What Comes After Omnichannel Communications

Remember those days back when you used to make phone calls? There were likely times where you had something you wanted to share with someone who didn’t want to speak to you and as soon as that person picked up the phone, you would say something like, “Wait, please don’t hang up” instead of saying hello? This paragraph is the equivalent of me saying wait, please don’t hang up and keep reading, because this is something that I think everyone should be thinking of.

One of the benefits to scouring the Internet every morning is that you see a lot of content, and that allows you to connect dots and maybe put a couple of semi-interesting articles together into something that really hits home. I think this is one of those articles. This morning, I saw an article announcing that Revolut, a fintech company that offers banking services, has announced it is rolling out a feature that will allow customers to chat with one another via the company’s app. The thinking is that people generally don’t like to talk about money, so making it easier for people to talk about money is something that people want. Rather than leaving the app to use a different messaging service to work out payment details, it can all be done right inside the app now. The company also mentioned the results of a survey, which indicated that anxiety about money management — especially among younger consumers — is leading to financial neglect.

Now, that’s a little interesting in and of itself. But then I saw the results of a survey conducted by the American Bankers Association that said for the third year in a row, consumers are conducting their banking via mobile apps than through any other method. Forty-five percent of consumers are using apps to manage their accounts, compared with 27% who are using online banking and 14% who are actually visiting a branch in person.

If you’ve listened to any webinar on the topic of omnichannel communications or digital collections, the phrase “meeting the consumer where they want to be met” has likely been mentioned one or two times. While companies in the ARM industry are just starting to grasp that concept with respect to communication channels, now might be the time to understand that communication is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a whole world of opportunity that exists on a consumer’s smartphone.

Maybe there isn’t something that can be done about this within the ARM industry yet. But it’s time to start planting these seeds and start thinking about where the industry is headed. This is a prime reason why I launched ARMTech, a technology conference for the ARM industry. The ARM industry is changing faster than a lot of companies can keep up. We need to be thinking about more than just sending a text message to get in touch with a consumer. I’ve watched the industry come a long way in a very short time, but this is a marathon, not a sprint. Whether this means collection operations start launching their own apps or joining together to create one app that they all share, more changes are coming. I know it’s hard to think that far down the road when there are so many fires burning in your office that need to be put out today. But understanding trends like this will help you be at the forefront of what is coming for the ARM industry, instead of trying to play catch-up later on.

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