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Davanti Dreamforce Digest #5: Retail banking highlights

19th October 2021

Author Callum MacErlich

Salesforce is an important and powerful tool that helps Davanti’s customers get closer to their customers, helping to create connected experiences for meaningful and sustainable outcomes.

A number of the Davanti team attended sessions at this year’s Dreamforce, learning more about updates to the tech stack as well as gaining insights into their particular areas of expertise – and then we asked them to share their insights and highlights as part of this #DF21 Davanti Digest series.

Callum MacErlich, Salesforce Architect, Senior Manager and one of our financial services subject matter experts, shares his retail banking highlights and insights from this year’s line-up.


What were you looking to get out of this year’s Dreamforce?

I’ve been interested in the financial services sector for a number of years, and it’s an area that Salesforce has been investing in heavily. Financial Services Cloud is now their biggest industry cloud and we’re seeing a big uptake of this in New Zealand as well.


What were your highlights?

Interview with Vlad Tenev, Robinhood CEO

I especially enjoyed the interview with Robinhood CEO and founder Vlad Tenev. It was fascinating to hear how one of the most innovative financial services companies in the world is using Salesforce to deliver their digital transformation. Dreamforce always delivers incredibly interesting speakers from organisations that are pushing the boundaries, and this session doesn’t disappoint.

A focus on better digital experiences and journeys for customers

Across this year’s Dreamforce, for me, one of the most exciting aspects of the sessions has been the emphasis on how we can provide better digital experiences and journeys for customers. This is important for all industries and organisations that serve customers, but even more so for financial services providers. Speed of delivery, both in terms of outcomes for customers and in being able to deliver these new processes and experiences to the business, is critical. Worldwide, established banks are being challenged by newcomers that are driving digital innovation and pushing the boundaries of what it means to interact with your financial provider.

Differentiation through automation

Automation is going to be a key differentiator in this space and Salesforce is investing heavily in no or low-code tools to support this. These help to power better experiences for customers as well as bankers, and we’re going to see even more growth in these capabilities going forward.

The Nano example

Although not a Dreamforce highlight, one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in this space recently is an Australian example of digital mortgages via Salesforce. Utilising a digital end-to-end process powered by Salesforce, data and their own algorithms, Nano has the ability to approve an unconditional loan offer in under 10 minutes.

This kind of disruption from new providers is something we can expect to see more of within the New Zealand market, especially with the ongoing work with Open Banking.


What was announced that you’re looking forward to?

New service console for banking coming soon

This new service excellence tool will help keep the most important information front and centre and ensure that a customer’s information is surfaced when you need it, which will help bankers build deeper relationships with their customers.

Digital Process Automation

A suite of tools that allow organisations to develop branded, customer-centric journeys and experiences with very little – or no – code, and to deploy those journeys and experiences really quickly.


What were your key takeaways and insights for financial services?

The ‘digital imperative’ for financial services organisations

One of my key takeaways was the concept of the ‘digital imperative’ in the financial services sector. 70% of customers expect a seamless transition between their physical and digital interactions with their provider. This trend existed pre-Covid, but has accelerated hugely in the last 18 months. At Davanti, we’re definitely seeing more customers wanting to engage and service their customers via the channels that work for them, rather than just via a branch or website.

It’s very clear that, going forward, banks and financial companies are going to have to take advantage of any opportunities to improve their operational and service processes to provide faster, more intelligent, and valuable offerings to customers.

Salesforce’s recent inaugural financial services research, The Customer Imperative in Financial Services Report, produced in collaboration with Bain & Company and drawing on findings from more than 5,000 Australian organisations and 200+ financial services employees, provides some really useful insights on how the retail banking and general insurance industries have performed through the pandemic and where customers expectations are heading (you can download the report here).

Ultimately, it’s all about keeping the customer at the core of everything you’re doing – which is something Davanti is really passionate about: helping our customers get closer to their customers and creating connected experiences.

This customer-centricity is, of course, important for all organisations – and it’s something we’re seeing all our customers invest more time and focus on – but it’s particularly important for financial services, where you’re dealing with things as personal and important as someone’s money, their retirement or the roof above their heads. As we’ve seen time and again, customer experience, personalisation and connectedness is the thing that will set financial services organisations apart and ensure their survival and success into the future.


What was most relevant for New Zealand organisations?

Advantage through automation

Automation, where possible, is going to provide customers and financial providers the greatest value. Salesforce’s acquisition of Vlocity and the increased functionality being provided to the core Financial Services Cloud offering are providing a massive uplift in the capabilities that Salesforce provides. The suite of capabilities provided by the new Digital Process Automation offering is going to allow for an accelerated ability to provide new channels and experiences for customers to interact with, all while maintaining compliance.

With the continued changes to regulations in the sector, providers that can be compliant in ways that create the least amount of friction for customers and bankers will prosper. Unlocking the power of data stored in core systems via low code solutions will be critical to this, allowing bankers to concentrate on delivering value to their customers rather than gathering information that customers have provided before, or leveraging this data to provide more automated journeys is going to drive better customer experiences and retention.

If you’d like to talk about any of the topics covered here, we’d love to chat – please get in touch.


Related reading:

Financial services keynote and Robinhood discussion

Automated Customer Experiences

Nano: an unconditional loan approval in 10 minutes

Salesforce and Bain’s The Customer Imperative in Financial Services Report

Salesforce’s Best of Dreamforce – sessions on demand

Davanti Dreamforce Digest #1: Our Dreamforce 2021 highlights

Davanti Dreamforce Digest #2: The sustainability imperative

Davanti Dreamforce Digest #3: Integration insights

Davanti Dreamforce Digest #4: Tableau and data analytics highlights