We’ve been creating tailored customer contact solutions for the UK retail banking industry since 2002. It’s one of our key market areas and as a result we are pretty clued up on how it works. But it’s a tricky industry to navigate, putting us through our paces at times but ultimately meaning the solutions we deliver are slick, robust and ultra-secure. And they need to be.
The challenge for any business, like us, working with major highstreet banks, is that the banks can afford to be choosy. After all, they can access any vendors that provide the services they want and have the money and resource to cherry pick the very best. Even if a business gets its foot in the door with a bank, it will still have to impress the ‘gatekeepers’ – these are the particular departments within the bank, such as Risk, Compliance, CX, InfoSec, and Finance. Each of these teams need to be continually satisfied with the services and products provided and if they’re not, you could be on the chopping block.
Of course, banks must be selective in who they work with. Every department within the bank and every partner or vendor they work with must run a tight ship. Banks have to keep several plates spinning at once, for example doing the right thing for customers (the lifeblood of the whole thing), optimising their costs, and staying the right side of all legal/regulatory constraints. Doing all of these well is what helps create and maintain the commodity that every bank needs – trust.
How do we help them do this?
Maintaining our long-standing preferred supplier relationships with our banking clients takes a lot of hard work, understanding and consistency. Here’s some of the things we do to pull it off:
Responsive to change
With the financial services industry being so heavily regulated, there is no room for shoddy tech or lazy data management. Information Security is high on the agenda, new regulations are issued all the time and the applications we deliver need to adhere to these regulations. Being governed by a variety of regulations means there can be times when these regulations compete with each other, making it a bit of a minefield. We need to be flexible, agile, and nimble enough to support the bank’s needs as regulations change or indeed conflict with one another. There will always be regulatory changes and this in turn creates changes to working practises, and the need for change often comes quickly too. It’s therefore imperative that our solutions support this constantly evolving landscape.
Safe as houses
Data security obviously forms a very large part of the considerations surrounding the management of customer or bank data – with an increased focus on this recently due to GDPR. ContactPartners has always taken a proactive and pragmatic approach to data security, gaining ISO27001 accreditation in 2011. All applications are also successfully penetration tested by our clients at least once a year, ensuring the highest levels of security are maintained.
Measure twice, cut once
We provide a number customer-facing web journeys for our banking clients which must adhere to strict rules surrounding customer experience. What we produce must meet their exacting standards or it doesn’t go live.
We have an in-house team dedicated to quality testing everything we build. We’ll try and break it again and again and only when we can’t break it will we consider it ready for our client.
With any critical process, availability is also a big consideration. If our systems were to fail, then many thousands of people will be immediately affected – so it’s serious stuff. We provide our services from a very robust and resilient core platform as well as continually monitoring systems to ensure services are always on.
In summary, if your business is providing products and services for the financial services industry you’ll quickly discover that your business needs to consistently be a number of things:
- Agile, fast, responsive
- Accurate, adhere to the client’s standards
- Robust, reliable, always on
If, like us, you have worked hard for your business to embody all of the qualities above, then not only will you likely survive in financial services – one of the toughest industries – but you will thrive in many other industries too.
We do, so that’s why we think it’s good that banking is our thing!