On Thursday, Goldman Sachs quietly rolled out its digital consumer savings platform Marcus to its staff in the UK before a wider release to the public in the coming weeks, according to a Reuters report. The move follows a general digital transformation trend among banks worldwide, which aim to improve and personalize the customer experience and compete with digital-native financial offerings.
Goldman Sachs launched Marcus in the US in 2016, and has since collected more than $20 billion in deposits, Reuters reported. The bank will now offer an online savings account to British customers as well, in an effort to grow its consumer business.
However, the US bank will face competition from UK finance leaders including HSBC and Barclays, along with digital banking startups like Atom Bank and Tandem, which offer savings accounts through their mobile apps, Reuters noted. Goldman Sachs may eventually expand its consumer bank through acquisitions or purchasing a traditional lender, the report said.
SEE: IT leader’s guide to achieving digital transformation (Tech Pro Research)
Many bank initiatives around customer experience have involved improving the ease of use of mobile banking apps and online banking websites, Stessa Cohen, a research director at Gartner, told TechRepublic. While these are important, the next level is to go beyond the front end of customer experience, Cohen said.
“Any technologies that help banks—whether through digital channels and devices or ATMs or customer-facing bank staff—sense and detect true customer needs and requirements, even before the customer knows her own needs, and provide the advice and services tailored to each customer, will improve and even transform customer experience,” Cohen said. “We call this empathic banking.”
As many customers shift to mobile banking, physical branches are being outfitted with more and more technology, ranging from high-powered touch screen kiosks to personal bankers walking around with tablets. For example, a number of lenders across the world including HSBC and Barclays are now using Adobe machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) platform Sensei to better blend the experiences of banking online and in a branch, offering customers more personalized services.
“Banks are trying to reclaim visibility and control over the experience in the branch, getting to the same level of sophistication and engagement as what is available online, where banks can have more visibility of user behaviors and can apply AI and machine learning to optimize things,” Gianni Giacomelli, senior vice president and business leader for digital solutions at Genpact, told TechRepublic.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Goldman Sachs will roll out its digital consumer savings platform Marcus to the public in the UK the coming weeks, following a 2016 US release.
- As customers turn to mobile banking options, traditional banks are undergoing digital transformation projects to personalize the customer experience and blend online and in-person banking.