Finance teams were truly put to the test last year. Many businesses were forced into survival mode and some, unfortunately, did not make it through the pandemic. Covid-19 forced entire sectors to close, with knock-on effects on other industries, and the UK’s GDP declined by 9.9% in 2020.
We are witnessing an evolution. Banking is changing in so many ways – the move away from cash, and even cards, the urgent uptake of online banking, and a growing interest in personal investing. The slow and steady pace of the industry has been accelerated more in the last year than in the entire decade prior.
Much has been written about how retail banking has appropriated digitalisation to improve customer experience and gain market share, but investment banking has also adopted digital processes to step up their performance and market share, largely in response to shifting client demands and snowballing competition from alternate providers. As their monopoly hold on investment banking withers, what do incumbents need to do to stay in the race as the frontrunners?
With COVID-19 still dominating the narrative across the global banking industry, arguably the biggest challenge lenders will face in 2021 is how best to maximise the customer experience amidst such a challenging environment. Indeed, given the low interest rates that have continued to weigh heavily on banks’ net interest income (NII)
In a country known as a leader in the race to integrate digital technology into banking, Poland’s first internet-based bank, mBank, is at the front of the pack. At the heart of its success is a determination to match innovative solutions with customers’ best interests, with a special focus on maximising mobile and online delivery. mBank is being rewarded with exceptional organic expansion, as customers flock to this trendsetting bank.
Ecuador, on South America’s northwest coast, is known for its relatively high growth and income and appropriately competitive banking sector. Since 1972, Banco del Pacifico has risen above its peers by serving its customers through the most innovative means available. In our interview, CEO Efrain Vieira Herrera explains how Banco del Pacifico is continuing to break through the traditional boundaries of Ecuadorian banking to new frontiers, much to the delight of its customers.
In spite of the recent rise of protectionism amongst major trade partners, international trade growth is strong, with emerging markets providing the main impetus. Trade growth could be even stronger if not for the shortfall in trade financing supply relative to demand, a gap that is partly due to regulation compliance. Technology is coming to the rescue, not only in addressing the trade finance gap but ameliorating operations throughout trade channels.
It’s not news that the majority of retail-bank managers in Europe are concerned about the territory being lost to “the enemy”, those clever, customer-pleasing fintech companies. Fortunately, the end is not in sight for forward-thinking traditional banks that not only make the most of their formidable advantages and resources but also turn enemy into partner through coopetition.
The banking industry is changing. We’re now in an age where banks are competing on customer experience – and when it comes to making that experience better, using data to create connected customer journeys equals power.
App developers are shooting ahead like missiles, struggling to outdo each other in the creativity department, and customers are loving them for it. But are banks keeping up, or have they been left out of the digital party, still struggling with outdated systems that simply “don’t do” technology all that well? 2017, characterized by the unexpected, is separating the serious contenders from the rest.