Connect with us

Banking

BANKING BEYOND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

by Peter Matthews of Nucleus

 

Banking used to be so simple. But the boom and bust of the last twenty years has left the industry reeling, with agile, lightly regulated challengers picking off the tastiest services, while regulators’ demands ensure overheads rise for delivering core services.

 

If ever there was a time for bankers to ask big questions, it is now. I’d recommend starting with “what business are you really in?”

 

The firm foundations banks once believed they could rely on to retain customers, such as their 100 year heritage, have been crumbling. Digital transformation has struck every industry sector hard, yet some have adapted and even thrived as they have harnessed new tech and embraced new mindsets. Banking has struggled.

 

Peter Matthews

Banks are not simple businesses, though, typically combining ‘000’s of processes to aggregate their basic business model of cross-selling. Open a current account to grab the customer’s main income and then add a savings account, investments, mortgage, loans, insurance, etc, etc. Not that long-ago retention was not a problem, customers rarely switched accounts because it was too complicated. That, too, is changing.

 

Accenture’s consumer banking survey in North America shows in the past 12 months 18 percent of millennial customers switched their primary bank. Compare this with 10 percent of customers aged 35–54 and 3 percent of people 55 and older and it is clear that millennials are shaping the future. With Open Banking on the near horizon and increasing competition from challengers, neobanks and fintechs, retention is going to become an issue if it isn’t headed-off at the pass.

 

Millennial-minded brands get higher valuations

It must be galling for banks when a fintech start-up, which doesn’t even have a banking licence, goes out and acquires 1m accounts and a $1bn valuation for delivering one digital service well. Revolut, as an example, started with a very useful FX app, a pre-pay debit card and an EU e-money licence and has built a unicorn valuation on those humble beginnings. Whether they can transform into a successful, fully regulated bank is not clear, but they’ve won over a lot of millennials in the meantime.

 

Millennials’ expectations are set by Big Tech (Google, Facebook, Apple & co). They want highly personalised services and best-of-breed user experiences across all their devices, and they won’t think twice about switching to a service they deem better suits their needs. Convenience is key and brand experiences matter to them.

 

Monzo made its mark with a fluorescent card, a pre-pay account and a groovy app and is now an FCA regulated bank. Many fintechs claim to be reinventing banking, but reinventing payments is probably closer to the truth. Banking is much more complex than a mobile app or money management tool.

 

However, competing in this new landscape means traditional banks must get smart and transform their brands and cultures as well as digitise their processes. If there is any further evidence required we need only look at organisations in other sectors that failed to do this. Blockbuster, Vine and Blackberry are good examples of companies that failed to spot new trends and adapt to emerging models in time, led by companies such as Netflix, Snapchat and Apple.

 

Banks must figure out what business they are actually in and align a new vision with a clear value proposition that resonates with tomorrow’s consumers.

 

Brave new thinking

Traditional banks still have time to respond. They have scale, financial capital, regulatory approval, brand recognition, customer data, distribution and, despite their problems, a reasonable level of customer trust. Granted they are also slow, predictable, political, risk-and-change-averse; and mostly remain reliant on thirty-or-forty-year-old legacy technologies.

 

For the last few years, most financial services companies have focused on ‘digitisation’ and removing those famous ‘pain points’ or ‘friction’ in the customer journey. To drive future growth, more radical thinking is required, with a focus on ideas, propositions and stories, while identifying and solving real-time issues as they occur. It goes without saying that this includes ensuring systems don’t crash or are breached, as security is probably the key value customers still associate with banks. This must never be compromised.

 

 

Perhaps privacy and trust could be the new competitive advantages

Data is banking’s hidden gold and incumbent financial brands must learn to leverage this hugely valuable asset to better serve individual customers and share value, rather than make money out of selling it to advertisers, as Big Tech does.

 

With Open Banking soon to make its mark, financial data will become the new battleground, but questions about data privacy may result in many consumers saying ‘it’s not for me’. With GDPR shining a spotlight on explicit consent and exposing Big Tech’s freewheeling attitudes to personal data, expect data privacy to become a big topic for 2019. Fintechs will use Open Banking to challenge retail banks, but fears over financial data falling into the hands of Big Tech may inhibit adoption. Imagine Facebook combining what it knows about you from Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and your bank?

 

However, banks have two advantages over the fintech challengers who are salivating over the prospect of getting their hands on Open Banking data which can tell them where customers shop and what they spend their money on. The first is historic data, which is invaluable when assessing risk for loans and mortgages; and the second is trust (albeit somewhat compromised after the financial crash).

 

With trust as a core value, banks’ handling of data needs to get privacy right. To date retail banks have accumulated masses of data about us, yet barely scratched the surface of using this to improve user experiences and their own decision making, still relying largely on credit rating agencies’ – often unflattering – profiles that can penalise individuals for a single misdemeanour for up to six years.

 

If banks truly want to meet their customers’ needs and expectations and respond to their fintech challengers, they are going to have to shift their approach to personalisation and build new engagement models, based on frictionless processes, transparency and trust and, perhaps, a return to more ‘discretion’, particularly in their credit decisions. In a digital world, being treated like a human is valued more than ever.

 

There is no doubt that we are all more likely to trust a service provider who values our privacy (beyond mere legal compliance) and is transparent about how our data is used. And trust, of course, encourages loyalty.

 

 

The power of brand purpose

Changing customer perceptions of any incumbent bank requires a refreshed sense of purpose and a clearly articulated, differentiating brand proposition. A disciplined and rigorous branding methodology is key to success, particularly if leadership teams are to engage staff in the process of reinvention, which can be hugely valuable during periods of transformational change. The re-definition of purpose and the articulation of a compelling value proposition should be at the heart of every brand.

 

Tomorrow’s bank certainly needs technical transformation, but that won’t be enough in itself. A bank has to be more than its own processes. If it can deliver a secure eco-system of financial services based on a proposition of trust, transparency and privacy – in a world where everyone else is using stealth methods to access customer data – you might just have identified a good reason why your 100 year-old bank still deserves to exist.

 

 

Biography

Peter Matthews is founder and CEO of Nucleus, an independent London-based brand, digital and IP consultancy.

A designer by training, Peter continues to personally lead strategic brand creation, innovation and transformation projects for international clients, specialising in financial services, travel and luxury. His rare combination of business, design, digital and IP expertise are highly relevant at a time of digital disruption in banking and beyond.

In financial services he led the user experience team creating First Direct’s online bank as long ago as 1996 and more recently has advised Azqore, Crédit Agricole Private Banking, Indosuez Wealth Management, HSBC, NatWest, Standard Chartered, Rothschild & Co and, most recently, two new challenger banks.

 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Banking

THE CO-BRAND CREDIT CARD MARKET – SINK OR SWIM

CREDIT CARD MARKET

By Chris Vinnicombe, VP Financial Services at Acxiom

The co-brand credit card market is the result of the partnerships between many of the world’s largest credit card issuers and consumer goods businesses like airlines, hotels, and retailers. By leveraging existing technology investments in digital, data, and analytics, the co-brand credit card market has attracted affluent consumers over the years. Indeed, it has remained a powerful component of retail loyalty programmes and strategies that generate revenue not only for the issuer, but for retail partners as well.

 

The market today

Historically, rewards have been critical to retaining and attracting consumers. However, businesses are increasingly finding that this benefit alone is not enough. In today’s world of data, one-size-fits-all loyalty programmes show little customer intimacy, since they don’t pay attention to individual attitudes, behaviours, and expectations.

Co-branded credit cards have faced competitor pressure to sweeten the rewards pot to draw customer traffic and differentiate their card programmes. Above that when consumers around the world are used to relevant adverts, offers and suggestions, the market increasingly seems out of touch when the offers don’t hit the mark.

It is now time for credit card companies to take a hard look at their proposition to determine which offerings consumers still value and to create benefits that are digital first, easy to use and truly relevant to how they live.

 

Increasing cardholder engagement

Today, engagement has become a significant part of this challenge. Cardholder engagement is critical in the market since it measures who has an active relationship with their card, rather than those where it sits unused at the bottom of a draw.

One of the issues is that many cardholders feel they are of little interest to the card issuer after starting the relationship. When offerings remain the same and don’t reflect consumer lifestyle changes, it leads to a decline in spend and balance activity.

For example, if a person is consistently purchasing long-haul, luxury summer holidays on their card and receiving a reward of discounts on Christmas staycations it just won’t be claimed. Ultimately, if the user isn’t likely to claim a reward it defeats the whole point of user offerings in the first place and will lead to a decay in the relationship over time.

To change this dynamic, card issuers need to focus on becoming far more customer-centric, addressing pain points, fulfilling desires and engaging with the consumer as an individual. Whether they are frequent travellers, trend setters, have an affinity to luxury products, cash back collectors, etc. Keeping up with interests and offering tailored rewards will create a more personalised experiences for customers and increase loyalty.

 

Customer experience – reach for the skies

A key example of this is the airline sector. Co-branded credit cards play an important role for airlines and their card issuers, each of which benefit from credit card engagement and purchasing behaviour. The cards also play an integral role in frequent flyer programmes, helping drive flyer loyalty.

Nowadays, airline customer interactions can come through many channels like customer service centres, online travel agencies, websites, and more which can create a complex ecosystem of customer data. The co-brand card partners see significant transaction data that identifies travel activity and purchasing patterns that are strong triggers for airline marketing programmes. All these interactions generate crucial information on passenger needs and preferences that enable up-sell/cross-sell, pricing and preferred experiences (i.e. early boarding or flight update notifications).

 

Better together

For the co-brand credit card market to work, partners need to work together seamlessly. Sharing customer information is vital to the interwoven marketing capabilities needed to be successful.

It all starts with the data foundation. A shared space for data to be safe provides a privacy-compliant environment that allows marketers and partners to connect different types of data while protecting and governing its use. This is the bread and butter for people-based marketing that enables partners to engage consumers across today’s highly fragmented landscape of channels and devices.

These data safe havens provide the ability to ingest customer records from partners, as well as core campaign and engagement logs used where businesses can measure and analyse success. This data can also be enhanced by third-party sources (demographic data, propensity models) to enrich the view of the consumer and create new insights to support new audience creation for marketing programmes.

However, organising, managing, and deriving insights from large sets of consumer data is complicated. To overcome this, companies should rely on connectivity solutions that integrate data to provide a single view of the customer. These identity resolution services resolve first-, second-, and third-party data, exposure and transaction data to represent real people in a privacy-compliant way.

Having this omnichannel view of the consumer can then be utilised to support consumer targeting, personalisation, and measurement bettering the offering to the user and maintaining relevance in the customer’s wallet.

Ultimately, data is helping the co-brand credit card market to stay relevant to consumers today. It is no longer enough to offer one-size-fits-all rewards to card users as competition in the industry hots up. Increasing customer loyalty and engagement is name of the game and using data from across both partners is helping firms to be more competitive, responsive and personalised than ever to drive new business uptake while keeping existing customers coming back for more.

 

Continue Reading

Banking

FOUR WAYS OPEN BANKING AND AI WILL REVOLUTIONISE ACCOUNTANCY

BANKING

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of cloud accounting software company, FreeAgent

 

It’s been just over two years since the term Open Banking became a tangible reality in the UK. Since then, the nine largest banks and building societies in Great Britain and Northern Ireland have signed up to take part in the initiative, meaning they must allow regulated businesses to access their customers’ financial data, as long as the customer has provided permission.

Open Banking was imposed by the Competition and Markets Authority to spur competition between banks and make customers’ banking information more accessible to third parties. And this phenomenon has already been transformative for accountancy, providing third-party financial service providers standard ways to access consumer banking transactions, and other data from financial institutions – a seamless alternative to the teetering piles of paperwork traditionally associated with accounting. Paired with other new innovative technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), Open Banking has the power to change the day-to-day lives of accountants and more broadly, the world of finance.

This article examines the fundamental ways Open Banking and AI can and are already being utilised by accountants.

 

Real Time Insights

Through the use of Open Banking, accountants can have real-time access to their clients’ most up-to-date banking data every single day. This means no more chasing clients for the necessary information that you need to do your usual day-to-day work. This also benefits your clients, as they can continue with their daily workload knowing that their bank transactions are being shared with you directly, accurately and automatically. Suddenly their do-list looks a bit shorter!

 

Adios paperwork

Traditionally, accountants have had to deal with an enormous amount of paperwork, including invoices, expense receipts, bank statements and other important documents. Combined across the profession, this amounts to mountains of paper that have to be analysed and filed. One of the greatest benefits of technology and digital accounting is that it alleviates the stress of keeping important information in physical files. As well as less mess in the office, this means invoices, expenses, receipts can be kept in one place – online. This enables accountants to be more efficient on a day-to-day basis as they are able to easily find documentation by simply typing in what they are looking for to search for it.

Luckily for accountants, and also for the environment, Open Banking and cloud software platforms ensure that important data can transfer seamlessly and safely between your bank and your financial accounts. Already, cloud accounting software makes it possible to have one tidy dashboard that gives an overview of the business in its entirety. As well as being the guardian of files, using technology to set up a bank feed will allow accountants to track incomings and outgoings, link invoices and payments and view interactive charts of all their clients’ accounts.

 

Working from anywhere

The last five years have seen the progression to flexible working increase significantly. Millennials in particular have a desire to work out of the office. A survey conducted with over 19,000 working Millennials across 25 countries revealed their top five priorities when looking for a job, with 79% stating flexible working was a must. Further analysis from BBC 5 Live revealed a 74% jump in the number of people working from home between 2008 and 2018.

As well as the natural increase in the number of people working remotely, accountancy is one of the many professions being affected by the current turbulence being caused by the Covid-19 virus. This month, the government announced everyone should work from home if they can. Now, more than ever, people are away from the traditional office space and working instead from the confines of their own home, with technology acting as the glue that in many cases is keeping their business together. For accountants this means remote access to financial data is an absolute essential.

 

Add consultancy to the equation

With more efficient processes and easier methods of making and tracking transactions, technology and Open Banking will ultimately free up a whole lot of time for the accountants. Clearing up the calendar will make room for new kinds of work and enable accountants to spend more time on consultancy and value-added services, where previously these may have been perceived as a bonus service or from the client-side, a service at a much larger additional cost.

As well as consultancy, these technologies will have other, less direct impacts on the client-side. For example instead of needing a shoebox full of receipts, Open Banking and AI will lead to more confident and self-managed clients. If a client is keeping accurate books themselves, then the accountant no longer has to do all of the numerical admin. Rather, the value add lies in providing higher-level insights around the numbers and offering useful advice such as “it is time to put your prices up, as your profits are lower this year“.

Ultimately, AI and Open Banking are opening the gateway to a more efficient and effective accountancy industry. While benefiting the clients by making new space for consultancy and added value services, new technology ultimately streamlines an accountants’ entire job. Because they are constantly dealing with stacks of financial information, the consequences of misplacement of one document or inefficiently tracking systems hold higher stakes than usual. Luckily there is no need for accountants to grapple with old-school methodology anymore as AI and Open Banking are already readily available and at their fingertips.

 

Continue Reading

Magazine

Partner Events

Trending

Customer Customer
News21 hours ago

CUSTOMER CARE TODAY WILL BUILD RESILIENCE FOR FUTURE CRISES

Cathal McGloin, CEO of ServisBOT writes, “The COVID-19 pandemic has created major spikes in calls to financial sector helplines dealing with customers...

CREDIT CARD MARKET CREDIT CARD MARKET
Banking2 days ago

THE CO-BRAND CREDIT CARD MARKET – SINK OR SWIM

By Chris Vinnicombe, VP Financial Services at Acxiom The co-brand credit card market is the result of the partnerships between...

CASH FLOW CASH FLOW
Finance2 days ago

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CASH FLOW IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

While the world is constantly changing, probably at a faster pace now than ever before, businesses need to manage cash...

BUSINESS BUSINESS
News2 days ago

NEW IVALUA STUDY SHOWS TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES ARE HINDERING PROCUREMENT TEAMS FROM ACHIEVING BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

Lack of system integrations and actionable insights are stopping organisations from accurately measuring performance   Ivalua, a leading provider of global...

FINANCIAL SERVICES FINANCIAL SERVICES
Technology2 days ago

WHY DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN FINANCIAL SERVICES IS ABOUT CULTURE FIRST, TECH SECOND

Stuart Templeton, Head of UK at Slack    In today’s world, there’s no such thing as a ‘non-tech fin’. Every...

COVID-19 COVID-19
Business3 days ago

STOP THE CONFUSION: HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR BUSINESS MAY BE INSURED AGAINST COVID-19

By Alex Balcombe, Partner at Harris Balcombe   The last few weeks has seen businesses in hospitality, tourism, retail, leisure...

PAYMENTS PAYMENTS
Top Stories3 days ago

BRAVE NEW WORLD: A FUTURISTIC VISION OF PAYMENTS

James Booth, VP, Head of Partnerships in EMEA for PPRO   Over the last ten years, the retail e-commerce ecosystem...

KLEVIO KLEVIO
Interviews3 days ago

A PROPTECH FOUNDER’S BEGINNING, THE START OF KLEVIO AND HOW ACCESS-TECH IMPROVES FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

An interview with Klevio’s CEO and Co-Founder, Aleš Špetič    What is Klevio?  Klevio is a smart intercom that allows...

COVID-19 COVID-19
Wealth Management3 days ago

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN LEARN TO TRADE RISK-FREE DURING THE COVID-19 MARKET CRASH

Trading app BullBear has launched new features to support budding investors looking to hone their skills against the backdrop of...

INSURANCE INSURANCE
Top Stories4 days ago

ENTERPRISE BLOCKCHAIN: DRAGGING INSURANCE OUT OF THE DARK AGES

Ryan Rugg, Global Head of The Industry Business Unit at R3   The history of insurance traces back to the development...

BIOMETRIC BIOMETRIC
Technology4 days ago

DISPELLING BIOMETRIC MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS

By Lina Andolf-Orup, Head of Marketing at Fingerprints Gangsters cutting off enemies’ fingers to access secret locations and spies lifting...

Videos4 days ago

FUTURE FX PROMO

Videos4 days ago

FutureFX Profile

BANKING BANKING
Banking7 days ago

FOUR WAYS OPEN BANKING AND AI WILL REVOLUTIONISE ACCOUNTANCY

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of cloud accounting software company, FreeAgent   It’s been just over two years since the...

FINANCIAL SERVICES FINANCIAL SERVICES
Finance7 days ago

HOW FINANCIAL SERVICES CAN GET TO GRIPS WITH RISING SUPPLY CHAIN RISK

By Alex Saric, smart procurement expert, Ivalua   UK businesses have never been more dependent on their suppliers to help...

MARKET DATA MARKET DATA
Wealth Management1 week ago

TWO TO TANGO? MARKET DATA AND OPINIONS IN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

Sebastien Lleo is Associate Professor of Finance at NEOMA Business School (France)   Analyst views and expert opinions matter. They...

EARLY RETIREMENT EARLY RETIREMENT
Wealth Management1 week ago

AN ULTIMATE GUIDE TO TURNING YOUR EARLY RETIREMENT DREAM INTO A REALITY

Rick Pendykoski is the owner of Self Directed Retirement Plans LLC, a retirement planning firm based in Goodyear, AZ.  ...

FINANCIAL SERVICES FINANCIAL SERVICES
Technology1 week ago

WHAT EVOLUTIONARY AI MEANS FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES

by Babak Hodjat, VP of Evolutionary AI at Cognizant   Many banks and other financial services institutions (FIs) are beginning...

ANALYTICS ANALYTICS
Business1 week ago

HARNESSING ANALYTICS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST FRAUD

By Anna Lykourina, EMEA Fraud Analytics Expert at SAS   In the past, the fight against fraud has been a...

ONESPAN ONESPAN
News1 week ago

ERSTE BANK HUNGARY IMPROVES AND SECURES THE REMOTE BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH ONESPAN MOBILE SECURITY

Leading Hungarian bank deploys OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite to one million customers to make mobile banking convenient while fighting fraud...

Trending