Banks today know that if they want to win on customer experience, they have to leverage powerful digital technologies to strengthen their overall customer experience to meet and even exceed customers’ increasing demands and expectations. Technologies like application programming interface (API), blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the industry and unlocking the potential for tailored customer experiences, hyper-personalization and supporting new business models.

But there’s a catch. Putting many of these technologies to use in real-time requires processing large amounts of data. The quantity of data involved means using a traditional hub-and-spoke server model and results in lengthy delays.

Enter “edge” computing. Instead of sending data across long routes, edge computing processes data closer to where it’s stored. This means faster processing and a smoother experience.

Edge computing is one of the most promising tech innovations in banking today and is rapidly becoming a mission-critical infrastructure. That’s because of edge computing’s potential to be combined with other technologies like AI, cloud, and 5G networking across many banking use cases. And here are the most exciting ones.

Unlocking immersive, personalized digital customer engagement opportunities

Banks can use edge computing to deploy transformative and highly personalized customer service experiences. These include virtual tellers, near-field communications, and facial recognition technologies permitting relevant rather than generic products to be offered to customers. For example, when a prospective customer walks into a branch, they could be offered a suitable home loan, car loan or saving plan for relevant life events—instantly.

Permit increased financial inclusion

Banking can be made more accessible and inclusive with technologies powered by edge computing and 5G networking. For instance, it can make experiences like video chat with a banker more immersive and faster. It can also accelerate home or personal loan applications.

AI-powered video analytics

AI, when combined with edge computing, can be leveraged to capture, analyze and extract critical insights for improving customer experiences. For instance, this could include looking at how customers use the physical space of a branch, or even look at customer sentiment by using facial expression analysis.

Lean and portable bank branches

With edge computing, banks can re-think retail branch formats and develop lean, portable, shared and white-label branches. These branches could be served remotely by tellers and use computer vision and edge analytics. They could make it possible to offer customized financial banking products and services to customers located anywhere, including at concerts, hospitals and sporting events.

Next-generation analytics for smarter decision making

Perhaps most important of all, edge computing can help banks understand their customers better than ever. Edge computing offers the next level in creating personalized products, offering targeted campaign messages, and pushing relevant product content to customers in the branch by leveraging anonymized data using mobile application, near-field communications technology, and location services.

New technology has played a huge role in changing the banking industry in recent years. Tech like AI and APIs are helping banks improve the customer experience. With edge computing, banks are now able to provide that improved experience more efficiently than ever. The opportunities it presents to banks to exceed customer expectations could without doubt provide a competitive edge.

If you’d like to continue the conversation about edge computing, we’d love to hear from you. I can be reached here, while my colleague Arshad Rizvi, who contributed to this article, can be reached here.

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