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Virtual Branch Myth #1

As a follow up to my recent blog post, here’s the first in a series of Virtual Branch Myths to consider.

“Our FI employs a best of breed approach to technology; we buy individual products that meet specific customer/member needs”. Sounds good, right?

The problem with this siloed approach is that it leads to selecting individual products chasing a particular market segment or specific devices. Mobile is the obvious example; many FIs have selected a specific mobile vendor for a specific part of mobile functionality. This results in the FI having multiple apps for online banking, mobile remote deposit, mobile bill pay, mobile PtoP, and so on.

Moreover, each of these products have a different user interface, the flow of entering information, the navigation in the app, the information that is retrieved and displayed all will be different. It is possible, even likely, that they would see different available balance information displayed in different apps. This is because regardless of the app source, there still has to be an interface back to the core system. Multiple systems means managing multiple interfaces to the core and depending on how the company creates this interface and whether it is online/real-time or batch will affect the balance and other critical information that is retrieved and displayed on the mobile device.

With this in mind, the importance of a consistent user interface cannot be overlooked. When looking at “best of breed”, start by asking these questions:

1. Do I need to create another host interface?
2. Will this present a different user interface for my customers/members?
3 .Will the data, navigation and experience be simplified and intuitive if I offer this in addition to the other systems that I deploy?

If the answers are Yes, Yes, and No, then even though you may perceive that there is a particular feature/function that is desirable from a particular vendor, the long term negative aspect of non-integrated systems will greatly outweigh any short-term benefit. You should look for a solution that allows for one host interface to run myriad integrated applications that present a unified user experience. Make sure that your view of technology is a strategic one, not the shiny object du jour … stay tuned for more Virtual Branch myths!

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