Accenture Banking Blog


74% of survey respondents say improving customer experience is currently their top strategic priority

In Pixar’s Finding Dory, Dory’s father comforts her when she cannot get a seashell out of the sand. He advises that “when something is too hard…there is always another way.”

Banks seem to have a similar philosophy these days in turning to digital technologies as a way to work around limitations of their legacy systems and empower their operations to elevate customer experience. Based on our recent survey of 80 bank operations leaders in North America, three-quarters (74 percent) said that improving the customer experience is currently their top strategic priority, and up to 40 percent of bank spending on digital transformation will be in operations by 2020.

Read the report
Read the report

Faced with a complex legacy IT environment (cited by 38 percent of bankers as the largest barrier to their digital transformation) banks can now combine key technologies available today to upgrade their operations without a major IT overhaul. Leading banks are embracing micro-services, robotic process automation, artificial intelligence and other digital technologies to plug-and-play new customer-facing apps and processes within or around their existing legacy systems. Nearly half (48 percent) of survey respondents said they already use cloud-based applications, with another 27 percent planning to do so in the next year; 22 percent said they are using artificial intelligence, with another one-third (33 percent) planning to do so in the next year; and 16 percent said they use robotic process automation, with another one-third (33 percent) planning to so in the next year.

As banks tap into such technologies to open their business models, make their processes and data more transparent, and integrate with broader ecosystems, the role of banks’ operations organizations is shifting. They are becoming more intelligent, enabling leaner operations and quicker, insight-led decision making. Almost half (45 percent) of respondents said they foresee banking operations’ primary role in three years as achieving straight-through processing through digital technologies and fully harnessing the potential of customer and transaction data residing in operational systems. Doing so will enable banks to extract value trapped inside operations, such as customer data that could be used for innovative new products, services and processes—in essence, bringing the back office to the front line. It’s another way that banks can do a hard thing: Constantly, consistently improving customer experience and customer journeys.

See what else surveyed bank operations leaders had to say in our full report, “2018 North America Banking Operations Survey: Back office, it’s time to meet the customers,” and discover other ways to deliver a superior bank experience.