Amanda Scott talks to Brian Cantwell about digital experience at RBS, being in the second Leasing Foundation Young Leaders programme, and whether the leasing industry can make it to the same level as retail banking when it comes to technological innovation
How has working with the Leasing Foundation driven your career?
I was in Lombard originally, within RBS; for my role in that team was propositions and planning. I started looking at digital pieces and I have been involved in some digital projects in the Lombard space.
Lombard is one of the businesses that sits within the commercial and private banking franchise, and within that there’s a bigger digital team – that is the team I have moved into. I’m still working across the different franchises – Lombard, Invoice Finance, commercial and private banking spaces – but in a purely digital role, supporting all of the different areas, so we are aligned in what we offer to customers.
The Leasing Foundation has been really good – I was in the second cohort of the Future Leaders programme.
“I meet different people outside the bank or Lombard, and have an opportunity to network with different people from various companies, so it could be legal people or technical people. The programme has been really comprehensive and we have visited a number of different organisations involved in leasing.
We have also had tours of their sites and met key senior people within the organisation, who talked to us about their plans and strategies, about how their careers have evolved and how did they got into leasing and developed their career. That’s been really insightful as well.
Where are the key developments going to come from in digital banking?
Mobile is going to be really key, whereas at the moment, particularly in the commercial space where there’s an awful lot that’s on PC – people are still using their computers to do things.
I think mobile is where it will go fairly rapidly, I already see that in the personal banking space, so I think for commercial it will rapidly get to the mobile place.
There’s lots of talk about robo-advisories, where in effect there aren’t people sitting behind lots of these information posts. It’s all very intuitive; built on intelligence and what customers will want.
What does working in digital customer experience involve?
The digital customer experience is everything from what we deliver now, to what we deliver in the future for customers.
The development of digital [customer facing platforms online and on mobile] is moving quite quickly, and customer demand in terms of what they are looking for and what they expect in the future is moving very fast, so their expectation is constantly being re-benchmarked.
Our role is figuring out what the customer’s needs are, where those needs are changing, and what they are changing and moving towards. And then offer propositions and digital changes to meet those needs.
So what are people’s expectations now about the service they would expect if they wanted a digital transition?
Customers expect the ‘digital channels’, the platform they are using, to be very fast and seamless; they don’t expect to have to come out of the channel to complete a transaction.
Customers expect to be able to complete everything in that channel that they have chosen.
People are used to apps being quick, simple, intuitive. They don’t need to have training on how to use things: it should be very self-explanatory and easy.
It’s good experience to base things on what Apple are doing: that’s the best in class. They deliver even more whenever they do anything in the digital channel; it’s of a high standard.
Does that mean that we are going to use this more centrally in the future for banking?
Definitely. There are more apps around now in personal banking: more people are using digital and mobile banking too. That’s the way banking is headed. Over 4 million users have downloaded our mobile app, with a quarter of a million of those downloads happening this year.
Customers are not going into the branch as much, so these channels will become more and more important. A lot of customers say: “Well, this is my channel of choice; this is what I want to use; its more convenient, it’s 24/7, I can bank when I want to; I don’t have to wait on branch opening hours or for a relationship manager.” It allows them to do those things, self service, and at their own convenience.
Will this translate into corporate banking and asset finance?
More people are looking into it: where they have adopted things in their banking life, then there would be no reason why this couldn’t be translated into the business, commercial and asset finance space.
There may be some pieces that are more complex, and the help and support that we provide needs to be in a slightly different way or more tailored, but in terms of being able to do at least the basic transactions, I think customers are expecting it to be done across all of their banking.
It would seem strange in a way if you could do something in your personal banking but you couldn’t do the same transaction as a business.
Is there a tech gap for the leasing market?
There probably is more that can be done. Obviously personal banking is leading the way, so more has been done in that area and people have adopted quicker, but that’s probably because there has been more technology and more developments out there for customers to use.
I think the business and commercial market is starting to catch up. So, things are changing, I think it will be rapid in terms of catching up with personal banking. If there’s demand there, then more lenders will need tech companies to come into that space.
So does RBS work on its digital experience in-house, or do you work with third-party developers as well?
A bit of both. If we have the internal resources we would use them first, to deliver the best solution for our customers.”