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Digital Transformation is Calling... Are Banks Answering?

Banking has always been the foundation of our economy. Today, it’s at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, blurring the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds. During COVID, we’ve seen things change like never before. The pandemic has intensified the demands for digital transformation and sparked it to happen at record speed — revolutionizing ways to engage, personalization of engagement and the ability to conduct business from anywhere, faster than ever.

Increasingly, banking is embedded in everything we do, shifting the way we think about payments, transactions and interactions. In turn, consumers are making decisions about who to bank with based on how easy their experience will be. They want things simple, seamless, understandable, fast and secure.

An end to “ops normal”

Digital convenience and ease are not just the new norm, they’re the dominant expectation from customers in day-to-day business. In banking, if you can’t deliver this convenience, you’re automatically at a competitive disadvantage.

Never have consumers been more aware of what’s possible and what’s required to have a seamless digital experience. They expect banks to rise to the occasion. As a result, banks are being prompted to rethink their business processes, technologies and business plans to determine how best to deliver experiences at the level today’s customers expect. As Cisco Chairman John Chambers has been quoted as saying, “At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years…if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies.”

Personalizing experiences and driving speed

We’ve all seen how companies like Netflix and Amazon have raised the bar on personalization and the immediacy of the customer experience. They’ve taken data analytics to new heights to better understand their customers and create experiences tailored to the individual.

Banks must do the same thing — get innovative about how they use data analytics and other advancements like machine learning to gain a 360-degree view of their customers and their business to deliver personalized experiences and drive solution-oriented operations.

Yet research has found that while financial services organizations have a very high level of understanding of the importance of data and analytics for driving a better customer experience, their investment in data and analytics has not kept pace. Working with an expert partner who has made these investments and can provide a depth and breadth of capabilities at scale (not inherent at most banks), pay big dividends and get you to the digital horizon much faster.

Breaking free from the legacy mindset

Banks that prioritize future-readiness with smart technology integrations will move ahead, make unprecedented advances across their operations and deliver new levels of digital convenience for their customers and internal stakeholders. The common tendency though has been to focus on accelerating and/or automating what’s already there (aka, legacy systems), as opposed to completely rethinking what’s needed and what really needs to change to meet customers where they are today and will be tomorrow. Many financial institutions have discovered first-hand how automating a sub-optimal process can make what’s bad, worse.

The pandemic has taught us that many things we previously thought couldn’t be achieved overnight — in fact, can. This has turned on its head the traditional “three- to five-year” timeframe banks often project is needed to make big transformation. Businesses across industries have proven to themselves, especially over these past couple of years, that big changes can happen in a short time frame with the right focus and effort.

Creating a better future with innovative thinking

Financial institutions can move to the leading edge supporting their customers by embracing change and disrupting the legacy mindset. Cultivating innovative thinking within their organizations and encouraging people to think outside the traditional banking box, they’ll get there faster.

Outside-the-box thinking is paving the way for a metamorphosis in back-office processes. Next-generation systems are enabling banking institutions to make huge gains in economies of scale, handling large volumes of incoming data and documents with automatic identification and extraction of appropriate customer information — then feeding it to a central repository where it can be securely accessed and managed by key stakeholders.

Personnel working across different areas can efficiently collaborate, pull the exact data they need from a common secure source, and be guided by the system to ensure ongoing alignment and compliance with specific requirements. In the process, manual requirements and costs go down, and turnaround times and efficiency go up.

Becoming the go-to source for financial health solutions

Consumers are more inclined to build a relationship with a financial institution that can provide not just the core banking services, but also be a central resource for a host of integrated financial solutions that will help them improve their financial health.

The question for financial institutions is: will you strategically position to be at the center of your customers’ financial services ecosystem? Or you will simply be a feeder to other companies’ platforms?

It’s clear: digital transformation in banking is more critical than ever. But it doesn’t happen on its own. It takes the right expertise, capabilities and technology to enable it — and more often than not, a strategic partner to ensure you get to the finish line.

Financial industry experts from Conduent and The Financial Brand and take a deeper dive into this topic in the executive roundtable, Why Digital Transformation is Essential for Banking Operations. Watch now.

Learn more about Conduent Financial Industry Solutions.