Can Your Bank Deliver a Better Customer Experience?

Can Your Bank Deliver a Better Customer Experience?

Steven Ramirez, CEO of Beyond the Arc, explores why customer experience has jumped to front of mind for most banks, and why there is no silver bullet to solve poor customer experiences. Success, he explains, is a medley of understanding your customer, deploying new technology, and keeping your staff happy, too.

Steven will be chairing the Customer Experience Summit Day at FinovateSpring this year in San Francisco, May 7 through 10. Find out more about this deep-dive day, or the full event.

Five years ago, no one in financial services was talking much about customer experience. Customer service? Sure. Customer satisfaction? Perhaps. But organizations weren’t equipped to examine the entire lifecycle of interactions that a person has as they learn about a bank, explore its products, become a customer, manage an account, and perhaps ultimately decide to leave or stay.

For one thing, the siloed nature of many organizations doesn’t create an incentive to think about a customer relationship holistically. Fast forward a few years, and much has changed. Banks and credit unions realize that they are essentially in a commoditized business. They understand that with so much similarity in products and services, one of the only ways to differentiate is based on the experience they deliver. But therein lies the challenge: what investments in technology, processes, and talent are most likely to improve customer experience?

Technology companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google have disrupted a range of industries from advertising, to retail, to computer hardware. In 2019, they’ll increasingly target financial services. With this growth in TechFin, we can expect to see the creation of financial experiences, not just new products or services. The way people receive a paycheck, spend it, and save for the future will be technology-enabled to better reflect their personal needs and long-term goals.

This means you can’t just plug-in a new technology and hope to transform.

The importance of customer understanding

Your first investments need to be in better understanding your customers—both the ones you have today, and the ones you hope to attract in the future. In a recent study about innovation, only 18.3% of companies identified themselves as a Digital Leader. And on a similar note, just 29.5% said they were very excited about “their ability to adapt over the next three years.” Critical to both is the necessity to know more about your customers, and their needs, than ever before. With the explosion of data, and the tools to derive insights from it, you can now improve customer experience by spotting previously undiscoverable trends and taking action. You can see how machine learning, cloud and edge computing, and more robust data integration capabilities could play a role.

Personalization at scale

Investments in customer understanding help to fuel progress in personalization. Cutting-edge marketing from ten years ago emphasized the importance of sophisticated segmentation. Today, your customers want to feel like you’ve tailored your offering to meet their unique requirements. An important implication of this is that you need to communicate with the audience of one.However, you need to do this at scale for thousands, or millions, of people. Each person, as an individual, must feel that you are considering their needs, and only their needs, when they interact with you. Predictive analytics can enable real-time solutions that match customers with the most appropriate products and services, at just the right time for them.

Improve employee experience to improve customer experience

As Beyond the Arc strategist Michelle Espinoza notes in our recently published CX trends article, “Companies are focusing so intensely on CX, they’re losing sight of the employee experience.” She goes on to note that, “just like Amazon set the bar for CX, we can expect to see companies emerge that set the bar for employee experience as well.” I can think of several leading companies that get this right: Disney, Zappos, Ultimate Software (a BTA client), Salesforce, and others. What will it take for your bank to make this list? And what tools and technology might help to ensure your success? Machine learning can help tie your recruitment process to key success factors for various jobs. Business intelligence, real-time alerts, and robotic process automation (RPA) can help you to report on, and streamline, operational conditions so your employees can remove customer pain points.

Tech, transformation, and the future of CX at your bank

Unfortunately, there’s no simple recipe to transform customer experience. If there was one, your raw ingredients would include better customer understanding, personalization, and employee engagement. In their book Outside In, Kelly Bodine and Harley Manning argue that there are billions of dollars at stake. They cite the example of Fidelity: when clients had a good experience, they invested 4.5 times more with the firm than people who did not, amounting to billions in incremental assets every year. And telecom provider Sprint saved $1.7 billion from averted customer service calls per year. Technology can certainly help you to acquire vital new capabilities. But to achieve success, your bank will need to treat CX as a core business process, focus your resources on measurable improvements, and invest in both people and technology.

More resources:

Who is Beyond the Arc?

We help companies apply innovation to attract customers, improve customer experience, and develop data-driven strategies. From telling your story in clear, compelling ways in digital and everywhere else, to unlocking business value with data science, AI, and machine learning, Beyond the Arc has got you covered. Follow us on Twitter @beyondthearc.

Finovate Live: Digital Week

Finovate Live: Digital Week

Welcome to FinovateLive! Tune in between 19 – 21 March to delve deeper into the biggest issues impacting the finance sector.

FinovateLive! will feature expert discussions via a series of interactive webinars, whitepapers and articles to shed light on the areas most ripe for innovation. The program will also highlight the technologies that have the potential to transform the entire banking, payments, insurance and investment industries. Catch the future of fintech in real-time from the comfort of your desk with our exciting agenda built around business challenges and innovative solutions.


Tuesday 19 March

Hear from Jeremy Balkin, as he showcases how doing things differently adds value and truly transforms business. We also put forward the question: “Is innovation essential in banking?” and look to get Jeremy’s take on how to create touch points and deepen long term personalized human relationships in a highly technology driven environment.

Featuring: Jeremy Balkin, Head of Innovation, HSBC


Wednesday 20 March

In this webinar, Clara takes a practical approach to developing an AI strategy. She discusses why designing a long term AI strategy is essential, and why patchwork innovation with AI is not going to pay off. The discussion will draw from Clara’s direct experience working with decision makers, as well research lifted from her upcoming book on how AI is transforming financial services.

Featuring: Clara Durodié, Executive Chair, Cognitive Finance Group


Banks are in trouble. Every  modern bank dependent on branch revenue is in virtual survival mode, hoping for a miraculous reversal of emerging customer behavior. Brett King, discusses the future of banking and fintech, finally deciding which banks will make it, and which won’t.

Featuring: Brett King, CEO & Co-Founder, Moven


Thursday 21 March 

In this webinar we’ll focus on the findings of the just released 2019 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions research, published by the Digital Banking Report. The report is now in it’s 8th year and combines insights from a crowdsourced panel of more than 80 industry leaders and a quantitative survey of more than 300 financial services organisations worldwide.

Featuring: Jim Marous, Co-publisher, The Financial Brand


In the last webinar of #FinovateLive, we speak with JP Nicols, Managing Director at FinTech Forge about the fintech revolution, why banking hasn’t yet been ousted by apps and wearables, and what has been seperating the winners and the losers in fintech.

Featuring: JP Nicols, Managing Director, FinTech Forge


Webinars have been editorially curated by Adela Knox, Editor in Chief, Finovate Digital Week.

More than just webinars

During FinovateLive, we’ll also be bringing you expert insights and exclusive interviews.

The decisions your bank makes today could have major implications on how you stay competitive—for years to come. Developing one app or digitizing a process might appear to suffice, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s time to align your bank’s digital transformation strategy with the entire customer lifecycle by providing a personalized omnichannel experience. The result? Your bank improves customer satisfaction, increases customer retention rates, and drives overall customer profitability.

OutSystems enables a genuine end-to-end digital transformation. With our versatile and flexible low-code platform, you can leave behind an organization based on product lines and build experiences that focus on the customer and give you a competitive edge.

Download this OutSystems report to find out how to move your bank from a product-driven organization to a customer-centric one. Interested for more?  Check-out the Outsystems Digital Banking video too >>

Don’t  miss our eye-opening interviews and thought-leadership from prominent women in the fintech landscape. Featuring April Rudin, Founder & CEO of The Rudin Group and Mary Wisneiwski, Consumer Banking and Fintech Reporter at Bankrate, we discuss the trends impacting the fintech landscape and hone in on what the industry can be doing better to attract, retain and advance female talent.

Join the conversation with #FinovateLive 

Cracking the Fintech Code

As 2019 gets into full swing, we wanted to take one last look back at the highlights of the last few months of 2018. Download the latest eMagazine now!

Our multimedia eMagazine visits with industry analysts at FinovateFall, studies the value of bank-fintech partnerships, reviews important trends to consider before the year comes to an end, and more.

We’ve packaged all of this in a slick, new format focused on the user experience. Enjoy!

Generating Value from Bank, Insurance and Fintech Partnerships

During Finovate Fall, four stages provided the chance for more focused discussions around the banking and payments, digital lending and wealth management. Here, on the Emerging Technologies stage, a panel discusses the role of partnerships in generating value. Featuring:

  • George Anderson – CEO & Founder, Ninth Wave
  • Nathalie Dore – Chief Digital and Acceleration Officer, BNP Paribas Cardif
  • Matt Ribbens – SVP Enterprise Digital Strategy, BB&T
  • Dave Mooney – President and CEO, Alliant Credit Union
  • Travis Skelly – Senior Vice President, Venture Investing, Citi Ventures
  • Michael Roberts – Chief Marketing & Digital Strategy Officer, Bank of America Merchant Services

Analyst All-Stars: What’s Hot in Fintech?

During Finovate Fall 2018, leading fintech research analysts took to the stage for 7 minutes each to present key opportunities for banks and other financial services providers. Featuring:

  • Jacob Jegher – Senior Vice President, Banking and Head of StrategyJavelin Strategy & Research
  • Alyson Clarke – Principal AnalystForrester
  • Daniel Latimore – Senior Vice President, Banking GroupCelent
  • Thad Peterson – Senior AnalystAite Group

The Conference Journey: Why We Started FinDEVr (and Finovate)

image I just stopped by the Green Lake (Seattle) coffee shop where Eric Mattson and I first hatched the plans for Finovate seven years ago. At that time, we were so focused on selling enough tickets to pay the Midtown Manhattan-sized bills, we had few thoughts on the long-term plan. 

Fast forward seven years.

A week from today we’ll be in NYC for the eighth time hosting the largest Finovate ever, closing in on the 1,500 mark for the first time (much appreciated everyone!!!). Thanks to a surging local fintech community, the NYC event is outselling even the San Francisco area one for the first time since 2011.

Why did we create Finovate?

While I’d like to say we were hoping to bring the fintech community together to foster innovation (which I think has happened), it wasn’t quite that ambitious at the start. I’d always been a conference fanboy, going to four or five per year to speak and/or cover in our publications. But in 2007, one of my favorites cancelled. Looking to fill that void, we created the event that I would most want to attend.

One day. One track. Rapid fire. New products. In NYC. And the ability to speak directly to the speakers afterwards. And thankfully, others shared the affinity for that format.

imageSo, why did we start FinDEVr?

There is so much emphasis on strategy and the big picture these days, that the tools and technical underpinnings to get from here to there can be lost in the noise (case in point, the 1,121 articles on Apple Pay last week). And as the programmable web (APIs, SDKs, etc.) weaves its way into financial services, it’s harder than ever to keep up.

So, we created the event that I would have wanted to go to back when I was an engineer. One that focuses on how to BUILD the new services that eventually show up on the Finovate stage and in bank/CU/financial apps.

Whether FinDEVr attracts the fintech developer community in the same way Finovate has struck a chord with fintech execs remains to be seen. We already have 50% more attendees signed up for FinDEVr (30 Sep/1 Oct 2014) than we had at the first Finovate, so it’s off to a promising start (see details below).

Check back with me in seven years and I’ll let you know if it was the right move. 


You can still be part of the inaugural FinDEVr in San Francisco’s Mission Bay area. Event registration is open for a few more days. And if you’d like to bring your whole team, please email ( and we can work something out. 

There is nowhere else where you can meet the development folk at Yodlee Interactive, TD Ameritrade, MasterCard, Visa, PayPal/Braintree, Forte, Intuit, and Google. Plus Avoka, EVO Payments, Eshtapay, Financial Apps, InComm, Xignite, Xero and 40 others all in the same place and in just two days (see full list here).


FinovateFall 2013 Best of Show Winners


In case you don’t follow our Finovate blog, I thought I should post the audience favorites from last week’s seventh annual Finovate in New York City. After an intense two days with 69 demos, the audience voted for their favorites. The top eight were named Best of Show (in alphabetical order):


  Interactions voice-based virtual assistant technology


LearnVest iPad app and Workplace Solutions Center


mBank & Accenture Bank 3.0 online platform

MitekLogo13.jpg Mitek Mobile Photo Account Opening solution

MoneyDesktopLogoNew.jpg  MoneyDesktop GuideMe solution

motiflogo.jpg Motif platform that lets you invest in ideas in one click

TipRanksLogo.jpg TipRanks cloud-based accountability engine for investors

YodleeLogo2012.jpg  Yodlee TANDEM system to help groups manage and discuss shared finances


Full-length video of every demo will be posted on in a few weeks.

A huge thank you to everyone who joined the audience and participated in our largest New York show so far. And, of course, thanks to the 69 innovative companies who took on the FinovateFall stage in front of a crowd of 1,100 audience members.


Notes on methodology:  
1. Only audience members NOT associated with demoing companies were eligible to vote. Finovate employees did not vote.     
2. Attendees were encouraged to note their favorites during each day. At the end of each day they chose their three favorites.    
3. The exact written instructions given to attendees: “Please rate (the companies) on the basis of demo quality and potential impact of the innovation demoed.”  
4. The eight companies appearing on the highest percentage of ballots were named Best of Show.  
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners.

FinovateEurope 2012 Best of Show Winners Named

Ixaria CIO Tim Murfet & Marketing Dir Barbara Durand present at FinovateEurope 2012 

imageAt yesterday’s second annual FinovateEurope, 35 companies laid it on the line with in the grueling 7-minute demo format plus a day of networking in the old London fish market on the Thames.

For the first time ever, and much to our astonishment, every demo finished at or under the time limit. Thankfully, we never had to hear the bell signifying that time is up.

At the end of the last demo, eligible audience members (note 1) voted for their 3 favorite demos (note 2). All 35 companies received votes (employees of presenting companies cannot vote), but 4 stood out in the vote tally (alphabetic order):   

  • imageCardlytics (with Aimia) showed its in-statement ad platform and management tools (demo recap)
  • imageDynamics which launched it’s "chip and choice" card for
    the chip & pin world (demo recap)
  • imageeToro which launched its crowd-sourced "guru finder"
    to help located traders to follow/copy (demo recap)
  • imageNutmeg launched an investment service focused around the needs
    of the everyday investor (demo recap)

FinovateEurope networking hall was wall-to-wall bankers at mid-dayDynamics and eToro are previous Best of Show winners. You can read our live blog posts on each demo now. And in 2 or 3 weeks we’ll have the full demos available at

Thanks to everyone who attended and presented. We are truly humbled by the support from the European financial community and we are already making plans for the 2013.


Notes on methodology:
1. Only audience members NOT associated with demoing companies were eligible to vote. Finovate employees did not vote.   
2. Attendees were encouraged to note their favorites as the day went on and choose 3 favorites from just the demos of that day. Ballots were turned in at the end of the last demo session each day. 
3. The exact written instructions given to attendees: "Please rate (the companies) on the basis of demo quality and potential impact of the innovation demoed. Note: Ballots with more than three companies circled will not be counted." 
4. The four companies appearing on the highest percentage of submitted ballots were named Best of Show.

Announcing the FinovateEurope 2012 Presenter Lineup


FinovateEurope 2012 is just over two months away and it is shaping up to be a great conference. The quality and number of applications we received from companies seeking to debut their latest fintech innovations at the event was truly impressive. That quality meant hard choices for us during the selection process but it also means an amazing showcase of new ideas in European financial technology for the audience.

On February 7th next year, the following companies will take the stage
in London to demo their latest and greatest innovations (we’ll also be
revealing a couple of “stealth” additions to this list closer to the

  • AcceptEmail
  • Actiance
  • Adobe
  • Backbase
  • BCSG
  • Cardlytics
  • CurrencyFair
  • DCisions
  • eToro
  • Fenergo
  • Figlo
  • Fiserv
  • Holvi Payment Services
  • iBrokr AG
  • IND Group
  • Ixaris Systems
  • Kabbage
  • Luup
  • Meniga
  • miiCard
  • Mootwin 
  • Nutmeg
  • PayPal
  • Ping Identity
  • Quid
  • Sandstone Technology
  • Serverside Group
  • Service2Media
  • Striata
  • Tradeshift
  • ValidSoft
  • Wipro Technologies

If you’d lock in your spot to watch the future of financial and banking technology debut in London next February, please register soon. Tickets for the event are selling quickly — well ahead of last year’s pace when we sold out weeks ahead of the conference. In addition, register by Friday December 2nd and you’ll get the affordable very early-bird price on your ticket.

FinovateEurope 2012 is sponsored by: BlueRock Consulting & The Bancorp Bank

FinovateEurope 2012 is partners with: BankerStuff, BankInnovation, Deutsch Startups, The Financial Services Club, The Financial Services Innovation Centre, and

The Super Early-Bird Ticket Deadline for FinovateEurope 2012 is Friday October 28. Lock in your spot now!


As I watch the discussion of the EU’s (and the world’s) financial state in the media these days, I can’t help but see tremendous entrepreneurial opportunities. From helping individuals to manage their money more confidently to helping banks to find new revenue streams to helping small businesses with alternative lending options and much more, there has never been a better time to be innovating in financial technology.

As I write this, our team is hard at work on our next showcase of the companies that are on the cutting-edge of those opportunities — FinovateEurope 2012 — which will take place February 7th in London. Over the last two weeks, we’ve begun screening the applicants that want to demo their latest fintech innovations at the event and it’s shaping up to be an incredible roster of companies.

If you’d like join us in London and watch the future of financial and banking technology debut on stage via our fast-paced demo-only format, please get your ticket soon. Tickets for the event are selling strongly — well ahead of last year’s pace when we sold out weeks ahead of the conference — and registering now is the only way to guarantee your spot and the affordable super early-bird ticket price!

FinovateEurope 2012 is sponsored by: BlueRock Consulting

FinovateEurope 2012 is partners with: Deutsch Startups, The Financial Services Club, and the Financial Services Innovation Centre

Finovate Fall 2011 Kicks Off Tuesday, Sep. 20

imageAs a child, my family traveled all over the country by car, visiting just about every major city in 45 states. But my dad always steered at least 50 miles clear of New York City, so I didn’t get my first taste of Manhattan until I was almost 30.

Now, it’s my favorite city in the world, and I’m thrilled we are able to bring FinovateFall 2011 back to the Big Apple for the fifth time. And for the fifth straight time, we’ve broken the previous attendance record, with a crowd of 1,000 descending on Pier 92 Tuesday. Thanks everyone for your support!


imageSchedule: Registration begins at 8:00 AM Tuesday and Wednesday, with demos starting at 9:00 AM each day. We’ll announce the Best of Show winners at 5PM Wed. 

Live blog: This year, we’ll be live blogging the product announcements here on Netbanker. You can also follow the usually-quite-active Twitter stream at (#finovate). And I’ll also be adding my 2 cents through our Finovate Twitter account. While there’s no live video stream, we’ll post full-length videos of each demo at within a few weeks.

Presenters: Sixty-four companies will launch new products via live, 7-minute demos from stage. Here are the presenters in alphabetic order.

FinovateFall 2011 Presenters

Announcing FinovateEurope 2012 — February 7th in London! Get your ticket now to lock in your spot!


We’re very excited to be returning to London next February for our second annual FinovateEurope conference. After selling out our debut European conference weeks in advance and winning rave reviews from attendees, next year’s event is not to be missed (get your ticket now to ensure you can attend — and save £400 via the lowest ticket prices we’ll offer).

For 2012, we’ve expanded to a larger and nicer venue right on the Thames river in central London so that you can watch fast-paced demonstrations of the best new ideas in European financial and banking technology in comfort. In addition, Finovate attendees have a chance to network with hundreds of leading financial executives, entrepreneurs, industry analysts, major press, bloggers, and venture capitalists.

If you’re a startup, established fintech company, or financial institution innovating in financial or banking technology, we’d love to have you apply to demo your latest and greatest at the conference. To get more details, please email us at

If you’re interested in watching the future of financial and banking technology unfold live on stage (and can’t make it to FinovateFall in NYC in September) then get your pre-sale ticket today for FinovateEurope 2012 and save £400 off the list price. Tickets have already started to sell before this formal announcement and we don’t want you to miss out! We’ll see you in February!