Things are starting to pile up on my desk, so herewith a round-up of the relevant tid-bits on the financial services file.
Biometric Bank Machines in India
Thumbprint bank machines are being piloted in India. Given that the number of ATMs in India is expected to go from 35,000 to 100,000 in the next three years, this could be big. The focus is rural areas that have not had access to financial services infrastructure, and have traditionally done their day-to-day banking through high-priced local middlemen.
Literacy has been a barrier in previous efforts to get adoption in rural areas, according to Sunil Udupa, CEO of AGS Infotech, quoted in the Wired story. Illiterate farmers couldn't remember their PIN code, and couldn't read the machines instructions. The new machines have audio and symbolic instructions, and use biometrics. Biometrics are currently used by some land-records offices in India, so the technology itself is not totally new there.
Few are actually succeeding at cross-selling
A.T.Kearney created an Organic Growth Index to survey 4,000 customers of retail financial institutions, with an objective of tracking organic growth. They discovered that the average number of accounts per customer across 32 institutions is less than two.
Great customer service scores are the price of entry, but not enough to grow share of wallet, according to author Andrew Green, also a VP at A.T. Kearney. Green concludes that banks have not created the integrated value propositions that could drive growth because they can't/don't/won't work effectively across their silo structures.
"Integrated value propositions represent new territory for most retail financial institutions, which typically are organized in silos around specific accounts. Success requires working across these silos and rethinking product pricing, positioning, marketing and even the traditional measurement and reward systems, which typically focus on one account rather than multiple products."
"Where's the cross-product value proposition?", by Andrew Green, BAI Banking Strategies, May-June, 2006.
[Strange Technical Issue: for some reason, pictures that format a bit too small in Typepad always wind up looking way too big in Feedburner. I'm knowledgeable in the ways of pixels and DPIs, but this one has me stumped. Anyone??]