How composable technology improves experiences in financial services

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The financial services industry is one of the most advanced sectors when it comes to using digital technology. However, companies in this space are constantly competing for customers at every level, from large investment firms to small, independent banks.

To stay ahead of the competition and satisfy customer needs, financial institutions must take advantage of the most advanced solutions available to optimize customer experiences. Composable digital experience platforms provide an easy-to-implement suite of tools and features that allow businesses to execute complex tasks quickly and cost efficiently. 

In this blog, we’ll explain what a composable DXP is, then look at how financial services companies rely on this technology. We’ll also cover the major benefits of composable DXPs and give you questions to ask when selecting a DXP.

What is a composable digital experience platform (DXP)?

In a legacy platform, a suite of features and capabilities are built into the software by the vendor. You pay for everything in the suite, even features you don’t want. To add functionality, you must choose vendor-approved, third-party plug-ins. There’s no freedom to choose the ideal solutions for your business as you grow.

Composable DXPs differ. They’re “composed” of best-in-breed solutions that work together via APIs to deliver omnichannel content and digital experiences. With composable, you’re no longer locked into features and capabilities chosen by the vendor. Instead, you can compose a unique DXP with the right mix of tools for your business.

Many types of software can be integrated into a composable DXP such as:

  • E-commerce tools
  • Asset management
  • Customer management
  • Omnichannel management
  • Marketing automation and analytics
  • Content workflows
  • Customer engagement
  • AI tools

The architecture of legacy and composable DXPs also differs. With a legacy platform, developers create HTML code to control how a website’s front-end display looks. This is great for managing content like photos, text, art, and videos on one website. However, it’s inefficient when using content across multiple websites and channels like social media sites and native apps.

With legacy systems, users must manage content separately for each channel. This is difficult, time-consuming and also increases the risk of human error. Legacy systems simply can’t provide the level of agility financial organizations require to deliver the meaningful content experiences required to be competitive.

Composable DXPS are built on composable architecture with headless content management systems at the core. With headless, the front-end display and back end are disconnected. Because of this separation, content for multiple channels is managed from one central hub. Then it’s pushed to websites, mobile apps and social media on demand. When integrated with tools like real-time customer data and analytics, organizations become more agile. This leads to greater customer satisfaction along the customer journey.

How financial services companies use composable technology

To understand how financial companies rely on composable technology, let’s consider their customers. According to the Forbes Advisor: 2022 Digital Banking Survey, nearly 80% of adults in the U.S. prefer using a mobile app or website for banking rather than banking in person at a physical location.

That’s not surprising when digital is more accessible and convenient. With digital, customers can bank 24/7 from anywhere in the world on any device. They no longer have to leave home to make a deposit, get a loan or even close on a new house.

New digital-only banks have also disrupted the market. These non-traditional banks offer fast, convenient mobile banking solutions and payment services. And they have left some traditional banks struggling to keep up.

Advances in digital technology aren’t limited to banking either. E-commerce is booming. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales in 2022 were estimated to total $1.03 billion. Payment providers, acquiring banks and card schemes like Mastercard work behind the scenes to enable these transactions.

Customer expectations of financial services organizations have evolved along with technology. Customers now expect options that make it easy to manage their banking, conduct financial business and make purchases quickly and conveniently. This has increased competition between financial services companies trying to seize their share of the market.

Competition is actually responsible for furthering banking along the digital journey toward digitized processes and digital revenue. In fact, according to Gartner’s CIO Survey 2021, it’s further along than any other industry.

That's why robust DXPs are must-have technology for financial services companies trying to seize their share of the pie. By robust, we mean composable DXPs that support personalization, marketing automation, data and analytics, and other tools your tech stack may require to keep pace with customers expectations.

Benefits of a composable DXP for financial services  

Increased flexibility 

Banks, payment providers and other financial services companies gain the freedom to keep existing systems and solutions they require to do business, while integrating new solutions they want to leverage for customer engagement and other purposes. Put simply, they can choose the best mix of tools for their unique success story.

From one composable platform, this mix of best-in-breed solutions will connect and communicate seamlessly. Many complex processes that were once slow, time-consuming and left room for error become automated and streamlined.

Agility 

Composable empowers financial organizations to move faster. They could mean pushing important information to multiple channels quickly or adding a new product ahead of a competitor. This agility enables financial organizations to scale faster while still keeping up with customer expectations and regulatory requirements.

Composable DXPs can even help financial organizations to grow as it enables them to deliver much better content experiences. This not only helps to attract brand new customers, but builds customer satisfaction and customer loyalty among existing customers. 

Enhanced security 

Composable enables faster implementation of security updates. This minimizes both disruption and vulnerability to cyber attacks. Financial organizations are very susceptible to cyberthreats from criminals trying to access financial assets or personal information to target customers. And the slow process of updating security protocols with traditional, legacy DXPs can result in lengthy downtimes. During these times, secure systems are more vulnerable to cyber threats.

Not only do government regulations require that financial organizations take security measures to protect their customers from cyberthreats, customers have similar expectations. They want security when they bank or conduct any business through a financial services provider. This is true whether they’re banking on their phone or making a purchase on an e-commerce site.

What to consider when implementing a composable DXP

Before choosing a DXP, it’s crucial to first consider who will be using the platform and how they will use it. Be sure to loop in stakeholders from marketing, IT and business. Developing specific use cases will provide a clearer picture of what you require from a platform.

Next, it’s time to begin searching for a DXP to fulfill your requirements. Be sure to ask these four questions:

 Does it have a headless CMS? A headless CMS is important because it enables composable DXPs to manage content from one location, then push it out to multiple channels like your website, social media and native apps.

Is it easy to use? Composable DXPs should enable content creators and other nontechnical users to create and edit content without any coding skills or assistance from IT. Select a platform that’s easy to use and intuitive.

How configurable is it? Regardless of how easy a platform is to use, it isn’t going to be the right fit unless it can be customized to align with user requirements and business objectives. Choose a DXP that offers the customization options your business needs, as well as the capability to integrate the best-in-breed solutions you may want to leverage both now and later as your organization scales.

How good is the customer support? Transitioning from a monolithic platform to a composable DXP is a unique experience for every organization. Making the switch is often done in phases with different capabilities and features being rolled out over time with minimal disruption. You’ll need technical support throughout the transition. Make sure your provider is willing to listen and comprehend your use cases and business objectives and will be there when needed.

How financial services companies use composable DXPs

Here are three examples showing how banks and financial services companies are using composable DXPs:

Composable banking: Many banks have already adapted to composable banking, which makes it easy to quickly adapt to changes in the market. With composable banking, products and services are broken down into separate components that are managed independently. Composable DXPs support composable banking by making it easy to launch new products and services at the right time without disrupting other services.

Managing content across channels: Banks with multiple locations, divisions and different suites of products and services for personal and commercial banking customers are using composable DXPs to manage all their content from one central hub. When an interest rate changes, for instance, a composable DXP enables content teams to quickly push the new rate out to multiple channels in a matter of minutes. Whereas in the past, someone had to go into each piece of content and manually update the rate. This was not only tedious and time-consuming, but increased the risk of human error.

Personalization: Some larger banks are focusing heavily on enhancing personalization through better technology to deliver a better customer experience. Composable DXPs enable banks to seamlessly integrate and connect sophisticated automated and AI-powered tools that communicate and share data. For instance, localization tools can determine a customer’s location and deliver personalized content in their language, while feedback from analytics tools ensures the message is relevant to them.

Learn more

Learn more about the advantages you can expect from our composable DXP in our blog, “Contentstack demonstrated 295% ROI in Forrester study.” To see how Contentstack’s composable DXP can help your digital transformation, schedule a free demo.

 

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Composable architecture: How to future-proof your business tech stack

Technology is changing at lightning speed along with market trends and customer expectations. Adding more to it, as per a recent survey by the Conference Board, 93% of corporate CEOs are gearing up for a recession over the next 12 to 18 months. The immediate requirement for these leaders is to ensure the resilience of their technology stacks for the future, thereby keeping their businesses ready for a diverse range of unforeseen circumstances. In such a scenario, delivering customized user experience through composable architecture could ensure long-term survival and success.Customer experience is prioritized by 44.5% of enterprises worldwide, as per a 2021 Statista report. Achieving this in today's dynamic environment requires effectively using technology to create and deliver top-notch products and services.To help organizations respond to that sense of urgency, here are five tips to consider when futureproofing your business tech stack.1. Customized User ExperienceBrands, on their composable journey, must focus on offering personalized user experiences, attained using relevant user data right from the start. McKinsey reports that 71% of consumers expect personalized interactions from brands. Besides improving user experience, brands must focus on designing systems that scale with the growing user base and its dynamic functionality needs.2. Coordination with other business unitsContrary to traditional stereotypes, IT does not function in isolation. In fact, to ensure business success, technology initiatives must align with the business's overall strategy and add to the brand's short- and long-term goals. However, transitioning from a monolithic structure to a composable one must be iterative. Once a new technology is integrated within one business unit, it can eventually be rolled out to other units. While preparing for future challenges, the choice of technology will impact multiple business units during a business's transitional phase.To make sure a specific new tech works well for all units, it's essential to plan and think about the opportunities, problems and trends that might occur. This requires effective collaboration across business units. Given the interconnected nature of these departments, proper goal alignment must be ensured to deliver compatible, scalable, flexible and secure results. For seamless and customized solutions across different touchpoints, the chosen technology should be capable of scaling and accommodating new process changes across the organization.3. Constant hyper-personalization and differentiation The importance of customer experience (CX) is highly discussed in the current business ecosystem. Brands are constantly innovating new solutions to thrive in the face of competition. The only way to do that is by adopting highly scalable tech stacks that incorporate speedy change processes. While customers expect a more compelling experience, selecting any technology for the sake of it or, worse, by mimicking other brands will not work and will lead a brand to lose its competitive advantage. Instead, they must adopt best-of-breed components and change stack parts when required, creating the much-required hyper-personalized experiences.4. A flexible approachBusinesses are more unpredictable than ever, increasing the potential stakes for which leaders must be prepared. While tech leaders know that a tech revolution is coming, the exact nature of the change remains unknown. This unpredictability will lead to rapid and diverse market requirements and changes in user preferences. By investing in and leveraging technology, brands can quickly adapt to these changes and make necessary system adjustments. Furthermore, flexible tech is more interoperable, allowing smoother integration with other tools and platforms.5. Prepare your organization for the futureDon't bite off more than you can chew when it comes to composability. Business leaders can decide the number of components they want to switch at a time. Unlike monoliths, composable architectures allow business leaders to determine the number of components they want to change at a time. This makes the shift a lot smoother and much quicker. There is no rush to modernize in haste. With customer needs and industry trends changing dynamically, flexibility in business functionality is the only way forward and achievable through composable architecture. But before getting into the composable journey, organizations must find their motivation and identify their reasons for going composable to deliver a differentiated experience to their audience.

Empowering finance: The composable technology starter-guide

Why composable for finance makes sense (and dollars)The financial services sector, a front-runner in innovation, faces intense competition, from major investment firms to independent banks. When it comes to financial services, today's customers demand agility, security and continuous innovation. To surpass these expectations, the financial world is embracing composable technology for its unparalleled capacity for customization and innovation. Imagine tailoring services to meet each customer's unique needs, staying ahead of evolving regulations, and fostering relentless innovation. Composable Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) are the secret ingredient that fuels this transformative journey for today’s financial services organizations.Benefits of a Composable DXPThis shift offers financial institutions a chance to revolutionize their technology spectrum, driving revenue growth, faster market entry, cost efficiency, enhanced risk management and elevated customer contentment. Through a composable DXP, financial businesses gain the agility to adapt swiftly to market dynamics, personalize customer interactions, unveil new services quickly, and seamlessly integrate innovative solutions to maintain a competitive edge in the ever-evolving financial landscape. So what should financial institutions consider before getting started on their composable journey and how does this shift truly move the needle?Personalized digital experiencesToday’s customers crave personalization. They no longer want to be just another number on a spreadsheet; they want services tailored to their unique needs and preferences. This shift towards personalization isn't just a trend; it has become a necessity in the financial landscape. Composable technology serves as the backbone for this personalized evolution, allowing financial institutions to craft bespoke solutions that resonate with each customer. By leveraging modular components, these building blocks enable financial institutions to design personalized offerings that cater to individual needs. By breaking down services into smaller, interchangeable parts, institutions have the flexibility to mix and match these components, creating dynamic and tailored solutions for their customers. “Integrating a headless CMS into our cloud-native approach allowed us to really optimize edge delivery of a lot of our content… Render times are five times faster when compared to our legacy CMS.”— Clay Gregory | Principal Architect, MorningstarThis composable approach empowers organizations to adapt quickly to changing market demands, stay ahead of the curve and deliver innovative, customer-centric experiences.Improved connectivity, compliance and risk mitigationCompliance and risk mitigation have always been critical in finance. However, the increasing complexity of regulations and the fast-paced nature of financial transactions make these aspects even more crucial.Composable technology serves as a game-changer, not only enabling swift adjustments to comply with regulations but also enhancing risk mitigation strategies. Known for its inherent flexibility, composable technology empowers organizations to seamlessly update their systems to adapt to regulatory changes. This facilitates real-time risk assessment by enabling continuous monitoring and analysis of potential threats. Its modular architecture facilitates the integration of advanced risk management tools and AI-driven analytics. Additionally, it streamlines risk mitigation efforts by providing the agility to swiftly implement necessary controls and measures in response to identified risks. By leveraging composable technology, businesses can proactively identify and address potential risks, predict potential vulnerabilities, and implement preemptive measures, ensuring a robust and secure operational environment.Such a proactive approach not only fortifies the regulatory compliance stance but also bolsters the resilience of financial systems against unforeseen risks, safeguarding the integrity of operations in an ever-evolving regulatory environment.Increased customer engagement: Building loyalty with contentEngaging content is no longer limited to media companies. Financial institutions are recognizing the value in building loyalty and trust among their customers — and nurturing that customer loyalty requires a strategic blend of informative and engaging content. To build lasting relationships and deliver value beyond transactions, more financial services organizations are demonstrating their commitment to customer needs with personalized newsletters, social media, targeted emails and other various channels.But how does composable technology come into play in this context? By enabling seamless integration of various content delivery platforms, it empowers financial firms to create localized and omnichannel content strategies, ensuring meaningful engagement with customers across different channels and regions.This approach enhances the overall customer experience and strengthens the bond between financial institutions and their diverse customer base.“We’re aggressively making changes to the website. We’re trying to draw people in, and we haven’t done that before. We can spin up new pages faster now than they could previously.”— Jason Hagen | Software Architect, Harbor Capital AdvisorsModernizing workflows for today's expectations around agility and innovationAgility and innovation are no longer just buzzwords — they are non-negotiables. Composable technology is a force multiplier when it comes to modernizing workflows and increasing agility. The integration of composable technology not only amplifies agility but also catalyzes a culture of innovation within organizations. With composable technology, teams can streamline operational processes, seamlessly integrate new tools, and optimize collaborative efforts, resulting in enhancements in productivity and efficiency. "We cut out 40% of our tickets by having a CMS where other users can make updates to the website. That 40% is so valuable for us, so we can focus on revenue-driving initiatives and find new ways to get users to engage with our web properties to get more leads in the pipeline for sales. It is a huge advantage for us!"— Kevin Yang | Senior Manager, Digital Experience, ICE Mortgage TechnologyAdditionally, the rapid deployment of new functionalities and enhancements encourages a culture of adaptability, allowing teams to respond swiftly to market shifts and emerging opportunities. Composable technology not only future-proofs operations but cultivates a dynamic ecosystem where innovation thrives, positioning organizations at the forefront of industry advancements.Composable is the key to new growth and revenueIf you are still wondering why composable technology is the future of finance, consider this: it paves the way for new growth and revenue streams.By enabling customization, fostering innovation, enhancing compliance and improving customer engagement, composable technology helps financial institutions tap into previously unexplored opportunities. Composable Digital Experience Platforms are not just about keeping up with the times; they are a linchpin of progress. Composable DXPs embody modernization, propelling businesses forward in a landscape defined by agility, innovation and customer-centricity. Embracing these platforms isn't just about staying relevant; it's about reimagining your digital experiences to thrive in an era where adaptability, personalization and swift evolution are paramount. Are you ready to not just meet but exceed customer expectations?Get started today.

Composable commerce: Best-in-class tools for the job

Many people today use the phrase "composable commerce" — including monolith vendors like Adobe and Shopify. As the composable commerce space has matured, and as more and more brands have seen the value of a system that lets you leverage best-of-breed microservices for your brand needs, it makes sense that legacy tech platforms would want to carve out a piece of the composable pie. But the reality is, a monolith can never truly be composable. If you're on Adobe, you may be able to leverage a handful of third-party services with relative ease—but only ones that have been approved and integrated by them. You’re still locked into their ecosystem, and your ability to make changes and update your commerce experiences is driven by their feature development and priority list. True composability is about breaking down those barriers and putting control in your hands.What is composable commerce?What sets pure-play composable commerce apart? At its core, real composability involves component-based architecture, cloud-native infrastructure and API-first connectivity. This means that modular capabilities can be mixed and matched, scaled, iterated, and swapped as needed. Instead of an all-in-one toolset, brands access integrated microservices via APIs.Cloud-native infrastructure provides the foundation for this plug-and-play extensibility. Containered services scale automatically, while APIs enable headless commerce functionality alongside other capabilities. As capabilities expand, composable stacks stay cohesive yet cutting-edge.“The ability to curate your commerce experience using best-in-breed microservices, with access to the tools you want and need—nothing more, nothing less—is a compelling argument for modern retail and commerce brands,” notes Jason Cottrell, CEO of Orium. The market moves quickly. Brands need to be able to move alongside it.Benefits of composable commerceModular composability centered on APIs and the cloud provides:Targeted personalization: Leverage real-time data for contextualized messaging connecting commerce and contentContinuous experimentation: Rapidly test and scale what resonates without significant liftsFaster innovation cycles: Plug emerging engagement channels into your stackIf a new, better alternative comes on the market, swapping it out won't be an option. When you lock into a monolithic platform, your options will always be limited by their platform. With a truly composable stack based on MACH technologies, you'll be able to leverage the best solutions in the market for your needs. For example, if you need to understand user behavior (and you do), quantumetrics is an industry-leading solution that can be implemented into a modular composable architecture with relative ease. The same can't be said for monolithic counterparts.Overcoming implementation challengesSome brands hesitate to adopt composable commerce, fearing overly complex implementations involving stitching together disparate systems. However, MACH’s open APIs and microservices architecture streamline integrations. Composable also offers the freedom to work with preferred agency partners versus being locked into an agency ecosystem dictated by a suite vendor.With expert guidance, brands can launch composable stacks rapidly. Many even realize faster time-to-market versus monolithic solutions given leaner, more lightweight systems. Vendor-agnostic flexibility also allows engaging your preferred system integrator partners to streamline rollout.“As the space has evolved, moving to a MACH-based architecture has become easier. The emergence of accelerators, like Orium’s Accelerator, can smooth the process for brands, speeding time to first value without sacrificing the flexibility and scalability of a fully composable system,” notes Cottrell.Separating composable leaders from followersIncreasingly, legacy platforms now pay lip service to composability but lack the cloud DNA and API foundations required. Their tools remain a walled garden, restricting the versatility that authentic composable architecture provides. Even with approved partners, integration is complex, expensive and provides minimal capability.Forward-looking brands opt for these purpose-built composable commerce technologies to future-proof innovation potential. With composability anchored fundamentally in the cloud and powered entirely by APIs, curating cutting-edge yet cohesive stacks becomes simple — an unmatched advantage.ConclusionComposable commerce delivers instantly extensible, best-of-breed stacks aligned to business goals. In 2024 and beyond, composable architecture offers unmatched adaptability to address digital experience challenges through continuous experimentation powered by specialized tools. It lays the foundation for optimized customer journeys that convert. This unmatched advantage makes composable the obvious choice for digital experience success.