Matthew Phillips, Vice President, Head of Financial Services UK & Ireland, Diebold Nixdorf, explores three of the key themes having impact and driving change for UK banks.
The UK’s banking industry has always been evolutionary and revolutionary. It’s a sector that every consumer relies on and that influences our daily lives. 2020 was a year of great change for many, a marker in the sand, and an opportunity to rethink what we do and why. For UK banks it’s a part of their ever moving journey to be the best service provider for their customers. To provide them with the banking services they need, when and where they need them. As a partner to the banking sector we’re always there with the ‘what’s next?’ As we look at what 2021 and beyond will look like, I explore the trends driving change and shifting the evolution of the sector.
BEYOND THE PANDEMIC
As a result of the pandemic banks have seen a surge in the use of online banking and mobile apps by consumers to perform transactions they may have previously conducted in-person. How do the services offered by Diebold Nixdorf assist banks delivering seamless financial solutions to customers?
Customers who have long used online and mobile services have increasingly relied on technology during lockdown. And customers who hadn’t previously banked in this way drove increased adoption. However, there is increasing evidence that when physical banking options have been available, customer demand was strong.
Diebold Nixdorf supports banks in providing the breadth of technology services that fulfil the needs of every type of customer. From the highly digitally enabled, to those who need a little bit of both digital and physical banking, to those who still predominantly rely on their branch. Providing consumers with the opportunity to choose and flex how they bank is essential – both during a pandemic and not.
What is the impact of COVID-19 on the self-service market?
Self-service and ATMs have been undergoing consistent evolution for many years and the impact of COVID-19 is just a part of this journey. Looking back on the technology advances in the ATM market in recent years, it’s clear to see that much of the evolution into self-service has significantly helped banks to lessen the impacts of COVID-19 for consumers. It’s an area where investment in technology has reaped rewards during a time of crisis.
As an essential service, banks are expected to provide continuous service no matter what the circumstances and they did an exceptional job during 2020. With personal interactions being reduced wherever possible, self-service terminals have provided a crucial method of upholding customer service. A bridge between physical and digital services that has enabled banks to maintain those crucial touch points.
We envisage a future where self-service continues to be this bridge. As consumers increasingly embrace technology in retail environments, they will begin to expect more of this functionality when it comes to banking.
THE IMPACT OF DISRUPTORS
How are established banks keeping pace with the new disruptors?
There’s no doubt that the banking industry is feeling the impact of some powerful brands and new entrants into the market. However, UK banks have the trust of consumers – built up over hundreds of years – through their consistency of delivery and service, and it will take a while for new disruptors to compete in this way.
For any large organisation, restructuring and updating legacy infrastructures and technology requires time and investment. But banks in the UK know that it is central to retaining the trust they have earned. Because of this they are motivated to keep pace and are working to keep the needs of their customers front of mind.
We work with banks to make sure that the adoption of new technology is as seamless as possible and to ensure that technology is integrated flawlessly into the overall experience. Banks are keeping pace by updating their apps and online account servicing and embracing technology, such as self-service systems, to improve the in-branch and remote banking experience. But what’s of upmost importance when adopting this new technology is working behind the scenes to connect all of these elements – for the benefit of both the customer and the bank.
Our solution is simplicity: futuristic in-person banking technology, built on fully integrated software, with a flexible, customisable interface to allow banks to engage with customers through their distinct brand identity.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
What do you think the future developments are for the industry?
The banking industry will continue to innovate and develop – driven by the needs of the consumers it serves and technological developments. There are distinct learnings from 2020 – such as the importance of richer transactions – that will see immediate development and investment, and where customers will reap the rewards. Online banking and mobile apps, in the most part, coped excellently with the surge in use but there are areas where the technology has been found lacking, such as the integration between digital and physical services. The industry is now focused on providing solutions to the problems that have been highlighted by the circumstances of the past twelve months.
We expect to see the industry focus on customer experience and I believe that 2021 will be the year when we see decisive impetus added to banks’ strategies around the continued role of bank branches. Now is the time for change across branches to reach scale and to provide consumers across the UK with the elevated experiences they expect. The future is driven by customers and they will stay front of mind as banks keep pace with the ways in which the world has changed recently.
What are your future plans for developments?
Diebold Nixdorf believes in being a partner that helps banks to actively drive the industry forward. By working together we provide technology services that offer integrated future-facing solutions, which allow banks and retailers to give the best possible customer experience. Our plan is to continue to present our customers with new and innovative technology, which will enable them to be agile and deliver a truly connected experience.