High street banks need to “go big on change or go home”

Author Peter VeashPublished 2 Min Read

That’s the view of BIO CEO Peter Veash in this article for Global Banking & Finance Review.  He argues that digital pioneers like Amazon and Uber have changed the game, giving customers personalised, frictionless experiences that they now look for in other sectors.

He explains “Customers who have enjoyed the experience of booking a holiday via Airbnb or ordering groceries from Ocado now look more favourably on banking providers who remove complexity and offer the ability to move money around in real-time, compare bank rates with ease and who deliver trust and reward.”  Citing the digital-only banks Atom and Starling, hybrids Metro and Virgin Money, plus supermarket and retail brands such as 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.”

Customers now look more favourably on banking providers who remove complexity… and deliver trust and reward

It’s been driven at least partly by the widespread use of mobile, with more people in the UK now browsing the internet using their smartphone or tablet than desktop.  And the position of disruptors is only going to get stronger, with the Competition and Markets Authority’s recommendations that banks introduce an open API banking standard so that customers can safely and securely see personalised product suggestions based on their transactions.

Peter outlines what traditional banks will have to do to survive in this ever-more competitive environment.  “The winners will have ensured a strong digital focus is embedded throughout the company and be delivering a high-quality customer experience that can help create a truly differentiated brand… Customers will be looking for a seamless, consistent experience in their brand interactions across all platforms and devices.  They’ll also expect real-time information at their fingertips… Tools and services now have to be formatted for mobile and must be 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.”

The winners will have ensured a strong digital focus is embedded throughout the company

He finishes up by saying that legacy banks still have time to transform and differentiate themselves in the market “by using digital capabilities to put the focus not just on efficiencies but on personalised customer experiences.  But 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.”

For more on this subject, see The end of the bank branch? by Rebecca Crook, BIO’s Chief Marketing Officer, as well as our exclusive white paper The future retail bank: evolving at speed in a new digital world.

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