Young upstarts: Financial Services industry meets its future

How to use smart, data-based technology and IoT to create seamless customer-centric services.

Every year-group of school kids have had their collectables. Most 90’s children traded Pokémon cards, a decade before that scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers entertained, and Sibos was no different.

Just swap the school setting for a slightly more upmarket location in Geneva, and imagine financial institutions boasting about their fintech credentials and new, multi-channel, offerings.

To be fair, they’re entitled to be proud.

Ever since the concept of a customer journey bulldozed over inter-industry discussions, every business has attempted to prove its customer-first attitude. The biggest surprise of the past five years, however, is how well banks and financial institutions have done in, so far, delivering on these proofs.

Customers demanded integrated services and products, banks are delivering it. Customers demanded mobile-first strategies, banks showcase mobile technology. Customers demand future-ready platforms as soon as possible, banks lead the debates on tomorrow’s business.

With all that excitement, Sibos’ role was to sift through the playing fields ‘merch’, and isolate the best collectables. Emerging technologies like quantum computing, IoT and augmented reality are, of course, exciting, but sometimes detach the conversation from the most important element of a bank-customer relationship: empathy.

Empathy was even seen to be encouraged by the often mentioned European directive PSD2, using its promotion of open banking as a conduit to transparency and trust in a system still recovering from last decade’s devastating crash. The smuggest kids on the scene recognized this and have already started integrating this into their strategies.

In fact, these strategies have had to be continually updated as new fun things get adopted by traditional and challenger organizations, think the rise of wearable technology and the different ways customers now interact with their banks. It’s meant businesses have to continually reevaluate their offerings to make sure they are relevant.

There’s always that new kid in the class who upsets the natural order of things though.

As much as customers’ demands keep banks on their toes, so do the rise of challenger banks which use smart, data-based technology and IoT to create seamless customer-centric services – from peer-to-peer lenders to online remittance services and robo-advisors. 

Banks must start to exploit the experience and capital they have access to if they wish to compete with their younger competitors. Organizations across the industry must work closer together to fully understand the benefits of tomorrow, and how best to realize them. 

The adoption of digital technology should enable banks to enhance their interactions with customers if they wish to retain their playground reputation in the years ahead.

Keep your customers engaged with your business with the most up-to-date strategies and discussions from Sibos in the full report.