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The future of retail banking with Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Surface is getting a big facelift with the commercial launch of the 2.0 version developed in collaboration with Samsung. Here is a quick listing of what's new. We at Infosys having worked with customers in the past on the earlier Surface platform are all excited about this. Especially the thinner design that supports vertically mounting and the lower cost of this new version expands the scope of potential business applications. One particular domain that is showing much promise is retail banking.

Microsoft Surface can help generate customer interest in financial products, increase sales and reduce processing cycle time. We are exploring Surface being used at retail banking branches both as a self-service kiosk as well as a discussion tool for customers with banking sales representatives. The bank can issue credit or debit cards featuring identity tags using which customers can identify themselves by placing these on the Surface table. Alternatively identification can be achieved by placing their cell-phones, which might need a preinstalled application that communicates with Surface via Bluetooth. Similarly banking sales representatives can have identity cards with these tags to identify themselves and manage information using Surface.

As a customer self-service kiosk solution, we are looking at Surface to provide details of accounts, financial products like loans and credit cards, assist in monetary planning for retirement or children's education, logging service requests etc. As a discussion tool, while deciding on a loan, a banking sales representative can bring up interactive visualizations of loan amount, installments, tenure etc. to help the customer choose the right combination. On similar lines, a comparison between benefits of different types of accounts such as fixed deposits, recurring deposits etc. over different periods can be graphically displayed. We are considering alternative approaches for transferring the desired information to the customer such as using Bluetooth to the customer's cell phone or emailed directly from Surface. If the customer confirms a transaction, details could be transmitted to the appropriate system for further processing.

Banks have already started taking steps towards adopting Microsoft Surface. Deutsche Bank has been leveraging Microsoft Surface as a customer advisory tool at its futuristic bank branch at Berlin. The Royal Bank of Canada is using Surface as a tool to attract new customers (among other uses) where tagged brochures are mailed to potential customers to encourage them to visit the branch, place the brochure on the surface and if they are lucky, win a prize. Barclays bank at London has been using Microsoft Service for interactively displaying benefits of their products and is targeted towards existing and potential premier customers. Given these trends, it appears that adoption of Microsoft Surface by retail banking branches is set to steadily increase in the days to come.  There is much competition between banks nowadays and Microsoft Surface can be a differentiator to attract more customers.


Sounds MS Surface can be a great marketing tool. Interestingly, iPad's are also starting to play in the same space (cool-factor and WoW the customer). What would be really interesting to read? A compare and contrast of MS Surface vs. iPads!

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