With people spending an increasing amount of time in digital space and starting to use electronic money more often, the relationship between financial institutions and their customers is changing. Traditionally, financial institutions worked, essentially, around cash-based services that were provided through one channel: the branch. Financial institutions, growing with the advent of new technologies, then had to incorporate working through additional channels such as call centers, ATMs and the internet. This is the traditional banking experience most in Uzbekistan know today. However, the next big change is here, with technological advancements reducing the need for multi-channelality and placing everything squarely in the digital realm.
Call centers, ATMs, branches, internet banking and mobile banking – all this is now digital; therefore, financial institutions should also become digital and rely on a digital platform to become their new branch. In fact, customers only need a physical location for one thing in today’s age — working with cash (i.e. either withdrawing it or depositing it into an account). These transactions, however, can all be handled electronically, through ATMs.
Financial institutions must learn to build around customer data and integrate their services in easy-to-use ways that are part of everyday life, focusing on the lifestyles of their customers. The next step for the Uzbekistani financial services market is to realize this and make a bold step into the digital. All that is necessary is that a financial institution make arrangements with ATM providers for access to their networks and focus on providing customers with the mobility, sociality and interactivity that they have come to expect in the modern, digital-based world. After all, modern users do not care how technology works or why it works, they just care that it does and that it serves their needs and makes their lives easier.