Salesforce’s New Service for Retail Banking Will Take Banks to the Cloud

EXCLUSIVE—Technology provider Salesforce has released a new cloud service for retail banking, tailored to the needs of bankers who need to keep up with an increasing number of competitors in an environment of lackluster customer loyalty.

The platform, known as Financial Services Cloud for Retail Banking, utilizes new data models powered by APIs and machine learning for better customer insight, as well as a console for customer management.

The platform is a version of the company’s Financial Services Cloud platform, which was launched earlier this year.

“There’s a bit of a gap in banking right now in particular, where maybe we don’t feel like the bank has a good understanding of who we are,” Rohit Mahna, SVP, general manager of financial services for Salesforce, told Bank Innovation. “It’s not just the customer’s not happy with the bank, we all know that story, what’s really happening is that research tells us that a third of all banking customers out there are hidden defectors.”

“Hidden defectors” are those banking customers that might open a checking account with one bank and then open a savings account or take out a mortgage loan with a competing service: and competitors are no longer just banks, but companies like PayPal and Square, as well as smaller fintechs.

The new Salesforce platform is designed to combat this by cracking open the areas of customer information banks typically have siloed, and placing that data into one console through a single vendor.  It uses existing Salesforce cloud services (like its Sales Cloud CRM) as well as third-party tools and integrations to provide a single, holistic view of the customer.

This way, all internal communications and customer data are aligned, making it easier to create a more personalized customer experience. In other words, it enables the customer to be “at the core of everything they do” at a bank, said Mahna.

“We know how banks are set up, there’s a lot of silos. If you compare that to the experience of [an] Amazon, then it really doesn’t allow you to give a great customer experience to someone, because it’s still silo-centric or product-centric,” Mahna said. “The real opportunity for banks is to move from the product model to a customer model.”

The platform is slated to become available for banks this month, according to Salesforce.

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