Technology in support of building purposeful relationships

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of the financial services industry. Thus, it has stimulated demand for financial technology (FinTech) services, benefiting companies operating in this segment.

The focus of financial institutions was driven by requirements to rapidly react to ascending customer inquiries across multiple channels and support business continuity. The implemented solutions were mainly about solving human problems.

A clear example of these new emerging use cases are advanced Vocal Assistants that have more advanced conversational capabilities, improved ability to:

  • understand user context,
  • do bot orchestration,
  • connect with various enterprise applications,
  • support multimodal capabilities.

Another example can be find in Personal Financial advice in which financial institutions combine AI, deep learning and natural language processing technologies to help customers make financially astute decisions. Every request whether straightforward or complex can be reviewed thanks to a completely digital process.

As a third example, we can mention Virtual Customer Assistant as brand ambassadors are being humanized for retail banking. They are powered by computer graphics, synthetic voice and emotion AI technologies. For instance, virtual banking assistants collect detailed information for house mortgage or car loan applications, and automatically approve some of them for amounts below a specific value or based on the customer’s previous banking history.

Digital efficiencies with a human touch : Phygital


Thus, many of the world’s leading banks have invested in technologies and solutions that help them to listen and respond to the needs of their customers with personalized, empathetic service at scale.


Banks have been developing creative strategies and tools to bring the human touch to relationships with customers at a time when they were looking for empathy and support.


Financial Institutions are tuning in to the voice of the customer through processes with advanced analytics and AI. Behavioral economics and continuous learning have gained momentum to help customers make better decisions.

Banks and Insurers are blending the best of digital touchpoints and human relationships in order to follow the model of phygital omnichannel customer relationship management. It requires predictive models and algorithms to identify the most appropriate products and services for each customer. Thereby, those latter can access personal advice to orient their investment decisions from a dedicated relationship manager whom they can contact at any time. On the business side, it:

  • reduces the overall costs and/or people-cost component,
  • Improves operational efficiency, especially with resolving huge increases in customer interactions
  • maintains the corporate image thanks to customer satisfaction and experience


Belgian example, in July 2021, KBC was awarded the title of Best Bank in Belgium for the sixth consecutive year at the Euromoney Awards. This was largely attributed to the bank’s strong omnichannel distribution model, its all-in-one mobile application, and its digital customer assistance platform. The KBC Mobile app was praised for its large number of additional third party services, simulation tools, full online capabilities for many different types of transactions, connectivity, and the possibilities to interact with KBC’s other physical and digital distribution channels. As a seamless online banking experience becomes ever-more favored by customers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, KBC’s strong capabilities in this area are likely to be a significant asset.

Building a sustainable future

Financial Institutions have embraced their role in leading the world’s transition towards a greener economy. In doing so, they have strengthened public trust and supported the global effort. Furthermore, with the ESG regulation, the European Commission has sent a clear signal on the importance of sustainability in the future


In compliance with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, banks are helping to finance a more sustainable world through innovative programs. In recent years, economy is transitioning towards becoming one which is more environmentally and socially sustainable, which is having a transformative impact on the banks industry.


Many banks have developed quantitative targets to minimize their climate impact and have also sought to promote ‘green’ investment amongst customers. The sustainable finance segment holds strong potential to support wider industry growth and environmental standards are effective tools.

Example, BNP Paribas Asset Management is one the most offensive banking groups when it comes to tackle sustainable finance in Europe. The Asset Management subsidiary offers investment solutions recognized and audited by independent labels such as ISO 14001.

It is crystal clear that the winners of the future will be those that challenge the industry’s agreements and are able to innovate swiftly in a sustained and progressive manner. They will be well-positioned to succeed in a post-pandemic digital endgame contested by an expanding range of existing companies, neobanks, fintechs and other non-traditional players.

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