By Richard Pike, sales and marketing director of Phoebus Software Ltd
After an understandably quiet Q2 for many in our industry, we have seen a sharp upturn in volumes since July with some institutions stating they have never been busier. But for the first time in many years, 2020 will be seen as the year servicing operations saw mass increases in call and correspondence volumes, as well as other areas of businesses such as originations.
From a supplier perspective, especially one like ourselves that specialises in providing automation in all areas of servicing activities, we have continued to see new enquiries about how our systems could assist in reducing manual workloads whilst so many staff are working from home.
One product we launched was our customer self-service portal to assist with reducing call volumes into contact centres at a time they probably have never been higher. But what was different in the design of this product was that Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) were developed in a way that means the customer portal can be by interfacing with any servicing platform – not just Phoebus. In honesty, designing the solution in this way was a definite mind-set change for us as a business, but also, by looking at the positivity received, by the market as a whole.
What this product launch made clear was that our system agnostic approach to providing this solution was something the market wants. It re-affirmed what has been a clear shift in traditional mind-set of the “one supplier for everything” verses the “best of breed” multiple supplier solution.
A key advancement in adopting multiple suppler decisions by businesses that are looking at transformation programmes, has been in the advancement of API technologies. APIs are now a standard part of most bank and lending eco-systems and nearly all services, including those that were once hugely clunky interfaces, are now available by APIs. Today, an ecosystem that is integrated via APIs is the norm, and this allows IT and operations teams to choose their suppliers of choice based on best-of-breed functionality, rather a ‘one size must fit all’ approach.
There has been a large upsurge in tenders for end-to-end originations and servicing transformation programmes in the second half of this year. This may be because institutions have noticed flaws in their existing systems during the pressures of the Pandemic, but also because it is likely to be because it’s just the right strategic time to do so.
Suppliers in areas such as servicing are now able to put forward a far more compelling proposition than previously, offering integration with specialist originations software partners. Because of API development, this is now deemed a low risk option with the same implementation timescales as a single supplier implementation.
APIs will continue to become more prevalent and will drive further efficiencies within organisations. They have also levelled the playing field when it comes to supplier selection on system transformation programmes, providing far more choice and capability options. Adopting this mindset will be hugely positive from an organisation and customer experience perspective.