One of the most common themes across the banking and financial services sector these days is digitization. Launching an advanced digital platform, re-engineering an existing one or even acquiring a digital competitor seems to be the cornerstone of future business success. More often than not C-level management members of banks and financial services firms go to the media to explain how a digital transformation will fuel their future growth. There are so many examples – BBVA, a Spanish banking giant is building their own digital platform and it is also inspiring to become a truly digital company. ABN Amro invested heavily in Backbase and so did Metro Bank and Lloyds Banking group. Other banks like, BPCE or Scotiabank acquired and tried to integrate a fintech so that they also have an expanded digital offering. The list goes on and on.
To put things into more context it is good to have a look at a report from CYBG which found that 81% banking customers would like have interaction with humans or event visit a branch to meet someone. And this no matter how advanced technology becomes. In many cases, when things do not go as planned it is much easier to speak with someone instead of dealing for 30 minutes with an AI powered answerphone machine or human alike chat bot. From customer point of view there is nothing more painful than an institution that you cannot reach, when things do not go as planned. Think of an internet hosting provider, an on demand music service or even Amazon. All of them are nearly impossible to reach. Customer service in ” human to human mode ” seems to be a must have even in the increasingly digital world of finance. Getting the right mix of user friendly easy to access digital experience and well trained knowledgeable customer servicing staff will be the winning strategy for the years ahead. In my view this will be a hard balance to find in an industry where cost pressures driven by regulation are increasing and return on equity has been challenged by historically low interest rates.
Boris Grozev is a seasoned fintech executive. Entrepreneur by heart Boris has helped number of businesses to create and implement business development and product strategies. His advisory work in Emerging and Frontier markets has promoted culture and technology change, fostered innovation and lead to tangible results. He invests in variety of asset classes. Boris is a fast learner, whose leadership abilities, ambition, stamina, passion to succeed and attitude naturally spread to others helping to achieve common goals