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Wells Fargo's Secil Tabli Watson Looks to Improve the Corporate Banking Experience

As the new head of Wells Fargo's wholesale Internet services group, Secil Tabli Watson brings lessons learned from her former position as head of the bank's consumer digital channels to Wells' commercial and corporate digital channels, where she will continue to focus on improving the customer experience.

Secil Tabli Watson, Wells Fargo
During her nine years as senior vice president of Wells Fargo's Internet services group, Secil Tabli Watson drove innovation and growth in the bank's online consumer channels, helping the San Francisco-based bank build a base of more than 7 million active mobile users and nearly 20 million online banking customers. Now she is charged with spearheading the same type of success in Wells Fargo's commercial and corporate online channels as head of its wholesale Internet services group, a role she assumed in January.

According to Watson, in her new position, she will guide the strategic direction for the bank's Commercial Electronic Office (CEO) portal, which provides corporate customers online access to more than 80 applications, including cash management, trust and trade services, credit and loans, foreign exchange, and global payments. She'll also oversee the CEO Mobile service, which allows corporate customers to access essential banking tasks on the go via any web-enabled mobile device.

"It's very exciting to get to know a new customer segment and apply what I've learned," Watson says of her new responsibilities. She notes that although she's dealing with some new products and a different customer base, she knows channel management is essentially about customer experience and leveraging both qualitative and quantitative insights.

Continuing to focus on the customer experience by ensuring consistency and continuity across the wholesale digital channels is top of mind for Watson. She says that includes not only integration of applications and services on the back end, but continued innovation on the front end to make sure the user experience is optimized and consistent on all devices. Looking forward, Watson adds, as Wells Fargo wholesale banking begins to expand into new countries, providing a distinctive customer experience will also mean finding ways to better scale products and maintain a consistent experience internationally.

Watson notes that due to the consumerization of enterprise IT and the rise of bring-your-own-device initiatives, corporations are now seeing the same type of mass adoption of mobile devices that the consumer world has seen. "We want to make sure the experience we provide is optimized and covers as many of those devices as possible," she says, explaining that Wells Fargo's mobile strategy is about ubiquity. "Our customers aren't just using the iPad or iPhone — we have customers using other devices and operating systems, so we want to make sure we stay ubiquitous."

Humanizing the Web

Part of optimizing the digital experience is providing convenience for customers, which can be accomplished in several ways, according to Watson. "We hear a lot from customers that they'd like to have a more simple experience accessing services, and they want to do it through a more collaborative factor," she says. "We are trying to humanize our web offering and bring that collective experience." For example, Watson points out, her team is looking at ways to move more transactions off of paper, alert customers in real time of actions that need to be taken and thecha status of transactions, and allow clients to interact with a banker through the same online interface.

Watson reports that her team also is looking for ways to make secure access to wholesale banking more convenient for customers. "The purpose of our mission is to provide convenient and secure channel access," she says. "Improving security is critical, but sometimes secure innovations can also create a little inconvenience for customers. We're trying to find ways to make secure access more convenient."

Thankfully, Watson notes, some of the work that her previous team did in the consumer digital channels can be leveraged in the wholesale space; she says she considers herself to be a broker of the relationships between her former and new teams. "There's a lot of work at the channel level that overlaps consumer and corporate space," Watson says. "What I bring is the ability to use my old contacts and connections to make sure we have integrated fraud, customer experience and design strategies. We're trying to bridge gaps and share notes so we can tackle the same issues."

[According to participants at the recent SWIFT Operations Forum, the future of corporate banking includes Intelligent Transactions to Improve the Customer Experience .]

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