With the growing popularity of digital transformation in the financial industry, there has never been a better time for corporate banks to rethink their current operations to adapt to the changing times.
That said, some may not be so keen to move on to the latest tech offerings, for any number of reasons. Perhaps they aren’t ready to take on the large upfront costs of upgrading, or they may not have the time to train their staff to use the new system.
No matter what the reason may be, though, holding on to older legacy systems often does not make the most business sense. In fact, it can lead to all sorts of problems that can negatively impact your bank’s productivity and efficiency.
These inefficiencies will not only affect your employees’ quality and rate of work but will also cause your bank to miss out on various revenue opportunities. Financial institutions that insist on maintaining disparate pricing and billing processes, for instance, can lose anywhere from three to eight percent of their income.
To make matters worse, problems stemming from disparate systems can cause your company to lose even the most loyal customers.
Indeed, seemingly minor problems at any point of the customer journey could snowball into larger issues if left unaddressed. Given that the costs of customer acquisition far outweigh the costs of customer retention, it is in your bank’s best interest to streamline your workflows and processes as soon as possible.
Fortunately, with advancements in modern technology, it is relatively simple to keep your bank’s enrollment and billing processes—as well as your pricing and revenue management—up to industry standard.
When done correctly, the right cloud-based software solution can remove risks and inefficiencies typically associated with less integrated legacy systems. These benefits will be felt not only within the organization but also across your entire customer base.
Truly, going all-in on a modernized and centralized system can greatly improve member experience, increasing customer retention rates as a result. Before going out to find such a software solution, though, it’s a good idea to take a step back and review how enrollment and billing processes are currently carried out.
The Current State of Enrollment and Modern Billing Systems-
In the past, most banks managed their enrollment and billing functions through a monolithic system. But as time has gone on, more and more companies have started adopting a different approach: investing in separate systems for enrollment and billing, then finding a way to integrate them with each other.
This is typically done via the use of an integration layer, one that not only eliminates the risks involved in executing point-to-point integrations but also takes care of formatting the incoming data for each system.
This approach allows banks to enjoy top-of-the-line functionalities for billing and enrolling purposes. At the same time, the integration layer formats and provides data through the same pathway, ensuring that the data is always consistent across the different systems.
The shift toward componentized systems, though, begs the question: what core competencies can each system concentrate on?
For instance, some experts believe that pricing should also be carried out within a bank’s enrollment system, given that it already contains all membership records.
Others insist that pricing should be done by a bank’s billing system, given that most existing pricing engines already require integration of enrollment data. Because of this, they argue that doing the reverse—integrating billing data into the enrollment system—would be considered redundant.
Advantages of Modernizing Your Bank’s Enrollment and Billing Processes-
The good news is that there do exist modern revenue management and billing systems that come with all of the above capabilities and much more.
Such a solution would also feature a robust pricing engine and should be built on adaptive and configurable rules, allowing for the flexibility needed to keep up with constantly shifting markets while also remaining compliant with new regulations. These improvements, taken all together, can greatly enhance member experience in the following ways:
It Can Offer Faster Time-to-Market for Constantly Evolving Products
In this day and age, changes happen in the blink of an eye in the corporate banking industry. This is especially true when it comes to the digital banking industry. New competitors are always entering the market, and industry standards are constantly being updated.
As such, market responsiveness is key to winning potential customers over as well as keeping existing ones happy. A modern enrollment and billing system with a complex, configurable, agile pricing engine will allow banks to speed up product development and reduce time-to-market.
If your staff can roll out new and updated products quickly and efficiently, customers will be more likely to turn to your company for their banking needs.
It Can Eliminate Bottlenecks in Customer Service
More often than not, a large number of customer service inquiries are initiated due to inconsistencies or inaccuracies in their bills.
To swiftly resolve these issues, customer service representatives will need to have all of the necessary information on hand, preferably in a single software solution. Otherwise, they will have to look through multiple systems just to find the source of the problem.
As a last resort, they may have to refer the customer over to another team for further assistance.
These scenarios will be a thing of the past once your company upgrades to a centralized enrollment and billing system. With this, your customer service representatives will be able to see all relevant data in one place.
This includes the customer’s actual invoice and all billed items, as well as any manual adjustments, payments, or credits that may have been applied throughout their enrollment. They will also be able to see how the customer’s exact premiums or fees were calculated.
All this will allow any customer service team to answer pressing questions without having to transfer or put any customer on hold, resulting in much smoother and hassle-free member experiences.
It Can Futureproof Your Company for M&A Growth
Some of the biggest players in the banking industry have experienced growth through strategic Mergers and Acquisitions. As a result, though, they likely ended up having to manage multiple types of enrollment and billing systems. Unfortunately, consolidating these systems is easier said than done due to differences in data across said systems.
Because of the complexities inherent to systems consolidation, most banks make the mistake of skipping this process.
For those that do go through with it, the process often takes multiple years to complete. The bad news is that this consolidation process has to be undertaken each time a merger or acquisition is completed, which can be a daunting task even for industry giants.
Additionally, great care must also be taken when carrying out consolidation processes. Otherwise, even a single mistake could cause a bevy of errors for customers who rely on your bank’s current systems. These sorts of inconveniences, if left unresolved, could put your bank at risk of losing customers, whether they were with your bank before or after any mergers or acquisitions.
Upgrading to a modernized enrollment and billing system may be a hefty upfront investment, but it will ultimately pay you back in spades down the line.
This software would ideally feature upstream enrollment systems that can send records across to the unified billing system and take pricing rules from that, rather than relying on independent, potentially misaligned, pricing rules built into the enrollment system itself.
It should also come with a reliable integration layer that can automatically format and pass on these records. Not only will this keep your existing customer base happy, but this also makes it much simpler for your bank to pursue more mergers and acquisitions, essentially setting you up for future M&A growth.
This growth, in turn, can potentially provide your bank with even more capabilities and resources for offering customers new and improved products and services, resulting in better member experiences.
Systems modernization requires a great deal of time, money, and effort, all of which can discourage companies from pursuing these sorts of endeavors. Unfortunately, putting off these much-needed upgrades can translate into frustrating experiences for customers which, in turn, may increase customer churn rates.
Put simply, insisting on holding on to outdated systems will be detrimental to your bank’s success in the long run. Given all of this, it’s best to look into modernizing your bank’s billing and enrolling processes ASAP—before it’s too late.