Sectors such as the music industry and retail trade have already experienced it: the digitisation process is now gradually spreading to all areas of business and daily life. A panel of experts at CeBIT in Hanover discussed the growing pressure for innovation in the banking sector. The big question is: how will banks react to the changing market environment and how can digital technology improve the service experience for customers? A recently launched international study by GFT aims to provide answers.
London, 26 March 2015 - It took PayPal less than three years to establish itself as a powerful online payment option. In Germany alone, the company has more than 12 million active users. And with Apple Pay, Alipay and Google Wallet, the next non-industry players are about to roll out their own digital payment solutions. However, digitisation not only means new competitors but gives retail banks the opportunity to adapt to new trends, to develop a better understanding of their customers and to cooperate with the so-called fintechs. These are the key findings of GFT's panel discussion among industry experts at CeBIT.
Whether social banking (Fidor Bank, represented by Frank Schwab, CEO of Fidor TecS AG), applications to facilitate everyday banking (Gini, Munich-based start-up, Michael Maier, Head of Sales and Marketing) or an analysis of customer data in order to optimise services (GPredictive, CODE_n Finalist 2014, Björn Goerke, CEO) - the range of new digital services is wide. They illustrate the industry's current change process: the focus is now less on products and more on the customer. The experts all agreed: a European comparison clearly shows that there is a substantial difference between those countries with advanced digital banking economies, such as: Spain, Italy, the UK, Sweden or Norway, and those who have yet to embrace the digitisation of the finance sector. "Even in Germany for example, the ‘land of direct debit', the banks are still at a very early stage," says Marina Walser, Head of Portfolio Strategy, GFT. "The organisational structures within banks are complex and focused on product development. We cannot emphasise enough that a change in attitude towards a more customer-centric approach would bring huge benefits in view of the current fierce competition. Young people in particular have long established their digital daily routines. However, the mindset of most banks is still analogue." This was also confirmed by the three fintechs: there was only modest interest in cooperation being displayed by banks.
The key findings of the panel discussion were:
Are these just a few isolated highlights or an apt description of the overall situation? In order to answer this question, GFT has launched an international survey among top decision-makers and banking experts in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the UK and Brazil entitled "The Secrets of Success for Digital Banking". The experts will be surveyed until 6 April. Participants are naturally granted exclusive access to the results as of May. This way to the survey:www.gft.com/digitalbanking