The financial sector is transforming. Faced with an economic crisis borne out of pandemic, industry players are increasingly looking to become more agile and responsive to their customers’ rapidly evolving needs.
But as AXA UK&I CEO Claudio Gienal said recently, in order to empower people to live better lives, companies must first put the right foundations in place. This is where payments are crucial.
Finance is changing
The financial services sector is unlike many others in that it touches most aspects of people’s lives: from their cars to their homes, their health to their careers, and even their cherished pets. This gives firms an unrivalled opportunity to help build a better, safer, happier society.
Much of this innovation is being fuelled by smarter use of data, including AI algorithms, and a recognition of growing customer demands for simplicity, speed and personalisation.
Why payments matter
We’d argue that for financial services firms to fulfil their ambition to truly empower customers, they first need to get payments right.
Yet legacy payment processes like cheques are ill-equipped to support the new products customers and partners are demanding — and they also add extra cost, complexity and friction. This is why we advocate digital alternatives like virtual account numbers (VANs), which optimise the payment process to help financial firms deliver on their promise of digital transformation. Equally, these seamless, automated pull payment systems can make existing models even better by reducing time-sensitive costs and even generating rewards on each transaction.
A brighter future
Optal is already helping some of the biggest brands in the sector to deliver for their customers by taking risk and friction out of payments whilst creating new revenue streams. Given the current crisis, firms will benefit even more from the ability to cut costs and improve margins.
AXA’s Gienal talks about the “noble purpose of insurance” in helping to build a better society. With the right digital payment systems in place, all financial firms can finally realise this vision and drive value for themselves and their customers.