Don't bank on it: challenger brands shake up the financial sector

Author Peter VeashPublished 2 Min Read

With start-ups, retail and even Government embracing disruptive finance technologies, Peter Veash, CEO at The BIO Agency, has been discussing how high street banks must adapt for the digital age in an article originally for London Fintech Week 2016, now republished on LinkedIn.

Peter notes that consumers are happy to adopt disruptive change “so long as it makes our lives easier – whether that’s booking overnight accommodation via Airbnb or ordering our groceries from Ocado”.  This presents considerable opportunities for challenger brands in the financial sector and in turn means that the retail banking sector needs to transform to survive.

Mentioning digital-only brands like Atom and Starling, hybrids like Metro and Virgin Money, and supermarket and retail brands like Tesco Bank and M&S, he says “They’re winning because they’re prepared to give people the same level of control, real-time interaction and transparency they find in other sectors.”

Brands like Atom, Metro and Virgin Money are winning because they’re prepared to give people the same level of control, real-time interaction and transparency they find in other sectors

Imminent banking reforms will make it easier for challenger brands by allowing customers to easily share their transaction history with those they trust, in return for tailored product comparisons.  Peter suggests how traditional banks should respond: “In a fiercely competitive banking sector, customers are looking for a seamless, consistent experience across all platforms and devices.  They also expect real-time information at their fingertips.  For traditional banks, this means providing up-to-the-minute data on customer account balances, visual ‘how to’ guides for opening accounts and basic details like branch opening hours and 24-hour customer support.  Tools and services now have to be mobile-first and best-in-class to meet customer expectations.  A single customer view of interactions across all touch-points will provide valuable data to guide decisions on where to focus innovation.”

A single customer view of interactions across all touch-points will provide valuable data on where to focus innovation

He also believes that banks need to invest in the right technology and think about their use of physical space moving forward, finishing the article talking about the necessity for action sooner rather than later: “they need to act now.  Disruption and reform are calling and it’s time to go big on change or risk not going forward at all.” 

Read more from Peter in Mortgages for Millennials, an article for Finance Digest.

With HSBC closing a quarter of its branches in the last two years, BIO’s Chief Marketing Officer Rebecca Crook asks if it’s the end of the bank branch in a recent blog post.

The BIO Agency has worked on digital transformation programmes with financial clients including Lloyds Banking Group, Invesco, The Co-operative Bank and Leeds Building Society.

Peter Veash | CEOShare article |
Peter Veash | CEOShare article |
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