Alexander Tzonev, DigiNovo Co-founder

Navigating the Future of Banking: A Conversation on Phygital Innovation with Alexander Tzonev

In an era where technology continuously reshapes everyday life, the banking sector stands at a crossroads between tradition and innovation. Phygital banking, a term that emerges from the confluence of physical and digital banking experiences, offers a promising pathway forward. This interview with our co-founder Alexander Tzonev delves into the concept of phygital banking through the lens of DigiNovo, a frontrunner in integrating these experiences to enhance customer service and engagement.

With insights from DigiNovo’s approach, the conversation explores the evolution of banking experiences, anticipates future banking trends, and examines the specifics of implementing human-centric technology within a conservative industry. From discussing the tangible benefits of the phygital model to tackling the challenges of interoperability and data unification, the dialogue aims to uncover how banks can navigate this digital transformation while remaining anchored to the core values of trust and personal connection.

How do you define ‘phygital banking,’ and what unique value does it offer compared to traditional or purely digital banking methods?

Alexander Tzonev: Phygital banking is a blend of physical and digital banking experiences, offering customers the convenience of digital channels combined with the personal touch of physical interactions. Unlike traditional banking, which relies heavily on in-branch experiences, or purely digital banking that operates online, phygital banking harmonizes these two worlds. It provides customers with a more comprehensive, flexible, and personalized banking journey. DigiNovo adds value by enabling banks to offer services such as real-time video consultations, enhancing customer engagement and providing support that feels both personal and efficient.

What future trends do you foresee in phygital banking, and how is DigiNovo planning to stay ahead in this evolving landscape?

The future of phygital banking lies in more integrated, seamless customer experiences, where AI-driven personalization and human empathy coexist. We foresee a rise in demand for services like virtual financial advisory and remote assistance. DigiNovo plans to stay ahead by continuously innovating our platform, incorporating advanced AI technologies like machine learning predictive assistance and natural language processing for personalized interactions, ensuring our solutions always align with customer needs and preferences.

How do you build or integrate a human-centric technology in a traditionally conservative sector like banking?

Integrating human-centric technology in banking involves understanding the unique needs of banking customers and creating solutions that address these needs while respecting the sector’s conservative nature. At DigiNovo, we focus on building trust and reliability into our platform, ensuring that our digital solutions complement traditional banking values. This includes maintaining high security and compliance standards, and ensuring that our solutions enhance, rather than replace, the essential human elements of banking services.

From your experience, what results can banks expect from proper implementation of the phygital model?

Banks implementing the phygital model can expect significant improvements in customer satisfaction, increased engagement, and higher efficiency in service delivery. Proper implementation leads to reduced wait times, personalized banking experiences, and more effective resolution of customer queries. Additionally, it can help banks in reaching a wider customer base, including those who prefer digital interactions, while retaining those who value traditional banking methods.

With the many providers, partners (as well as legacy tech) banks have, what are the best ways to ensure interoperability and unified data source that’s the foundation for omnichannel customer experience?

To ensure interoperability and a unified data source in the phygital banking ecosystem, it’s crucial to adopt flexible, scalable platforms that can seamlessly integrate with existing banking systems and third-party services. Open APIs, standardized data formats, and cloud-based solutions are key. DigiNovo supports such integrations, ensuring that banks can leverage their existing infrastructure while adopting new phygital capabilities, thus creating a cohesive omnichannel customer experience.

What are DigiNovo’s main goals for developing in the banking industry in 2024?

For 2024, DigiNovo’s primary goal in the banking industry is to solidify our position as a leading provider of phygital banking solutions. We aim to expand our partnerships with major banks, focusing on enhancing customer experience through our platform. Our objectives include further developing our AI and ML capabilities for more personalized banking experiences, increasing our platform’s scalability to accommodate larger customer bases, and continuously improving security and compliance features to meet the stringent requirements of the banking industry.