Sunday, 14 April 2024

Bank of Ayudhya improves customer experience through branch automation

5 min read

By Gaurav Malik

Bank of Ayudhya recently embarked on a multi-year strategic business transformation initiative, including a branch improvement project, which aims to simplify processes and reduce system errors.

  • The operating model was aligned with Krungsri’s “Make life simple” proposition
  • The project provided a 360 degree view of and unified access to customer information
  • Reporting processes were improved and system redundancies and errors were reduced

Many leading banks are exploring new financial products and service options that will enable them to grow their customer base as they focus on three key areas: meeting customers’ expectations, optimising costs, and keeping pace with competition.

In Thailand, branches are continuously playing an important role as a customer transaction point despite a strong digital penetration. Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), a strategic member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and the fifth largest bank in the country with an asset base of $50.5 billion as of June 2016, has sought to revamp and improve its systems to provide better customer experience. The bank had high branch transaction volumes and has planned to implement a highly efficient system.

Krungsri’s innovative processes and branch automation system were aided by FIS’ technology. The technology helped employees to process bank transactions using shorter processes through a one-click capability. At the same time, it provided them a summary and history of customer transactions. The project, which has resulted to stronger customer satisfaction and significant cost-savings to the bank, was awarded as the ‘Best Branch Automation Project’ during The Asian Banker Technology Innovation Awards 2016.

The challenge
Krungsri has a total distribution network of more than 680 branches, of which 644 were banking branches and another 37 are auto business branches in Thailand, serving over 7.8 million customer accounts. The bank sought to implement a more efficient, automated and flexible system at its branches.

Krungsri decided to revamp and overhaul its branch automation system to place a customer-centric and multi-channel strategy as part of its ‘Branch Improvement Project (BI)’.
The new system includes a combination of centralised networks, operations, and a core banking application. The automation enabled the bank to offer 24/7services with less manpower.

Feature and functionalities
The BI project was aimed at improving teller efficiency and integrating multiple customer-facing functions. The project intended to provide the following functionalities:

  • Single view customer 360 degree 
  • Multi-teller transaction on one click 
  • New account opening process 
  • View customer signature 
  • Single sign-on
  • Multi-channel architecture framework 
  • Xpress integration broker

A single, comprehensive view of all customer accounts helped optimise customer communications. It allowed the bank consolidate and personalise statements, which ensured that all communications consistently address customer needs and preferences. It provided credit limit control on each business process and transaction, which resulted to better security and fraud management support.

In order to manage user authentication & authorisation, a single sign-in mechanism for customer relationship management (CRM) was provided, which helped reduce human errors during operations. Krungsri also modernised its branch technology, simplified the processing of customer information, and revamped front-end and user interfaces, which led to significant operational efficiencies.

Technology partner and product
Krungsri looked for a strong information technology (IT) partner with adequate experience on banking and branch operation technology. The bank selected FIS to support the branch automation system. FIS also helped integrate the system and the bank’s core platforms through an application known within the bank as Simple Click. It is a three-tier client server architecture, which uses Java Client for tellers and web architecture for customer service representative (CSR) and other CRM users. Simple Click can connect different devices to front-end systems such as branch queue system, electronic data capture (EDC), and passbook printer.

The automation system provided the staff with unified access to customer information. Furthermore, the configuration, maintenance, and update of information are performed from a central server; eliminating time-consuming software uploads at individual workstations.

Figure 1. Simple click - branch teller system components

Source: Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri)

Business Impact

As Krungsri aims to become a leading regional financial institution, the project provided the bank with the following advantages:

  • Improved branch processing and increased operational efficiency 
  • Enhanced customer experience and channel management 
  • Increased cross-selling and up-selling to customers
  • Notable cost-savings

The project was implemented nationwide to serve nearly eight million customers. Through this new system, the number of branch transactions increased by more than 1.5 million per month.

Furthermore, the operating model was aligned with Krungsri’s “Make life simple” proposition. This model facilitated quicker time to market innovative products and services using a more flexible and agile technology architecture.

By automating its processes, Krungsri was able to generate higher revenue. This has also provided its front-end staff with an integrated view of customer information to help improve cross-selling. The project also resulted to operational efficiencies, especially on the part of the customers. The amount of time spent on opening an account was reduced from 10-15 minutes to 8-10 minutes. Branch deposits increased by 13% and branch teller and CSR operation productivity rose by 32%.

The project also improved the reporting process and reduced system redundancies and errors to prevent fraudulent activities.

Project Implementation

The project was customised to meet bank’s business requirements to support bank’s multi-channel architecture. In order to ensure its success, a number of internal and external changes were implemented. A strong project steering committee was also formed to overlook the project. The bank invested additional time and money on post-production IT Support to make the project successful. They also increased their branch network infrastructure and outsourcing to support the project.

SWOT Analysis

Source: Asian Banker Research

Keywords: BAY, MUFG, Customer Experience, Technology, Branch Automation, CRM, IT, CSR
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