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Monique Visée, COO for RMB’s banking division. Picture: SUPPLIED/RMB
Monique Visée, COO for RMB’s banking division. Picture: SUPPLIED/RMB

As much as her job involves implementing and running the technology that enables banking transactions, the starting point for Monique Visée, chief technology officer and COO for RMB’s banking division, is always the client’s journey.

Being entrusted with keeping systems both cutting-edge and secure, she says: “The biggest challenge we face is adaptability. Clients should not be exposed to the complexity involved in running a bank. 

“Lockdown has been a well-known accelerant to embrace unfamiliar technology. We saw a seamless transition for our employees onto MS Teams, however not all digital transformation journeys have a pandemic to drive the digital change,” says Visée.

For Visée, this approach is underpinned by a deep understanding of the contextual background within which every client operates. “We need to understand where the client is in their business life cycle to deliver meaningful solutions.”

In some instances, clients may not want to be aware of the bank, and connect directly through the clients’ Enterprise Resource Planning solutions via machine-to-machine interactions. They may want to interact via a “small screen” (an app) to approve an authorised representative in their organisation, she says.

In other situations, they may require a “big screen” to allow effortless viewing of graphs. For a merger & acquisition transaction, the client may prefer a more intuitive engagement involving eye contact, with trusted advice being given in a face-to-face engagement. 

Visée says the bank’s digital process starts with a human-centred design team: “The business identifies a use case, from where they map out the client journey. This is followed by a user interaction discussion with the client to Test the design. Real-time feedback allows us to step into the shoes of our various client personas, such as the corporate treasurer, and build out a digital experience based on their needs.”

RMB’s banking division consists of various solution teams and technology stacks. However, the experience for the client must be “seamless”, she says, and is resolutely focused on the client not being exposed to the complexity involved in running a bank. 

The evolution of banking systems has required the modernisation of monolithic and fragmented systems into a more microservices approach to respond quicker to enhancements, as well as a deliberate strategy regarding internal and external application programming interfaces (API).  

An API is a software intermediary which allows applications to talk to one another without knowledge of how they are implemented. “This is critical in orchestrating processes, where the complexity of banking is removed from the client. It allows us to focus on solutions, as opposed to pushing a singular product addressing only certain needs,” Visée says. 

This all happens while maintaining high security standards. “It is our responsibility to mitigate risk,” Visée says. “Our clients place their trust in us as a bank, and it’s a predetermined rule that we do our utmost to protect their data and secure the environment.”

In addition to mitigating complexity and security risk, smart thinking and technology should also save time. 

The credit decision-making process for a highly structured loan is a good example. Deliberate and carefully orchestrated technology can reduce a lengthy credit approval process. Leveraging data expedites decisions, without the client being exposed to the multifaceted processes. This could reduce the decision-making time substantially.

“It’s a win-win for the client and the solutions teams trying to expedite a transaction,” says Visée, who understands she has another set of “clients” — the bank’s employees.

She highlights the importance of senior leadership buying into the journey with the desired mindset and resilience to tackle those attached to their excel spreadsheets. Whether it’s a new approach to a client need or an employee value proposition, everyone involved has to buy in to the bank’s digital transformation.

“If we understand and react appropriately to a client’s needs, the client enforces adoptability of the digital journey — for employees as well. The transition is easier when there is complete alignment between clients and our employees delivering fit-for-purpose solutions.”

This article was paid for by RMB.

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