Strong competition among the banks, new offshore payment platforms and bricks and mortar platforms has spurred large scale innovation in the transactional space. This has raised the bar for consumer expectations as providers continue to innovate their transactional processes — or face the possibility of losing customers.
As a result, citizens demand a better engagement and transaction experience from government. They want seamless delivery, no matter whether they’re in a shopfront on their mobile app, or engaged with a call centre. Either way, they expect the transaction experience to be personalised, convenient and simple to use, and to have instant access to government information around the clock.
This rapid pace of change presents powerful opportunities for government to improve citizen services and drive new productivity and innovation. It also paves the way for the introduction of a one-stop-shop that enables agency revenue collection, reporting, information sharing, risk management, relationship building capability and more. Transactional experience is a foundation to an ongoing relationship, and by adopting some of the innovations now available through payment platforms, governments are future-proofing their relationship with citizens.
Mostly, citizens want the government to give them the ability to access simple and fast transaction and payment services. The user experience is an essential element in any strategy to transform government services.“The ability to integrate and rapidly deploy new products and services is going to be fundamental in to the future.”
While physical service channels remain important, channel migration is the key to driving efficiency in the delivery of government transactions, with a 50% reduction in over-the-counter cheque volumes equating to a 60% reduction in cost.
Nick Aronson, managing director of transaction banking solutions with the Commonwealth Bank, says citizens expect a new paradigm of transactional services in the modern age.
“The expectations for better and more simplified transactional services is a ticket to play for governments and banks,” he said. “We now have the ability to deliver digital services across multiple channels, and we all need to meet and exceed consumer expectations to remain relevant.”
Meeting and exceeding these expectations is the central reason the Commonwealth Bank is undertaking an ongoing retail transformation.
“This will achieve new models in retail service delivery in co-ordinated and sustainable ways,” said Aronson. “This will improve branch productivity and make the best use of our physical footprint.”
A major sign of its commitment to innovation is the Commonwealth Bank’s own user experience design team, which is one of the largest teams of its kind in Australia.
“We have invested a lot of time, money and effort in completely rebuilding our core banking systems, and that has delivered a platform from which we can grow and tailor solutions for customers, and from which we can integrate customer environments.”
The self-service benefits of the Commonwealth Bank’s world-first Albert terminal has made transacting with citizens far easier, by offering a one-stop-shop payments experience that other mobile devices have already given them a taste of.
“We need to remember that consumers have an extraordinary amount of power in their pockets, whether that’s smartphones, laptops or tablets, which brings with it an expectation of standardised services. The key to success for government and banks, and all other players in the ecosystem, is to work together to deliver a digital experience to customers; whatever that might look like,” Aronson said.
The technology needs to pack a lot of capability, offered simply, in order to be able to offer virtual counter solutions, including “tap and pay” technology, self-service transaction technology, social media insights, video conferencing between branches, card analytics and electronic forms. However, the user experience needs to be effortless.
Said Aronson: “Government needs to ensure that the user experience is radically simplified if you’re ever going to convince users to begin transacting online rather than across a counter. You’ve got to incentivise them to change.”
Aronson says that, in the future, innovation within the government transactional space will revolve around connectivity.
“The ability to integrate and rapidly deploy new products and services is going to be fundamental in to the future. The key is to start the conversations today so that you can be at the forefront tomorrow,” he said.