Connect with us

Banking

THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL BANKING

Published

on

THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL BANKING

Andy Hirst, Vice President, Banking Solutions

Like every other industry, banking is faced with a wide range of challenges and opportunities as a result of dramatic digital disruption. Whether through the role of mobile applications, the changing nature of customer expectations in retail banking or the need for integrated back office and front office systems that enable institutions to meet customer needs, regulatory requirements and drive efficiencies. Change is a constant wherever you look.

We recently brought together leading players in the banking sector, including senior executives from prominent banks including HSBC and RBS as well as several leading Fintechs to discuss what the future looks like and how this change is manifesting itself. These individuals are dealing with the implications of digital innovation on a daily basis, and have first-hand experience of what it means to adapt to digital forces – whether as an international bank, mutual or Fintech start up.

What seems clear is that whichever perspective you’re coming from, there are a series of consistent drivers disrupting and challenging the sector. Our discussion led us to three key areas that are driving the disruption and influencing the future of the sector.

Firstly, there is an evolving dynamic between the interests of legacy systems –that is, the technology infrastructure that institutions know and can rely on, and the expectations and needs of customers.  Digital disruption means it has now become essential for banks and financial services institutions to adapt in order to survive and successfully address the needs of their customers. For instance, internet banking has allowed customers to access banking services through time sensitive touch points, empowering them to take ownership of their finances and gain access and deeper insight into their financial lives. Equally, mobile banking has led to on-the-go, real-time banking while also changing the needs of customers for retail banking interactions.

What became clear in our discussion was an overriding consensus across banks and Fintechs that customer-centricity will ultimately drive the path of digital innovation. This might mean, for instance, customers being able to cherry pick the services they need through as few touch points as possible. The bank might become the aggregator of services – a platform for different products. Customers may also begin to more actively draw insights on their spending patterns through automated systems that manage personal finances more proactively, drawing upon accounts in different locations through various digital platforms.

All of this is only possible by having the right infrastructure in place to adapt – often entailing a rethink of legacy systems, especially for large banks whose systems have evolved in organic ways. Delivering on new customer expectations therefore requires a fairly radical examination of the systems in place and their ability to integrate across platform and operation.

Secondly, Fintechs are growing in importance and are increasingly finding new ways of collaborating with the traditional banking industry. Large banks have evolved over decades through acquisition and organic growth, which often means they have relatively complex systems and processes. In our roundtable discussion, Fintechstouched on the challenges of engaging with these types of organisations.

For start-ups that are used to nimble and agile decision making, a large multi-national bank can feel unwieldy. But a mutual understanding of each party’s starting point can overcome these hurdles. Banks have systems in place for good reason, often regulatory, and by virtue of their size corporate structures exist to provide appropriate oversight. This isn’t to say that traditional banks aren’t deeply invested in and motivated by the opportunities of digital innovation that partners in the Fintech community can offer, just that getting to a point of collaboration might be a more involved and delicate process.

Understanding these dynamics, embracing complexity and being tenacious (on both sides), is the only way of reaching meaningful and fruitful areas of partnership. Based on our discussion, there is a clear realisation that more can be gained through collaboration than in facing off as competitors. For instance, one vision explored in our discussion was the possibility of a future in which Fintechs act as the public face and banks the backbone infrastructure of the business.

Thirdly, one of the driving forces behind current digital disruption in the sector is open application programming interfaces (APIs). These platforms are enabling an increasing number of legacy organisations to share data, making it easier to innovate and take advantage of the latest market solutions. This, in turn, is helping to close the gap created by competitive advantages and in future may drastically change  the way banks interact with each other, from competitive to collaborative.

And while financial leaders speculate abouthow open APIs can drive better connected banks, the reality is that the majority of bank account holders have accounts with more than one financial institution, meaning that the opportunity for these organisations to operate on one neutral platform is already possible. The ability for third parties to run on one single platform enables users to mine data from all accounts, significantly simplifying personal financial management.

But better-connected banks need to be both technically able and culturally willing to make these changes. Bringing together banking leaders and Fintechs for our recent roundtable discussion, it quickly became evident that there is a broad acceptance of the need for change and a willingness to embrace the complexity of digital disruption for the benefit of end users. That’s not to say the path ahead is easy, but it does mean the vital cultural change is set in motion.

These three observations seem central to the challenges and opportunities our sector is facing.

Digital banking is ultimately a trend driven by the expectations of customers. But it also enables simplification and efficiencies too. In an ideal world, these forces are mutually supportive, but what exactly is the path ahead? Is this possible, and if so, how can we navigate through the complexity that confronts this type of disruption?

There is much anticipation around how this industry will develop as a result of technology, and while there still is a great deal of uncertainty, there is also great optimism about what can be achieved. We have the capacity to incorporate some of the most advanced technology into modern day banking, including the power of Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. While we may not know how exactly this technology will shape the future of banking, it is evident that its power for connectivity will completely change the game for banks and Fintechs – change that is already being driven by customers and their expectations and needs.

Andy Hirst

Andy Hirst is the Vice President for Banking Solutions for SAP, where is he responsible for helping customers in the financial services industry achieve their digital transformation goals. He has a vast amount of financial services industry knowledge, and holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Bradford.

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
Business2 days 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
Business2 days 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
Technology2 days 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
Technology2 days 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
Business2 days 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
Business2 days 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
Business2 days 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
Business2 days 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
Technology2 days 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
Business2 days 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