate task that needs moving hefty amounts of money to a deposit? This can be converted into “Micro Savings”, that are automatically triggered on each spend and invested in an avenue of user’s choice, and which can be customized to change for each spend. Likewise, each item on the traditional banking table can transform into a more social from which the customers will like.

‘Social Banking’ also includes sharing experiences with friends, and sharing of budgets, expenses and income with the customer’s near and dear ones. The bank can enable money requests and money transfers in a jiffy and can also provide context to each spend, in terms of Category, Location, Time etc. The bank can also enable users to upload receipts, documents and also post selfies with their friends too for that meal in the restaurant…anything that makes the experience more personal and social!

Crowd funding or crowd sourcing is an avenue that is catching up very fast. The concept of social experience leverages the power of your contacts who are there to help you out in times of need. “Peer 2 Peer” lending and listing can also be provided to the bank’s customers, within the ambit of local regulatory norms.

Clayfin being front runners in providing Customer Experience banking, we have internalized this thought and have designed our products to bridge this “experience gap”. We have redesigned our entire customer experience from the grounds Up, carefully laying the foundation and putting each brick in an aesthetic manner, to build an edifice that is not only inviting but also will stand the test of time and geographies. Thus, ‘Social Banking’ is now an integral part of our offerings across various channels. Using this, the banks can now look at building deep rooted relationships with the young generation, who offer the highest long-term potential!

Padmanabhan R

Career Banker, Galleried Photographer and Travel Columnist. Also develop banking applications in free time. Finished my CA and have done my tour of duty with organizations like Times Group, ICICI Bank and Yes Bank, before landing up in Clayfin to create digital banking channel solutions.

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