By Aart Jurriaanse, Divisional Executive: Transactional Information Solutions at Nedbank CIB

In today’s fast-paced business environment, product and service providers have to be able to quickly adapt to very fluid operating conditions and ever-changing customer demands.  To add to this challenge, businesses should be in a position to deliver personalised and unique customer experiences if they want to remain viable and competitive.  The need for such adaptable and dynamic operating models is not limited to customer-facing areas of a business.  Effective, reliable and scalable risk management mechanisms are just as important in ensuring that any organisation remains competitive and is able to continuously improve the quality and sustainability of the new business that it writes.

There are arguably few sectors where this need for superior customer service backed by effective risk management is more vital than the highly competitive and fast-evolving mobile telecommunications industry. One of the leading mobile service providers that has recognised the opportunity that this presents, has differentiated and enhanced its customer experience and risk management process by integrating its line-of-business system into Nedbank’s real-time Account Verification solution (AVS-R) to support its customer take-on process.

The move has effectively enabled the mobile operator’s staff in retail stores, call centres and online sales division to validate the bank account details of customers in real time.  This process, which is essential to the security of the customer, has historically been something of a frustrating bottleneck – for customer and staff – in the client acquisition and up-sell processes of most mobile service providers.  But by integrating Nedbank’s AVS-R technology into its line-of-business system, this mobile service provider has effectively achieved much better sales process efficiencies, while at the same time adding a robust layer of technology-driven risk mitigation into its business systems and processes.

Since implementing the AVS-R solution, which dovetails neatly with the client’s existing account application and credit vetting process, the company has already seen significant reductions in the time taken to onboard new customers, while at the same time enhancing its risk mitigation strategies at the customer acquisition touchpoint.

Thanks to the AVS-R technology, the client’s staff are able to immediately confirm that the customer’s provided bank details and ID number or company registration number match the information on record at the relevant bank.  Apart from the obvious fraud prevention benefit that this real-time verification delivers, Nedbank’s AVS-R solution provides the client with a number of key risk indicators around the creditworthiness, transactional habits and debit order viability of the new customer.  This allows the client to make informed decisions when signing up any new customer and helps to reduce the risk of payment defaults down the line.

The net result of all of this is a much faster and more efficient experience for the service provider’s customers’ in-store.  They no longer need to bring in bank statements, or wait long periods for their bank account details to be vetted when applying for a cell-phone contract.  In a world where instant gratification has become highly prized by consumers, the fact that Nedbank’s AVS-R solution allows customers to walk into a mobile service provider’s store and walk out with a new device or contract within minutes has delivered a real competitive advantage for the service provider.

Of course, the benefits of Nedbank’s real-time Account Verification solution aren’t reserved for mobile service operators. The convenience and enhanced customer experience delivered by the solution makes it an ideal enhancement to the customer onboarding process of any retail product or service provider.  And a growing number of such organisations are now implementing AVS-R, ranging from other mobile providers to many organisations in the insurance and telesales industries – all of which have recognised the immense value that real-time account verification offers in terms of improving their service offering and mitigating risk.

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