FRONTEO, the omni-channel front-end product for banks
The product is based on the rationale first that the customer journey happens on different channels and second that the customer can switch from one channel to the other within the same process. This must be executed in a seamless way for the end user.
There are today five channels available in FRONTeO:
- The public site: unauthenticated users can interact with bank products (onboarding, simulations …).
- The mobile: dedicated secured apps available on common stores (Google, Apple and Windows). It requires customer enrolment.
- The Home banking: secure web application for registered customers.
- The PSD2 channel: API publishing allowing third party applications (AISP or PISP) accessing bank services in a secure way.
- The Branch: dedicated interfaces for agents. Contains the widest level of functionalities.
More than multi-channel, our solution is really omni-channel:
- Customer over channel: we do not propose different channels independently but rather accompany the customer journey through different channels, whatever the starting channel. We can talk about holism of the customer journey.
- The information is consistent through each channel (no replication, no truncated info).
- The customer is lead to the most comfortable channel to complete the task. For example, scanning a document is easier with the mobile than the desktop.
- Optimize investments (for the Bank): investing in an omni-channel solution provides a better ROI than multiplying independent channels
The architecture is broken down in four layers (see figure below):
- The presentation layer containing the pages of the application. Our ‘single page application’ solution is compliant with responsive design making it available on different devices. It supports also most of browser types, and, in particular, the big 4, latest and previous major versions. The user experience is a key element of the presentation layer
- The interaction layer containing façades (one per channel) that will expose channel objects specific to each channel. The façade is mainly responsible for security controls and mapping between channel objects and business objects. No business logic is described at this level.
- The cross-channel layer containing the cross-channel business services. The definition of business objects in the cross-channel layer in independent of the channel. The cross-channel layer contains the business logic and two specific components:
- The BPMS (business process management system)
- A BRMS (Business Rule Management system)
- The Data Access layer responsible for data persistence. FRONTeO uses two different databases:
- A relational database (Oracle) containing all critical data related to customers, accounts, loans …
- A NoSQL database (MongoDB) for non-critical data (parameters, logs and journaling…).
When FRONTeO has not the ownership of data, the persistence is delegated to another system. For that purpose, FRONTeO has an integration layer allowing a seamless integration of external web services. This will be used for the interactions with the back-ends.
The new framework offers also many additional features like the communication manager or the task manager.
Business Process Management System (BPMS)
A business process models a series of tasks to produce a desired outcome, usually involving multiple participants and several stages in an organization.
The business process describes the sequential steps that comprise a work process in the business environment. The process may either be sequential, with each step contingent upon completion of the previous one, or parallel, with multiple steps occurring simultaneously. Users are guided through the tasks. A process creates a trace that can be monitored.
The BPMS advantages:
- It brings flexibility in the software customization for each customer;
- It is visual: business entities can easily understand and validate a business process that will be effectively running part of the software;
- It is based on recognized standards.
Human Tasks Management System (HTMS)
Task management is the process of managing a task through its life cycle. It involves planning (scheduling, setting priority, assigning, delegating …) and tracking.
Task management can help either individuals or groups of individuals collaborate and share knowledge for the accomplishment of goals. Tasks are triggered by activities in the process. When a process requires a human action, a task is created and assigned to potential owners (customers, agents, head office users … or groups of such actors) who can carry out the task.
Tasks are seamlessly incorporated in FRONTeO. Any user action that corresponds to a pending task will be mapped and the task status will be automatically updated.
Business Rules Management System (BRMS)
Business rules are business logic that applies to the service in order to semantically validate the service request. As these business rules are varying from one customer to another, FRONTeO defines these rules in an external engine that can be easily customized by each customer.
A business rules engine is also used to specific complex computations. It provides a user interface to graphically display or update the rules by business analysts, without requiring code modification.
A main concern for many banks is evaluating the best communication technique to increase customer engagement. How do you convince customers to interact with your product in the most contextual manner? What is the best channel to communicate with the customers or internally?
Mobile has become the most impactful communication platform due to its massive growth over the past five years. The ability to reach customers directly on their smartphone can help boost visibility as long as their devices are powered on.
The communication manager is a transversal application within the FRONTeO suite. It will help banks setting up the right message to the right recipient and through the right channel.
The chat is a built-in feature that allows end-users of the application starting a text conversation in a duplex mode. FRONTeO Chat is an omni-channel feature.
FRONTeO Chat offers the following features:
- Multiple chat rooms, based on language and topic. Chat rooms can be defined by busness expertise and spoken language. An agent can belong to several rooms
- Private conversation between a customer and an agent
- Multiple conversations for the same agent
- Ability for the customer to store the current request and for the agent to display customer request state. For example, a chat conversation starting while the customer is requesting a loan will allow the agent visualizing the loan request started by the customer, even if the process is not completed yet
- Possibility to anticipate customer chat request at specific stages. Example: Triggering chat with automated message “May I help you?”
- All conversations are stored within FRONTeO NoSQL database for further analytics
- Possibility for agents to flag conversations in order to retrospectively analyze them with the chat team. This could be used in case of unexpected questions that should be discussed to extend the knowledge base.