With Accenture’s 2016 Tech Vision predicting that 25% of the world’s economy will be digital by 2020, it’s not surprising that digital disruption is a top concern for business leaders worldwide. The banking industry, in particular, is often cited as a prime candidate for digital disruption, with digitally savvy non-bank competitors taking aim at different sectors.

In our work with leading banks around the world; however, we have seen a number of banks create their own digital ecosystems to meet customers’ changing needs, using technology in non-traditional ways. Poland’s Idea Bank, for example, won an EFMA Accenture Banking Innovation award for its Idea Cloud, a business management solution for small and medium-sized enterprises. Idea Cloud combines intelligent software and cloud-based functions to integrate companies’ accounting systems and their banking transactions, delivering operating efficiency and saving these businesses time and money.

This kind of innovative thinking is not confined to smaller banks. UBS worked with Accenture and the Swiss telecommunications and data center provider Swisscom to create a central service utility for the bank’s entire marketing portfolio, addressing all issues from business to IT requirements. The utility provides a one-stop “concierge desk” as an entry point for all internal and external marketing and communications topics, along with a specialized and industrialized production line for digital content and media monitoring services. Marketing operations are hosted on Swisscom’s private data cloud.

As digital disruption becomes more and more widespread, banks will have to become more creative and take more initiative in their approaches to serving customers. Ford, for example, is working to enable its customers to make transactions from their vehicle for services such as car parking by using FordPay, a virtual wallet that, according to NFC World, stores payment details on their mobile phone. FordPay is part of the FordPass platform, which includes merchant rewards and may expand to include other services. The key to success for banks is in thinking of themselves, not strictly as banks, but as providers of solutions for customers’ business and financial needs.

What digital disruptors are you seeing in banking?  How are you planning to meet your customers’ needs and compete in this new digital age? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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