A Tale of TechFin and Banks
The financial services industry regularly produces cautionary tales of “Amazonification” and its impact on customer expectations. Yet, most often these reports explore retail banking, overlooking the B2B space. Make no mistake, the consumer experience is also dramatically influencing the business purchasing cycle.
The business demand for a simpler, more intuitive experience is just getting stronger. A study by Salesforce Research found that 72 percent of business buyers expect partners to personalize engagement to their needs. It makes sense; if Netflix can serve me up a new series based on what I binged over the weekend, why wouldn’t my business partner be able to offer a smart solution that speaks to my needs?
I am excited about being part of a company that focuses every day on building an intuitive client experience for our business clients and bank partners. We need to think like leading technology companies—the Googles and Apples of the world—and bolster behaviors to drive easy, optimized user experiences and efficiency: It’s about leading with a TechFin mindset.
TechFin is the term used to describe a technology-first approach to financial solutions. With a FinTech firm, the approach starts from a financial services vantage point and applies technology as a solution; TechFin flips that around and addresses the challenge like a tech giant would. We step back from regulatory hurdles, compliance requirements, and risk and security protocols, and broaden our mindsets to brainstorm, “What does a business client expect her/his bank experience to look like and vice versa?”
Asking clients what they expect is obviously critical, but we also mine insights from our data. Given our 13 year history in the B2B automation space, we have incredibly rich information that extends beyond the financial transaction to reveal customer behaviors and preferences. Using machine learning to follow that trail enables us to give banks and their partners the tools they need to serve up a personalized digital experience in a space where it has been sorely lacking.
McKinsey and Company sums up the data-centric TechFin approach in its January 2018 insights report, What the Future Science of B2B Sales Looks Like: “The fastest-growing companies are using advanced analytics to radically improve their sales productivity and drive double-digit sales growth with minimal additions in their sales teams and cost base.”
While this makes strategic sense, implementation may be a challenge for financial institutions. Thankfully, just as FinTech progressed from bank competition to collaboration, a TechFin evolution is underway, with both sides seeing the value in partnering to strengthen offerings. Emerging TechFin firms are helping financial institutions update and upgrade the experiences that they deliver to their valued business clients. TechFin has been creatively applied to advance the ability of financial institutions to build better platforms and streamline business customers' interactions, including reinventing enrollment and delivering AI innovations that remove friction and strengthen security and confidence. In fact, with the right TechFin partner, banks can introduce innovative new solutions that enhance their customer journey end-to-end.
TechFin thinking offers a new way forward for financial institutions. I’ll be sharing more on my experiences in this space as part of a fantastic panel with G2 Web Services and Silicon Valley Bank, at PAYMENTS 2019. This session, “TechFin is the New FinTech: Improving B2B Customer Experiences from the Inside-Out,” will offer concrete examples of how TechFin has changed financial institution approaches to B2B offerings. We hope you’ll join us for the discussion to unpack what’s next.
NACHA PAYMENTS 2019 will be the event of the season for payments industry and banking movers and shakers. Check out more on all the Bill.com sessions and what our Bank Team will be up to in Orlando by visiting our conference page (http://cashflow.bill.com/NACHA2019.html). You can also enter to win some “funtech.”
1. “State of the Connected Consumer,” 2nd Edition, March 26–April 12, 2018, 'https://www.salesforce.com/research/customer-expectations/'