To what degree has digital changed banks?
Digital touches banks’ DNA, from the way they create products to the way they distribute them, as well as their daily customer touchpoints. It is an opportunity for banks to reinvent themselves and even a must-do as they face the ubiquity of online giants and the rise of creative and agile FinTech* companies.
In addition to generational changes, the customer has changed with the smartphone’s hegemony and the increased presence of cloud services. The typical customer is, therefore, more connected, better informed, and experienced in e-commerce. He wants more transparent banking services which need to be more accessible than ever.
Also, returning to fundamentals, banks have several missions including:
- Provide payment methods to their customers;
- Offer financing options, such as credit lines, for example;
- Advise their customers on money management.
Because of all this, digital is progressively altering banks on these different levels. This is done through m-banking, wallets, contactless payments, digitization, and cross-channel customer touchpoints, among others.
Can you give us more details on how banks are adapting to the above-mentioned changes?
It is a progressive work that takes place in three stages.
First of all, banks upgrade their systems. This project is still ongoing in some banks.
This upgrade, or modernization, includes, but is not limited to:
- the adaptation or overhaul of their information systems in order to work more in real time;
- the development of services for the new channels and devices;
- the digitization of processes such as subscribing to a product;
- the protection of services and transactions with, for example, the installation of our 2nd generation authentication solution, Trusted Authentication.
The second stage is the digital transformation. Banks have to consider the digital turn and its subsequent opportunities, especially those relating to Big Data and connected objects. Indeed, with the contextual data collected on their customers, banks will be able to better understand them and thus to optimize the user experience and to proactively offer them the right products and the right deals at the right time.
Finally, at the final stage, banks will need to maintain their digital pace. To do this, banks will need to constantly keep their services and products aligned with the changing needs and expectations. In addition, they will need to establish new business models based on user experience rather than on the traditional sales of products. Lastly, they will also need to take into account what actually works, such as social media functionalities and gamification, for example.
What online banking solutions do banks currently offer to their customers?
One of the better known solutions is the direct access to bank accounts via an app on a smartphone or a tablet. This solution, which is essential in 2015, enables customers to not only consult their transactions, but also to make transfers, to contact their banking representative via the built-in secure messaging system and to subscribe to products, among others.
How is Worldline involved in these solutions?
Indeed, the urgency for banks to reinvent customer relationships requires adopting well-known models from Internet champions such as disruptive models, a single user experience and an agile, secured and scalable platform that can rapidly launch new services.
We bring this digital platform to banks, as the base for their digital transformation. At the crossroad between customer interactions, information systems and an ecosystem of partners, our platform integrates the best technologies on the market (omnichannel, wallets, mobile banking, PFM** contextualized services, Big Data and more) and shortens the time-to-market by limiting to a minimum the necessary developments on banks' information systems and by capitalizing on our partners’ APIs***.
Thus, we enable banks to conduct two strategic projects in parallel: quickly launch innovative digital services through our digital platform and implement multiannual programs to modernize their information systems.
How do you foresee the future of online banking in the coming years?
In my view, banks will continue to strengthen their digital positioning. Therefore, banking usages will naturally integrate themselves into the everyday, increasingly digital, life of consumers. Online banking, in its mobile app form, is here to stay. However, new uses will emerge such as the integration of online banking in digital personal assistants. Worldline will of course be there to continue to support banks in innovative ways.
Thank you for your time today, Christophe. I will leave you with one final question: we live in a hyper connected digital world and, suddenly, you find yourself stranded on a desert island, which electronic product do you have to have with you?
My digital appendix, that is to say my smartphone with integrated solar charging functionality and network access via connected balloons in the atmosphere, when this is a reality.
And a pair of connected hiking shoes to explore this island and, particularly, to find food in case drone deliveries cannot be made there.
* Startups in digital financial services
** Personal Finance Management
*** Application Program Interface
Christophe is business developer in our Business Line Financial Processing & Software Licensing in charge of developing digital services, such as online banking, for financial institutions. He joined the company in 2004 after finishing his studies.