It’s not easy being a retail bank these days. Customer expectations are high when it comes to personal financial assets and information. Security is of course of paramount concern. Customers expect to be protected from fraud or theft.
But whether banking online, at a branch or an ATM or kiosk, customers expect these systems to not only be secure, but to just work, so that they can have access to their money, account information, bill paying and money transfer services on-demand without long wait times.
Banks must meet these demands for both security and performance across whatever channel customers choose to engage them. We see three imperatives for retail banks for monitoring the customer or user experience of online applications:
- Improve the online and in-branch banking experience. Banks need to ensure that customers have reliable access to their accounts via web and mobile banking applications and can interact with those applications across devices, browsers and networks with minimal latency. They also need to ensure that in-branch customer-facing systems, including self-service kiosks and automated teller machines (ATMs) are performing optimally.
- Make transactions faster. Banks need to deliver consistent high-performing transactions such as credit lookups, balance transfers and payments, even at peak times.
- Improve enterprise application performance. Banks need to monitor the performance of all employee-facing applications in branches, central offices and call centers to ensure that those systems are available, high-performing and supporting employee productivity.
That’s a lot of different applications to monitor, across different platforms, on different devices at various locations for multiple user communities. But what really matters here is how external customers or internal users experience these applications.
Fortunately, banks have help. Synthetic monitoring and real user measurement (RUM) are indispensable tools for gaining visibility into the digital experience of banks’ applications. Synthetic monitoring proactively monitors all components impacting the digital experience, providing real-time insight to preempt performance issues and optimize service delivery. It does this by automating customer or user interactions with web applications from around the globe and pinpoints potential performance issues and what’s causing them.
RUM measures performance and user behavior data, providing detailed visibility to understand actual user engagement and optimize service delivery. Synthetic monitoring and RUM work best when delivered on the same platform, with a unified interface so that monitoring data from both tools can be seen in the proper context. Banks can use synthetic monitoring for constant testing and monitoring of their applications’ performance and availability to ensure the site’s reliability, then deploy RUM to drill down on specific customer issues, often related to how a customer is navigating their site. RUM can also help banks to automate specific synthetic interactions by observing how actual users navigate the site.
When it comes to mobile, RUM can yield insights specific to the device the customer is using. Synthetic can constantly test the mobile site and mobile app and compare performance to the desktop site.
Monitoring the digital experience of applications goes far beyond the browser. Banks need visibility into the networks and infrastructure that supports digital business. This includes ISP service levels, DNS, CDNs, APIs, third party web hosts and cloud service providers.
But synthetic monitoring and RUM aren’t limited to web and mobile sites and applications. They can also be used to measure in-branch, central office and call center applications. In our next installment of this blog series, we’ll dive a bit deeper into these use cases. If you’d like to learn more right away, then download our new ebook, The Omnichannel Retail Banking Experience.