This series of blogs looks at the future of banking in Growth Markets in a post-COVID-19 world.

We saw in the previous blogs that every bank can be mapped on our DMI-CRI matrix, with each falling into one of three segments:

  • Disrupt for Growth
  • Digitise for Efficiency and Agility
  • Restructure to Survive
A Digital Push

In this blog, I will outline the strategies that banks in the second segment – Digitise for Efficiency and Agility – should employ in order to emerge stronger and better-positioned for a post-pandemic world.

While banks in the second segment score in the medium- to high range when it comes to COVID-19 resiliency, they lag the leaders on the digital curve. To drive improved financial and market performance, these banks need to initiate or accelerate their transformation into a truly digital bank – which we define as a data-driven and agile organisation obsessed with the customer experience, while leveraging intelligent operations and future-ready systems to drive profitable top-line growth.

I understand that this is a mouthful and might seem to be a form of consulting buzzword-bingo, so let me take these one-by-one.

Over the past five years, non-financial services digital unicorns (like Uber and Airbnb) have led the way in dramatically improving their end-to-end (E2E) customer experience. Rightly, customers now have the same high expectations of their banks. To meet that, banks must reinvent their customer journeys from the ground up, and do so through the customer experience lens that puts the customer at the heart of the design process, and then use that lens to simplify, eliminate and digitise journeys and products.

Increasingly this also means becoming a data-driven bank that uses internal data, external data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to predict when and where a customer will look to interact with the bank (via any channel), proactively engage with customers digitally to surprise and delight them, and/or understand the drivers of those journeys in order to eliminate complexity.

An example of this in action is the work Accenture did with Vodafone in the UK to deliver intelligent care – where, together, we were able to increase digital channel usage by 26 percent, eliminate 1.5 million calls to the call centre and improve customer satisfaction. Another example is our Digital Signal to Sales asset that combines external data-sets and our AI models to identify Zero Moments of Truth sales leads for every digital citizen or small business in a particular market.

Next is agility – and this requires much more than applying technological fixes. True business agility is an organisation-wide approach that involves assessing processes, structures, governance and service innovation to ensure the firm builds the capability to be agile. In that way, it can respond to situations fast and deliver solutions; it can adapt its structure and culture; it can innovate and disrupt markets; and it can become a learning organisation. Developing an agile mindset and practices, then, is crucial. This can be done from any starting point – even in the context of a regulated industry. Our Enterprise Agility in Financial Services report has more on this.

Banks should also apply internally these principles of customer experience, a data-driven approach and agility to enable intelligent operations, which dramatically uplift their operational ability and efficiency. Here, banks should remember the importance of metrics, because, as the saying goes: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. In the digital economy, that means measuring for elements that fall outside the traditional scope, and looking to digital leaders for inspiration. Famously, Singapore’s DBS introduced GANDALF as representative of the companies against which it wished to benchmark its digital performance.[1]

Finally, it’s critical that banks have a clear approach to eliminate their legacy technology debt and achieve future-ready systems – particularly in the areas of journey to cloud, core modernisation and the future IT workforce delivery. Given the importance of this topic, and with this post clocking in at 700 words, I’ll leave that for my next blog.

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Disclaimer: This document is intended for general informational purposes only and does not take into account the reader’s specific circumstances, and may not reflect the most current developments. Accenture disclaims, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, any and all liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information in this presentation and for any acts or omissions made based on such information. Accenture does not provide legal, regulatory, audit, or tax advice. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel or other licensed professionals.

[1] GANDALF – Google, Amazon, Netflix, DBS, Apple, LinkedIn, Facebook.

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