Connect with us

Banking

Disruption is something you can bank on

Published

on

BoE’s warning on digital transformation disruption is misleading, says TmaxSoft

Over the next three years, the UK-based fintech scene is expected to grow by 88 per cent, pushing the amount of disruption to the traditional banking system to an all-time high. Offering smarter services to time-poor, savvy and always-on customers, the fintech startups – with their speed and agility – are putting more and more pressure on the legacy banks who are increasingly at risk from falling behind, weighed down by their sluggish processes and bound by red-tape.

That’s not to say innovation isn’t happening inside the big banks – there is important work being done to create solutions: the concern is that, while they offer a short-term fix, these innovations are not being delivered quick enough to solve the ever-evolving problems of tomorrow’s customers. Could the long-term solution lie in collaboration?

Dan Archer, Marketing Director of digital experience studio 383 explores how legacy banks can improve their disruptive game, at-scale, and considers how a collaborative approach between legacy banks and fintech startups could yield positive results for all.

The challenge for established banks in delivering meaningful innovation is of their own creation.

As organisations grow, so does the red tape. These are often, point in time self-created rules and regulations that become the organisational accepted norms, they become ingrained and cultural. They may have had a purpose years ago but often don’t get revisited or revalidated in the context of today.

This leads to restrictions and constraints where innovation is suffocated. New ideas can’t flourish and if they do, the ideas generated often fall back into Business As Usual (BAU) delivery processes, slowing the momentum.

Dan Archer

Dan Archer

These cultural restrictions are very much linked to size and time. Because size and time are a critical factor, these types of restrictions do not yet exist within startups, allowing them a greater level of freedom and agility to deliver disruptive innovations.

Historically, established banks seemed almost un-disruptable. Customer churn rates were very low and they existed within a highly regulated industry, which required enormous investment, so presented a significant barrier to new market entrants.

The reality is that at this time processes were slow, technology was poor and customers had no real alternatives. On top of which moving banking provider was difficult. In 2016 the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) investigation into the banking industry found that only 3% of current account customers had moved their account in the previous year.

But digital technology has changed that, providing a catalyst for new entrants in the market to rethink banking and provide better products and services.

Since its launch in 2015, UK startup bank Monzo has grown from 0 to over 750k current account customers. While this is only circa 1% of the total UK current account market, there are hundreds of Monzos out there, gaining momentum and market share. 

So how are startups doing this and is it too late for the big banks of old?

Recently, disruption and technology have become intertwined. But let’s be clear, disruption and new technology are separate things. Technology is a means through which disruption can be delivered, but it’s not what disruption is.

Disruption is large market change. This happens because disrupters are delivering better products and services. So how are they doing this?

In order to deliver disruptive services and products, we first need to fully understand the customer, their motivations, what they are trying to achieve and the frictions in their journey. People don’t want a bank, they want an easy way to manage their finances.

How to disrupt banking?

  1. Identify the customer.
  2. Identify customer frictions.
  3. Move quickly to address those frictions.

If you are one of the big banks, how do you protect yourself against disruption? The answer is simple, be the disrupter. The best defence is a good offence.

Delivering meaningful disruptive innovation is difficult for established organisations. This type of innovation requires a space outside of established organisational norms and restrictions to provide room for organisations to fundamentally challenge their accepted norms.

Collaborative solution
One way to circumvent the time required for organisational change at this scale is to work with external partners.

Fintech startups are sometimes painted as the opposition, competitors that are looking to take your market share. But this isn’t always the case. As Chris Skinner, an independent commentator on the financial markets and the chairman of the Financial Services Club has said, “By partnering with finch startups, banks give their account holders the right measure of security and speed. Account holders can know that their money is safe, and they can enjoy the latest financial technology. This is the way to become a digital bank.”

Working with companies that exist outside of your organisational restrictions allows you to innovate at a pace you may never match internally.

External partners are free of the politics, process and vested interest you and your employees have. This allows them to really challenge in a way that your own employees often can’t.

Using agile approaches, tools and technology you’re more likely to find in startups than large established business, there are external players who  are not restricted by their client’s processes. As a result, they can become a critical friend, who is not afraid to ask the difficult questions. Not being tied to business as the usual activity there’s also the advantage of being able to move at a faster pace, taking projects down from months to weeks.

If you’re still on the fence about taking a collaborative approach to get your bank fit for the future, here’s a round-up of some key benefits that might help you decide, one way, or the other:

  1. Partnering with an agile startup can shave weeks off your total development timeline, bringing projects to fruition in weeks, not months or years
  2. External partners can help you get a fresh perspective of your organisation, opening your eyes to the real areas that need change
  3. Your commitment to your customers’ security won’t be compromised – they’ll still feel safe, and will also feel the benefit of the latest technologies
  4. The layers of change you need to implement to existing legacy systems will most likely be costly and time-consuming – with a ‘joined-up force’, you’ll navigate these layers quickly and cost effectively, and will invariably improve both the user experience and functionality

Banking

The future of offshore banking

Published

on

The future of offshore banking 1

By Granville Turner, Director at Turner Little.

Despite its misconceptions, the popularity of offshore banking is growing. Not only is it a perfectly legal way of holding your money, but with the right professional advice, it is also reassuringly simple to open an account.

This ease-of-use is prompting many offshore banks to change their offering to compete and make overseas banking even more accessible. No longer is it limited to just the super-rich.

So, what does the future look like for offshore banks? We’ve compiled a list of the top fundamental changes happening in the realm of offshore banking.

Catering to niche markets is the future

Rather than managing account holder’s money in general, offshore banks are tapping into how they can best serve different demographics. Essentially, it is about taking a more bespoke approach to managing money at various stages of life.

But catering to a variety of markets doesn’t just stop there. Many overseas banks are now accepting crypto as a form of currency to appeal to digital, tech-savvy generations.

Cryptocurrency is also attractive for those who see the security benefits it can offer.

Paper chains are fast becoming a thing of the past

As banks move away from paper in favour of digital, security is on everyone’s minds. This is because information is an important asset to many businesses, so protecting it is vital. As such, banks are securing data with the most vigorous encryption security standards.

For account holders, this means digital bank transfers and communication become less of a risk and the smarter thing to do. Paper chains are fast becoming a thing of the past.

Instant access, day or night

In today’s digital world, you don’t need to travel overseas to open an offshore bank account; everything can be done online or over the phone. And like most UK standard current accounts, many offshore accounts now offer online and mobile banking features. So account holders can manage their offshore finances and investments while transferring funds with ease.

Branchless banking

Offshore banks are following the same route of challenging onshore banks by going branchless. This offers substantial benefits for account holders, as branchless offshore banks don’t pass on as much overhead costs to the customer. Ultimately, this means customers can earn better interest rates and other returns on their investments.

Happy to help

At Turner Little, we work closely with offshore banks to provide you with quality service tailored to your needs. With over 20 years of international banking experience and specialist expert knowledge, we will assist you with your enquiries, no matter how complex. And every account we arrange comes with internet banking, card facilities and the ability to transact internationally.

Continue Reading

Banking

Hong Kong’s First Multi-Cloud Challenger Bank Goes Live with Temenos

Published

on

Hong Kong’s First Multi-Cloud Challenger Bank Goes Live with Temenos 2
  • WeLab Bank designed, built and launched using cloud-native Temenos Transact in less than 10 months
  • WeLab offers next generational digital services for the 7.5m people in Hong Kong to access from their mobile phones
  • Customers can open accounts remotely in just 5 minutes with bank reporting 10,000 account openings within 10 days of launch

Temenos (SIX: TEMN), the banking software company, today announced that WeLab Bank, Hong Kong’s first homegrown virtual bank, has publicly launched using cloud-native Temenos Transact to provide a range of next generation digital services for customers to enjoy 24/7 from their mobile phones. Designed, built and launched in less than 10 months, the fully digital bank has seen rapid take up with a reported 10,000 account openings within the first 10 days of launch.

WeLab Bank is powered by cloud agnostic Temenos Transact for core banking along with Temenos Analytics and Financial Crime Mitigation. Implemented on Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, WeLab is the first multi cloud digital bank in Hong Kong. Operating on multiple clouds at the same time gives WeLab increased operational resilience and disaster recovery capability and is a regulatory requirement of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for new digital banks. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit 2020 report for Temenos, 81% of global banking executives surveyed believe a multi-cloud strategy will become a regulatory prerequisite.

Developing a cost-effective and scalable core banking solution was paramount for WeLab. Temenos cloud native software is built for the digital age using API-first and DevOps principles and engineered to deploy in containers and microservices. This makes it easy for WeLab to scale for future business growth efficiently and eliminates the need to provision for peak processing volumes so that the bank only pays for its actual usage, yielding significant cost savings.

Critically, with NuoDB the solution delivers a cloud-agnostic, distributed relational database that enables WeLab to deploy an active-active on-demand database across multiple cloud providers with near zero downtime failover.

Temenos Transact is a preconfigured system and so requires very little coding and with Temenos model bank to address local practices and regulations, WeLab was able to bring its service to market faster and extend its innovation with more than 400 out-of-the-box APIs.

With Temenos, WeLab bank is set to transform banking in Hong Kong. In as fast as 5 minutes, customers can remotely open a WeLab Bank account with $0 monthly fees and start enjoying differentiated services such as time deposits with competitive rates, an interest-bearing deposit account with an instant virtual Debit Card, and real-time payments powered by Faster Payment System (FPS). Everything can be done on a mobile phone, simply and effortlessly.

Adrian Tse, CEO at WeLab Bank, commented: “WeLab Bank was born from an initiative to reimagine the banking experience for the 7.5 million people of Hong Kong. From the start, we knew this vision needed the most advanced cloud native technology and a partner that shared our vision for digital transformation. With Temenos we have efficiently built WeLab Bank from scratch, free from any legacies, with innovative features that proactively help customers to take control of their money and their financial journey.”

Max Chuard, Chief Executive Officer, Temenos, said: “Congratulations to WeLab Bank on the launch of their trailblazing new digital bank. Building and launching a licensed bank in such a rapid timeframe is a fantastic achievement and we are proud to have supported them in becoming the first multi-cloud digital bank in Hong Kong. Temenos cloud-native, cloud-agnostic strategy means we can satisfy the needs of the most innovative and ambitious neobanks like WeLab Bank to run on multiple cloud providers. We know this is just the beginning for WeLab and we are excited to be part of their story as they revolutionize banking for people in Hong Kong.”

Bob Walmsley, CEO of NuoDB said: “We are excited to be partnering with Temenos to help WeLab Bank achieve their aggressive launch timelines and deliver innovative banking services to its customers. We were inspired by the technical vision of WeLab and knew that executing an on-demand, multi-cloud strategy was a perfect fit for NuoDB. Our enterprise-class, distributed SQL database combined with Temenos’ cloud-native technology helps banks of all sizes around the globe migrate to the cloud to improve agility and reduce costs.”

Continue Reading

Banking

The Bank is Where the Heart Is

Published

on

The Bank is Where the Heart Is 3

By Nick Barnes, Practice Director, Financial Services & Customer Success at JRNI

When unexpected events occur, people turn to their banks to provide a sense of trust, security, and stability. They need to be available anywhere, anytime, and from any device. As it’s a business based on trust, one-on-one communication is key.

With the world still emerging from the COVID-19 crisis and endeavouring to avert a possible second wave, every country, state, and region has their own unique requirements. Plus, every customer or member has their own demands. Experts and pundits have discussed a new normal, but what’s normal for now involves keeping customers and employees safe while also providing the same sense of stability as before.

For banks, building societies and credit unions, the main concerns include how to maintain personal relationships amidst social distancing; how to be available at any time on any device; and how to provide a sense of calm and security amidst the chaos.

Adapt or fall behind

Customers are quickly learning which of their service providers are adapting best to this new world. Are financial services providers like banks and credit unions adapting, or falling behind?

Finances are a highly personal topic, and often, illogical or emotional. Will I have enough? Will it be available when I need it? It is always a hot topic of conversation, but especially during a pandemic when unemployment rates are rising, and the economic landscape is unsettled. In the past, a customer could walk into the bank, have a reassuring conversation with a representative and move on.

So, how can banks help their customers through tough financial times during the current crisis, when in-person communication is nearly impossible? One solution is to provide helpful, personalized customer service through digital channels.

While in-person assistance will remain important after COVID-19, customers are looking for assistance now.   Banks are turning to remote video and voice appointments to boost customer satisfaction and meet customer expectations.

3 reasons to use remote appointments

1. To comply with social distancing

Our Modern Consumer Banking Report​​​​​​​ last year showed that when consumers visit branches, it’s primarily to talk face-to-face and ask questions/get help.  Research from Bain reinforces this, and emphasizes that “many retail banking customers think it’s easier to purchase through a human channel, or prefer to speak with an employee before buying a product.”

Due to social distancing measures, branches cannot be customers’ primary way of managing their finances during this pandemic. However, this doesn’t mean that customers aren’t interested in personalized attention that can be made available via video and voice.

2. To meet new demand 

Although spending habits may have changed, consumers are still making critical financial decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Individuals: The financial effects of coronavirus are drastically different from one customer to the next. While some are counting down the days to receipt of their unemployment check, others may be taking advantage of low-interest rates to buy a house. Ultimately, banks and credit unions need to address each customer segment with a unique message and way of providing assistance.

Small business banking: Countless small businesses around the world have been forced to close their doors. Whether they’re needing loans, payment deferrals, or advice, small businesses are looking to their bank as a guide, and a comfort.

Investment management: A recession is upon us, and with that comes a new approach to investing. Financial advisors are fielding questions, providing recommendations, and staying up to date on the market. Beyond this, many are building entirely new strategies for their clients.

Regardless of customer type, it’s clear that each subset of customer needs help from their financial institution at this time.

3. To boost customer retention

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Financial institutions cannot afford to lose customers during the pandemic, so customer retention is crucial.  Great customer service boosts customer loyalty, and research from Bain shows that loyalty is key to retention:

  • Customer loyalty increases revenue, and loyal customers are less likely to switch to a competing bank.
  • Customers who are a bank’s “promoters” recommend the bank to others as much as six times more than “detractors.”
  • A bank’s “promoters” spend one-quarter more than detractors on their primary credit card.

Ultimately, being able to connect with a customer in need using video or voice can give customers peace of mind and boost loyalty. Delivering personalized financial services without interruption is crucial.

Initial results from video banking show that consumers consider the service valuable. Phoenix Synergistics’ survey from December 2019 found that 17% of customers polled had used video chat through a website or app with their financial institution. Of those that had used video chat, 89% found video chat valuable.

Some suggestions for banks using remote video or voice appointments would be to: firstly ensure your solution is secure and doesn’t expose personal information outside of the conversation; secondly create a culture of consultation to alleviate outstanding fears; thirdly leverage appointment setting to allow customers to pre-schedule consultations and enquiries; finally include remote appointments as part of a wider suite of ‘touchless’ offerings.

The dos and don’ts for bank branches

Forty-three percent of banking customers have expressed their desire to change the way they bank due to the pandemic. As with retail and hospitality, several key customer segments have doubts about visiting physical locations and are transacting more remotely.

The challenge for banks is to make services available wherever customers want to bank – be it by phone, online, or in branch – and when it comes to any transaction, the key is to make customers feel cared for, heard, and secure.

With social distancing parameters in place along with other health and safety measures, there’s significant focus on the need to retool the branch experience. Here are a few suggestions as we move into that next stage of business and interaction:

DO: Have a plan.

Nick Barnes

Nick Barnes

Think about how customers will enter and exit each location. Plan for increased space between people in line, how to attend to at-risk customers, properly spaced lobbies, and waiting areas. Consider your employees and what they need in order to stay safe including break rooms with increased space between lounging areas, removal of shared snacks, availability of hand sanitizer and masks.

DO: Make sure you can effectively manage footfall.

Overcrowding will create fear and loss of trust. Make sure you have plenty of directional signage, crowd control measures, and staffing. Solutions including people counters, occupancy managers, and pre-booked appointments​​​​​​​ both allow for the throttling of traffic, and the ability to build in cleaning time.

DO: Hire the right team and staff adequately.

Being courteous and in control will be the most important ingredient to success. Have enough staff, you will need the extra hands to ensure that all staff is properly trained and ready to enforce new protocols.

Some customers will be understandably anxious going into branches, and some will want to feel that everything has returned to normal, so staff may need to be very firm and well-versed in a new operating style.

DO: Offer customers the ability to bank when and how they prefer.

We’re not suggesting that you remain open for 24 hours, but the goal is to make it easy for the customer. Adding the ability to set an appointment with a wealth manager or an advisor online will enable customers to bank from home, and will enable banks to provide the personalized service customers have come to expect.

Leverage online appointment confirmations to remind customers to have key documents available if they need them. Virtual solutions position the bank to serve as an advisor rather than just a financial institution.

DO: Demonstrate your commitment to a safe environment.

Use clear signage to convey the measures in place to ensure customer and employee safety. Make hand sanitizer or wipes available throughout the branch, and in all high-touch areas. Ensure cleaning supplies are visible, around doorways and ​​​​​​​near greeters to provide customers with an added sense of security. And make sure that employees are following every measure required of customers.

DON’T: Lose customer confidence.

If you are not prepared, it will show, and it will be very hard to gain back customer confidence once compromised. Social media will not be your friend. Forrester Research reports that 52% of US online adults prefer to buy from companies that demonstrate how they are protecting customers against the threats of COVID-19.

DON’T: Overcrowd or fill your branch to capacity.

Consumers are being trained to avoid crowds, so failure at the branch to comply could result in losing their business. Most physical locations are operating with fewer staff and accommodating 10 – 25% of the traffic once allowed. Keep in mind that you only have one opportunity to make a first impression on customers, and they’re looking to trust you have their best interests in mind.

DON’T: Understaff.

You will need to expect the unexpected and having more hands-on deck will prove to be beneficial in the long run.  Having the wrong staff, or those that don’t take the time to learn new operating procedures or feel comfortable telling that customer who won’t keep a mask on, may not be the best fit.

DON’T: Make it difficult for customers to do business with you.

Social distancing introduces a number of disruptions to the way you’ve traditionally done business. So limiting options to customers – providing no ability to bank online or via phone, not having a live customer service voice or chat option – is not going to help. In addition to making sure the services are available, it is imperative to communicate all options to customers.

DON’T: Assume someone else will do it.

Bank staff need to show that the branch is being tended to, cleaned between visitors, and before opening each day. It is important that staff jump in to help move customers safely through the branch, ensure their questions are answered and overall, take a proactive approach to service without assuming that a sign or another staff member will take care of it.  Customers will come to the branch, but gaining their confidence is everything. Don’t lose it by not being prepared. It will be very hard to win it back.

With the constant threat new restrictions in response to COVID-19 outbreaks, banks will need to take a long view on how they enable the operational flexibility that will be needed to adapt to fast-changing conditions.  As people prepare to live more risk-averse lives, banks will need to go the extra mile to ensure customers feel less wary about visiting in person whilst also offering a seamless experience for those customers who prefer to remain in the safety of their homes.  Those that manage to do so will emerge from the crisis with a sustainable advantage over their competitors.

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2020
2020 Global Banking & Finance Awards now open. Click Here

Latest Articles

Research exposes the £68.8 billion opportunity for UK retailers 4 Research exposes the £68.8 billion opportunity for UK retailers 5
Business20 hours ago

Research exposes the £68.8 billion opportunity for UK retailers

Modelling shows increasing the proportion of online sales by 5 percentage points would have significantly boosted retailers’ revenues during the...

Want to serve your customers better? An effective online strategy is what financial institutions need  6 Want to serve your customers better? An effective online strategy is what financial institutions need  7
Business1 day ago

Want to serve your customers better? An effective online strategy is what financial institutions need 

By Anna Willems, Marketing Director, Mention A strong online presence matters. Having a strong online presence, that involves social media...

The rise of AI in compliance management 8 The rise of AI in compliance management 9
Technology1 day ago

The rise of AI in compliance management

By Martin Ellingham, director, product management compliance at Aptean, looks at the increasing role of AI in compliance management and just...

Simplifying the Sector: How low code can aid digital transformation in financial services 10 Simplifying the Sector: How low code can aid digital transformation in financial services 11
Technology1 day ago

Simplifying the Sector: How low code can aid digital transformation in financial services

By Nick Ford Chief Technology Evangelist, Mendix From online banking to contactless payments and Apple Pay, it has been well...

Why the Boom is Long Overdue (and Here to Stay) 12 Why the Boom is Long Overdue (and Here to Stay) 13
Business1 day ago

Why the Boom is Long Overdue (and Here to Stay)

By Roger James Hamilton, CEO, Genius Group Virtually every aspect of our lives has been taken over by tech, so...

5 Sustainability Lessons That Are Crucial For Business Success 14 5 Sustainability Lessons That Are Crucial For Business Success 15
Business1 day ago

5 Sustainability Lessons That Are Crucial For Business Success

By Michael Stausholm, founder of Sprout World (sproutworld.com) Sprout World is the eco-company behind the world’s only plantable pencil, with...

Why financial brands need to understand consumer vitality 16 Why financial brands need to understand consumer vitality 17
Business1 day ago

Why financial brands need to understand consumer vitality

By Carolyn Corda, CMO at data consortium ADARA Our day to day lives have been turned upside down. Office workers have...

Why and how a modern marketing strategy should put customer experience first 18 Why and how a modern marketing strategy should put customer experience first 19
Business1 day ago

Why and how a modern marketing strategy should put customer experience first

By Jim Preston, VP EMEA, Showpad In 2004, the Leading Edge Forum coined the term ‘consumerisation of IT’, defining a...

Leading from the front - why decision makers must embrace automation 20 Leading from the front - why decision makers must embrace automation 21
Technology1 day ago

Leading from the front – why decision makers must embrace automation

By Jeppe Rindom, Co-founder & CEO, Pleo Ask any decision maker at a business about admin and you’re likely to...

Business first, not compliance only is the future for accountants 22 Business first, not compliance only is the future for accountants 23
Business1 day ago

Business first, not compliance only is the future for accountants

By Peter Bracey, MD at Bracey’s Accountants.  The past few months have underlined the need for better business insight to reduce...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now