It is no secret that Asia is getting wealthier. According to research from PricewaterhouseCoopers, domestic credit in China could overtake the US by 2023, and India will become the third largest domestic banking sector after China and the US by 2050.
This presents an immense opportunity for banks and other financial services institutions (FSIs), but with the sheer number of competitors in the region, this also means that Asia has become one of the most important battlegrounds for financial services businesses.
In order to stay ahead of the competition, FSIs need to overcome three key challenges:
Retaining Customers – Retaining existing customers has become critically important as FSIs are becoming increasingly dependent on deposits as sources of funds, and establishing deep, trusted relationships will be key.
FSIs with the ability to better understand their customers’ profiles and behaviors will be better able to retain top customers, manage risk, and identify areas for business opportunity. Transforming data into knowledge will be critical to this effort.
Managing Risk – Operating capital is scarcer than at any time in recent memory. As a result, FSIs are tightening credit underwriting requirements significantly.
By focusing on building customer loyalty and providing greater levels of advisory services, such as assisting customers with debt restructuring, financial planning and risk-management, FSIs can not only provide better service, but also identify new business opportunities and increase customer confidence and market share.
Improving Operational Efficiency – FSIs will continue their efforts to improve efficiency, with cost-cutting just one part of the equation. This means they will embark on transformational projects meant to reduce risk and cost while improving service delivery and leveraging existing applications and customer data.
These challenges may seem unrelated on the surface, but they are linked by a common factor: customer knowledge.
Whether an FSI is attempting to maintain market share, minimize exposure to risk, or pursue additional operational efficiencies, customer knowledge is at the core.
To make the most out of this customer knowledge, FSIs need to apply technology to help them organize and manage the massive amount of data in their hands.
For example, business solutions can allow a company’s employees to access customer knowledge easily, and use this information to make the right decisions and add value to their customers’ transactions. Proper implementation of technology can help businesses improve their processes by leaps and bounds.
To remain competitive, FSIs need to continuously evolve to meet and exceed customer demands. By equipping themselves with the right business solutions, FSIs can monetize their customer knowledge and pave the path towards a more profitable future.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Asian Banking & Finance. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Albert Visscher, Sales Lead for Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Asia Pacific. Having spent more than 15 years in the Asia-Pacific and Japan markets, Albert is adept at creating new sales and marketing infrastructures, as well as penetrating business development within a highly competitive technology industry. With a passion for cloud computing and all things CRM, Albert believes in enabling businesses with the solutions they need to positively impact profitability and productivity.