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First, let’s just get this out of the way right up front! We have a new service, it is called Toe Mobile Banking. Yes, you can use your toe to authenticate on iOS devices with Touch ID enabled. While everyone thinks of it as fingerprint recognition, we are pushing the envelope here at Malauzai and when we launch Apple Touch ID support in about a month, yes, we will feature the toeprint as an option. Might make for a slightly more dirty iPhone or iPad but hey, innovation comes at a price.

Second, in the continued “Is Dead” series we now comment on the concept of omni-channel. And now, yes, you guessed it, omni-channel as you know it…is dead. This must be the most overused term that nobody quite understands and everyone defines to their own selfish standards. At a recent workshop with some big banks and tech vendors, we all agreed the term is becoming saturated in its usage so let’s all move on. How about replacing it with “delivery channels” or integrated channel strategy?” Actually, I’m no high-paid consultant or research executive who works at a fancy firm so maybe we’ll just leave the naming to them, shall we?

Omni-channel, in its purest form, I believe was meant to serve two primary functions. The first being a customer experience that integrates across multiple touch points where the process portion of the interaction is coordinated. Second, it meant having a consistent look and feel across channels. Our industry of financial services has been after this elusive goal for many years. In fact, the best banks and credit unions realize that a customer or member interaction usually stems across more than one channel. Therefore, it is important to allow the customer to flow from one channel to the next cohesively. And you better make the experience consistent, either referring to the actual look or to how the brand is represented. This seems to be well-understood. I am sure I’m missing some other potential definitions for the term, and if there are others, well that supports the concept that it is indeed misused and misunderstood.

Why someone a few years back decided to reinvent these basic concepts and rename the term, I don’t know but I imagine many an executive and board member thought themselves very cool when they threw it out there. So, omni-channel as a term is dead. Let’s move on to less erudite language, and exercise terms that really get the concept across to us common folks. After all, fancy terms usually lead to the need for more analysis. Wait! Is that why consultants invented the term, to perpetuate the need for more analysis and consulting gigs and to rehash old, well-defined strategies? Hmm, interesting…

At Malauzai it is all about consistent experiences. Doesn’t matter if the end-user comes to the bank or credit union on a mobile device or the desktop, it all needs to look the same. And we would add it needs to look like mobile banking, not the legacy systems of Internet Banking. We call this MOX or mobile only experience. Think mobile everywhere. Think how cool it would be to have a customer using their desktop but interacting with an interface that looks, feels, and functions like the iPad. That is MOX in an “omni” sort of way.

Robb Gaynor, Chief Product Officer Malauzai Software robb.gaynor@malauzai.com