Depending on the approach taken to achieve multi-channel integration, consultants Celent believe that banks can expect to achieve between 10 percent and 25 percent yearly cost savings in the areas of IT and operations.
In a new report, A Road Map to Multi-Channel Integration, Celent analyzes the various types of multi-channel integration projects followed by banks in North America and Europe, examining three major strategies: single-channel, incremental best-of-breed, and enterprise-level. To address these initiatives, banks consider middleware and enterprise platforms-the two major technology options-which are broken down further into a “buy versus build” approach.
Celent says that, although much has been written about the potential benefits of multi-channel integration, little attention has been paid to the strategies that will support this evolving technology area. In the report, Celent draws conclusions about the strategy path taken by North American and European banks to address multi-channel integration initiatives.
Banks in Europe are placing a greater emphasis on integration of the various legacy systems and integration of these legacy systems to channels. North American banks, in contrast, have worked toward improving operational efficiency first by engaging in business-line discussions, focusing on channel-specific needs.
“The critical missing point for banks to differentiate themselves in areas such as customer service, product offerings, and distribution networks is the lack of integration among channels and data within the bank’s internal system infrastructure,” says Isabella Fonseca, an analyst in Celent’s banking group and author of the report. “This has caused many banks to accord additional importance to their current channel architectures and to examine the problems they cause.”
The report also contains a case study on HDFC Bank in India. The study highlights the diversity of multichannel projects across regions and details the bank’s methodology, which has led to a unified architecture. Celent reckons HDFC’s strategy can set the example for other banks implementing a multi-channel integration environment.