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Digitization is speeding up in the sector

The societal shutdown due to Corona has accelerated the use of digital solutions and moved digitisation in the sector forward. ‘We are 1-2 years ahead in terms of putting digital solutions into use’, says Danske Bank’s Head of Business Development.

28. Aug 2020
4 min
Af Berit Villadsen
bv@finansforbundet.dk

The societal shutdown due to Corona has been pure digital gift. So says Danske Bank’s Head of Business Development Lars Malmberg. The shutdown gave Danske Bank the biggest on-the-job training initiatives in online meetings and mobile banking that there has ever been in the history of the bank – and without large-scale efforts from the bank. It happened completely naturally and for free.

‘We’ve really put a lot of the digital solutions into use that were already developed and have been available for a long time but haven’t been fully used. This is where the greatest revolution has occurred as a result of the Corona shutdown. We have been meeting our customers digitally on a whole other scale than we ever dreamed of. I think we’ve jumped a year or two ahead on the digitisation agenda in terms of putting digital solutions into use’, says Lars Malmberg.

It is not just the employees who have shifted digitally. The customers have too, and this has given the bank new insights.

‘One of the most interesting things is that the customers have become more digitally aware. They have gotten better at providing feedback and putting the needs they have for our solutions into words, because they’ve started to use them a lot more. The new customer insights of course mean that we will change our priorities a little’, says Lars Malmberg.

We have gained digital momentum

In Spar Nord, the bank’s Director of Communication and Digital, Ole Madsen, also feels that the shutdown has accelerated digitisation and the bank’s use of new technology.

‘The most tangible output of the Corona crisis has probably been that it has accelerated some of the thing we were already doing. There is no doubt that the shutdown has cleared away some of the mental barriers to cultivating more digital meeting formats – and whatever inertia there might have been in adopting new formats’, says Ole Madsen, Director of Communication & Digital at Spar Nord, who continues:

‘So we’ve gained some momentum here, and we really want to do a lot to keep it alive and use it as an impetus to keep working with the experience we can give customers, that is, how we can use the technologies to make an online meeting into something more than just a rudimentary video call. So how do we get the experience we provide in the physical branches to be even better through the digital channels? I think it takes a quantum leap, born of what you might call a crash course in virtual meetings’.

Voice will be crucial in the future

Among other things, the future will offer more voice-activated communication in the financial sector. So says Bent Dalager, who is the Nordic manager for NewTech in KPMG and has been advising on technological development in the financial sector for more than 25 years. He believes the sector will use more digital assistants. Ole Madsen from Spar Nord backs him up.

‘I strongly believe that virtual assistants, through voice recognition, word recognition and pattern recognition, can help advisers who are in dialogue with the customer find the right answer and the right solution faster. This is something we’ve been talking about for many years, but we’re only just now really getting to where we have some technologies that can do voice recognition in Danish that can go along with the other platforms we have in a meaningful way. I would like to see this as a 2020 event’, says Ole Madsen, Director of Communication & Digital at Spar Nord.

 

Nova takes 100,000 customer calls a month

Just over three years ago, Nordea introduced the virtual assistant Nova in the bank’s Norwegian subsidiary Nordea Liv og Pension. Today, Nova handles more than 100,000 customer inquiries every month on the bank’s website or mobile app. So far, this is only via text messages, but the idea is that Nova will eventually also be able to talk with customers on the phone.

Last year, Danske Bank introduced IBM’s Watson chatbot in the bank’s internal customer support, where it acts as a supplement to the department’s physical employees.