The impact of digitization is most evident and widespread in the financial services industry.

This, in spite of the fact that truly disruptive technologies such as blockchain are yet to gain widespread acceptance. But when they do, they will alter the financial services industry landscape permanently, with little resemblance to the past.  Phenomena such as unbundling, where smaller and nimble digital competitors chip away at a monolithic business are causing rapid churn in the market.

The combination of convenience and low cost is an irresistible magnet for customers, and incumbents will need to ramp up their digital efforts if they need to retain customers.

Digitally powered, inclusive financial services

Digitization has put the power of choice squarely in the hands of the consumer, as well as delivering inclusive services for all consumer segments. Mobile apps are transforming the way consumers deal with financial institutions, and new payment interfaces are making it easier than ever to send and receive money. The key here is for financial services institutions to adopt a multi-channel approach, and provide customers the power of choice. Traditional core banking systems will need to have digital interfaces that can seamlessly integrate with other providers and systems. And change must come from within; it is vital to have a digital platform that enables seamless internal collaboration and a great employee experience is vital.

Unified customer view

One of the biggest challenges faced by the banking industry has been to adopt a single, unified view of the customer, even as they interact with various departments of the banks for different services. Today’s connected consumer demands personalized and responsive service levels, regardless of how they interact – be it on social media, over email, phone, chat or in-person. Digital systems that capture customer lifetime value are essential in order to retain the most valuable clientele – who would otherwise be lost to smaller competitors operating entirely on digital platforms.  What’s more, the expectation is that all these customized services come at an ever-reducing cost, which makes retention of the existing customer base even more vital. This is where digital platforms can help drive customer reach at scale without compromising on the customer experience.

Security & regulatory compliance

Digital services and inclusion cannot come at the cost of security – even as customers expect data and services through multiple channels. At the same time, staying within the bounds of government norms on compliance is equally important. Given the mission critical nature of their operations, banks and financial services institutions need to operate on an ‘assumed breach’ scenario, where it is not enough merely to adopt protective measures but have a fool-proof remediation plan in case a compromise does occur. With cloud based digital tools, financial services institutions can focus more on strategic needs rather than day to day operational issues. Fraud analytics, active loss prevention, usage based insurance are the order of the day.


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