By Joman Kwong, Strategic Solutions Manager, Financial, at Laserfiche
Consumer demand for support with personal finance and wealth management has increased due to the UK’s unstable economy and spiralling cost-of-living crisis. With financial consumers becoming more tech-savvy every year, it’s not just financial services themselves that are receiving attention, but also their digital modes of delivery.
Approximately 64% of Britons today think that digital procedures, such as remote account opening, online banking, or mobile apps, are crucial when deciding which financial institutions to work with. Customers now expect a similar level of usability, customization, and automation from their financial services as slick, intuitive digital experiences like the Netflix homepage quickly become the standard. Perhaps more than any other sector, the financial sector needs to exude a sense of reliability, security, and simplicity. Therefore, businesses must update their user experiences (UX) and business processes to reflect this, or else they run the risk of losing their current and potential customers.
In the past, wealth management and personal finance companies would’ve faced costly, time-intensive coding projects to upgrade their digital services. Traditional ways of developing technology applications can take several months — for testing, debugging and deploying organization-wide. This can seem overwhelming or even impossible for many organizations that have limited or strained IT resources. A recent survey of financial advisors conducted by Laserfiche found that the top three challenges to changing workflow processes were competing priorities (52%), uncertainty on where to start (35%), and lack of bandwidth (30%). So, how can firms keep pace with technology needs, while continuing to provide high-quality client services?
Because of the recent development of low-code and no-code tools, even staff members with limited programming experience can now make significant changes to online banking procedures. Let’s investigate the power of “low code/no code” in greater detail and explore how finance companies can use it to develop modern, highly effective user experiences.
What does low-code/no-code mean?
Simply, a low-code/no-code platform provides tools that empower individuals or teams to create and deploy electronic forms, automate workflows or integrate technology applications with little to no IT or programming support.
With drag-and-drop toolkits and prebuilt process templates, firms can digitize and automate processes like opening new accounts, money movement, or gathering information to complete a financial plan within a matter of hours. Low-code and no-code tools also support back-office process transformation projects, which can provide additional significant time and cost savings.
According to Forrester, low-code platforms have the potential to speed up software development by as much as 10 times when compared to traditional coding methods. After all, they not only minimise the need to code applications from scratch, but also the need to re-programme basic functionalities and back-end infrastructure by reusing pre-approved foundations. And perhaps most importantly, they free up precious IT resources to focus on more challenging, strategic projects and upgrades.
Low-code/no-code fosters agility for organisations within any industry. But for financial services, in which tough regulations and customer needs are evolving perhaps faster than ever, it allows businesses to safely respond to changes not within weeks or months, but mere days. By leveraging low-code/no-code tools, finance companies can act far faster than competitors — and earn more customers as a result.
An End-to-End Solution Approach Using Low-Code/No-Code
Though low-code and no-code platforms are commonly used for building automated solutions to customers’ pain points, their power extends beyond individual workflows. Leading low-code and no-code platforms can also support integrations using services such as integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS), which can significantly boost productivity and accelerate response to customer needs. Firms can leverage iPaaS prebuilt connectors to quickly orchestrate integration flows between line of business applications such as ECM, CRM, ERP, payment processing systems and more — rather than using the months of IT time normally required to deploy these types of solutions.
Integrating multiple platforms and data sources can ultimately unlock insights that inform firms’ strategic decisions, driving new and innovative solutions and customer experiences. For example, by integrating a firm’s CRM, ECM and customer service tools, employees can get a holistic view of their customers, and pinpoint areas of the customer journey that fail to meet expectations, such as a heavy visitor drop-off on an investment calculator tool. The firm can then address these issues by re-engineering the investment calculator process, and continue to monitor, personalise, and improve the wider customer experience.
Using low-code and no-code tools: Some considerations
While the promise of low-code/no-code has many organisations exploring this new frontier of application development, not all vendors providing low-code/no-code solutions are created equal. Firms seeking out these technologies should be aware of key considerations:
- Financial services experience: Operating in the wealth management industry requires expert-level compliance literacy. Vendors should have a deep knowledge of SEC and FINRA requirements, and a demonstrated commitment to data security and privacy.
- Ease of use: The term “low-code” casts a wide net. Technology platforms that provide intuitive experiences — such as downloadable prebuilt templates and drag-and-drop tools — provide the most value to firms looking to deploy automated solutions quickly, speed adoption and achieve fast ROI.
- Customizability: Tech vendors should provide flexibility within their solutions to allow users to easily configure solutions to fit specific organizational needs.
- Scalability: Vendors with a cloud-first development approach will provide more agility and scalability, essential for firms looking to grow and navigate change.
Low-code/no-code: Is it the future?
When comparing the use of low-code and no-code to a bottom-up coding approach, some people might find the latter a little more restrictive. However, the possibilities for what can be built are endless with the right platform. Some platforms even house solution marketplaces, where creators can post the solutions they’ve developed and others can download these pre-built models to get improvements going even faster.
Given these benefits, it’s possible that Gartner’s prediction that by 2025, “70% of new applications developed by organisations will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020,” will not be surprising. Low-code/no-code may be the solution for financial services companies looking to stay secure and prosperous throughout the impending recession as budgets are cut and digital expectations rise.