Exclusive Processing: new clients acquisition and mobile applications
We have tried to solve a difficult task – to teach the application to work with visitors and to convert them into clients.
Now it is hard time for everyone. Even large business structures struggle to survive, not to mention small companies. Demand is falling, margin is shrinking, it is getting harder to squeeze costs.
Some analysts believe that we have to do not only with crisis manifestations – we face the next phase of the global technological change, and what once seemed to be optimal now would barely survive.
In other words, a satisfied and well-nourished dinosaur, which used to be too scary to approach, is now beginning to loose its positions and give way to others.
And who are they then? Perhaps small and nimble animals, which are quite satisfied with the scarce food which is around?
The general idea is that this novelty is represented by mobile devices, which apart from a huge number of other features also allow you to make phone calls. The general idea also is that this is the mobile revolution, which among other things brings up “smart” watches, “smart” pens, etc.
If it is really the case, soon all market players would split into two big groups – those who “accepted the revolution” and those who did not and preferred to leave. But where can you get away from your own phone? That’s the question…
What does this revolution mean for us – a threat or a new opportunity? In our opinion – this is not only new but a rare opportunity!
A mobile device is an autonomous construction consisting of a powerful multi-core processor with up to 1.7GHz clock frequency, graphics coprocessor, huge memory, communication modules, cameras and a set of sensors – accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometer, light sensor, etc. Just for the comparison – a 1700 times less powerful device has been used for calculation of the entire cosmic program of USSR.
Server part, respectively, may not be so powerful which significantly reduces the cost of the system. In fact, the client buys a mobile device, selects its size, quality and price, pays for data transfer and roaming, takes care of charging the battery and updating releases … Isn’t it wonderful?
Everything that used to be available for “big dinosaurs” only – huge systems, huge databases, huge branch networks, huge teams who generated the content which they used to promote their slowly changing products – it all stays in the past.
But what do we get in return?
Unlimited communication opportunities. The mobile application is almost always with the client. What would we definitely take along when we go out? Keys and mobile phone. We may not take documents or credit cards, but our phone is always with us. The telephone knows all about us – when and where we go, when we are on the move and when at rest, when we are at work and when on holiday, when and where we are abroad, even how we walk and how many steps we made and how many stairs mounted. There is no need to process all this data in a single special center, everything could be done in the handset itself – its capacity would be enough. Besides, the product can be presented to the customer on the screen of a decent size, and quite often in Full HD quality. This is much cheaper than a branch network, queues, huge screens and billboards on the walls, customers with tickets awaiting manager’s appointment…
…therefore CRM systems can be cheaper now – there is a migration from bulky and expensive Big Data to small and agile Quick Data (a special part of mobile application which can immediately offer to the user a product or a service if it decides that it is the right time for that). It is not a secret that the client is not always ready to buy a new product.
Sometimes he simply does not respond to it, and sometimes queues up for it. Traditionally we thought that a central CRM was needed for customer relations management which ensures optimal management. What does optimal mean? It is now clear that “optimal” does not exist, there is only “late”. There is a client in a particular place at a particular time with a particular problem or need – so why not just satisfy this need? Such approaches are usually declared as part of marketing based on the events, but they are not very often used in reality, because they require restructuring of the entire organization. Mobile applications in this sense are able to promote this type of marketing in a very efficient way, because the mobile service can be developed only within one single system.
New payment tools and services – if earlier mobile devices could only be good for opening the client-bank window, now the mobile application is able to operate bank accounts, payment card accounts, phone account and e-wallet. Even plastic cards that have always been standing apart and were self-sufficient now begin to be “downloaded” into smartphones. Of course, the cost of using these payment tools is different, however the freedom of choice is always a plus at a time when new services are being designed and various payment and transfer methods are needed.
An attempt to comprehend ongoing changes and to use them as much as possible in the development of own corporate products – that’s the strategic mission of Exclusive Processing company.
Exclusive Processing is known for its applications for MTS-bank, Russian Standard Bank, Promsvyazbank, etc. Microlending solutions have been issued which allow transferring the main operational workload to POS-terminals and ATMs. The total number of end customers working with mobile applications of our company amounts to 6 million people, which makes us to address as serious as possible the issues of product reliability, change management process and testing.
The testing process should not only be focused on basic operating systems of smartphones, but take into account a huge number of various models with their particular features. Special attention should be given to the information security.
Recent solutions of the company are focused on marketing financial applications. These are cross-sales to existing customers, and attracting new clients, e.g. while transferring money through a mobile application new settlement participants get a product proposal containing special conditions.
Financial mobile applications go a big and difficult way. Initially they were clones of client-bank systems, rather awkward and designed only for settlements, yet gradually they become more versatile and beautiful. What is important about this evolution? No doubt the ability to sell! To sell products, services, additional services, co-branding products, products of partners, physical goods with delivery and virtual goods. To attract a new client is especially important for this process. New client acquisition and of course the cost of such acquisition is one of the key characteristics of the business. And we can claim that given the right approach mobile applications are able both strengthen the process and make it cheaper.
One of the negative features of the Internet is its instant ability to switch customer’s attention between products of different suppliers. Search engines make this process extremely intense – you always work with the search system and always see a dozen different offers on one search page. It is absolutely different in the mobile application world – it costs some effort to migrate to the application of another vendor. And if you didn’t seriously put your client out of temper, he will stay with you.
Usually the visitor becomes a client first, and then downloads applications to get access to products. We have tried to solve a difficult task – to teach the application to work with visitors and to convert them into clients. This changes the whole working scenario. However the gain is likely to cover the cost of the changes. Currently such technologies are just starting to develop, but the situation forces us to move more actively in this direction.
The new version of financial applications will contain an embedded CRM module capable to operate not only under control of a centralized system, but also independently. This design will be able to analyze the client event flow – both from the mobile application and from other applications on the same device.
Further on after the decision rule have been triggered there is a marketing communication with the customer – it may be an SMS, a PUSH-notification and a phone-call from the operator or just a pop-up window in the application itself.
We assume that the main challenge during implementation of this module would not be connection of other system interfaces but modeling of situations from the event flow which we are going to respond to, as well as modeling of those responds through which we interact with the client.
Speaking about capabilities of the aforementioned new financial tools we can point out that today client is able to make payments from the card account and from the mobile phone account using his application and this is a useful supplement to payment services. It virtually means that the mobile application starts to take part in managing our cash. This would make operations cheaper and faster. We can imagine that new financial products would emerge especially for the mobile industry. Now it is hard to predict their nature and properties, but the trend for creating global payment services by Google and Apple is a serious step and starting point of a very long way. Nobody speaks about replacing cash, but the process is going on…
We take our commitments seriously, therefore our project of embedding payment cards into NFC-chip for Samsung phones has been completed in record-breaking time (that was the first realization in Europe and the second one globally) and allowed our clients to migrate completely the plastic card functionality to a mobile device.
On top of that our company is currently engaged in development of a product which would be primarily focused on the insurance field and Style of Life consulting, where key client activity parameters are monitored and follow-up recommendations are given if required to increase or decrease workload, or built-in services are offered.
In principle, the cost of insurance medicine in this case could be seriously optimized for the client with such application, just because the insurer is much better informed about the client’s lifestyle, so that all risks can be calculated more accurately. The technology is based on recent Apple developments within Health Kit package. This is one of the newest development areas, and it certainly will experience a rapid growth.
Thus, given the existing analogy, what we experience today and what we are involved in could be compared with the magical transformation of clumsy bank accounts in traditional offices and branches into some sort of fantastic plastic cards – beautiful, user-friendly, advanced in design, allowing to pay instantly no matter if there is money on the account. All of a sudden the transition from one bank to the service provided by an other bank became possible by a single movement in the wallet, currency exchange operations in other countries became invisible, online shopping became faster and more convenient.
Now this analogue of a payment card can do much more, and it will certainly have a truly wonderful future!