On the 19th September I had the chance to listen to and share ideas with experts on the future development of banks over the next 5 years. It was a privilege to be able to listen to the opinions and views of experts such as Harrie Vollaard and Michael Dooijes from Rabobank, Steve Flinter from Mastercard and Carina Szpika and Oriol Pons from Beeone, all of whom have such extensive track records. I was also able to share ideas with Reyes Bolumar from BBVA Opentalent, Sandra Sancho from Catalunya Caixa Innovation, Javier Marin from BS Innovation, Christian Rasset, and many others who we have worked together with in the past.
A new structure
I took away the following messages, which are very much in line with King-eClient’s positioning over the last couple of years. In fact, we have been working on these models for Al Rajhi Bank in Saudi Arabia, and we are expecting to launch them very shortly.
The current banking model has run its course. Banks are no longer placing an office on every corner; now the intention is to create a relationship with the client over the full range of channels. Although banks continue to spend 6.7% of their income on technology (Gartner) this must continue to be the means and not an end in itself. Financial bodies who wish to maintain their competitive edge must stop believing they are merely facilitators of financial operations. So what are they, then? They need to build a closer relationship with their customers; they must cease to be just mediators and become consultants, advisors and coaches.
Customers want a bank which can support them in their daily financial affairs, which can help them make decisions more easily, manage their budgets and provide any other services which require planning and expense, such as holidays, education, and health. The innovation departments of the banks note that the main brake to progress is the banking culture and the banks themselves. Bringing about this change of direction will be a long-term project. But the world today is moving very rapidly and customers need new ideas, services and approaches in real time. Will banks be able to adapt their structures and organization to achieve the speed demanded by their customers? One can only comment, “There is no end! It’s a moving target”.
Written by Javier Aguilar Guindulain, Socio Director – King-eClient