Today, banks enjoy record profits that result from two fundamental changes in how they do business. Some have hastened their marginal operations and concentrated on their core businesses. Others have maximized processing scale via an intense round of consolidations and acquisitions. But, despite the apparent prosperity, leaders in the banking industry face the most challenging time since the era of the telegraph over 150 years ago. Their role in providing the right financial services and channels for consumers is in the middle of nothing less than a fundamental transformation.
The revolution is here and there’s no escaping it, yet the possibilities are endless. The advantage would go to banking leaders who comprehend the implications of the change and is able to respond with vision and intelligence. The advancement in technology and its rising availability to consumers are propelling the revolution at an ever-growing pace. There are several examples of the breakup that occurs within banking and other industries and this would only intensify in the very near future.
The following are the six key technology developments in banking today: 1. BUNDLING: Banks traditionally have met customer requirements through offering a range of products and services. These products and services are delivered by investing in proprietary networks which reflect today’s technology. Banks integrated a lot of technological breakthroughs to their proprietary networks such as ATM’s but the ‘order of things’ are still unchanged. The system of service, products and proprietary networks encouraged bundling of banks, or one-stop shopping for a client. The three major reasons for bundling include location convenience, avoidance of high set up and switching expenses and ease of financial management from a single banking source. Banks held and continue to hold tremendous leverage over corporate consumers and clientele. Bundling allow customers to realize superior value provided today’s technology constraints and enabled the development of personal relationships, which were an integral part of the traditional banking system.
2. CHANGING DYNAMIC: The modern technology evolution created a dynamic that’s changing the nature of the relationships and other familiar features of the banking industry as well. In the past several years, the building blocks of the main technologies have significantly advanced in terms of capabilities, growth and sophistication. This resulted in improved access to the latest breakthroughs by consumers and businesses alike. An example is cheaper, faster and more sophisticated technology which allows investment managers to developer their own portfolio strategies and analytics. All the technological changes have radical implications in the banking industry. The cost of money transmission through the internet is one-tenth the cost of the bank’s network. Banking from a personal computer is more convenient compared to visiting a bank. The new technology allows corporate and retail consumers to generate their own information as well as execute their own transactions. Moreover, it makes managing their affairs across several financial institutions faster. Technology is eliminating the benefits of bundling.
3. RESTRUCTURING: Restructuring in response to a value-focused competition. A new set of competitors is leveraging the advances in IT and computing technology to prosper markets that are traditionally dominated by banks. In this new environment, the challenges that face CEO’s of traditional banking organizations are formidable. Restructuring means picking a view values, or even just one that the institution will focus on. It also means building excellence around the needed capabilities which are relevant to the values selected. It also requires a knowledge engine to efficiently and effectively gather, distill, synthesize and distribute insights and knowledge. Banks should embrace a program and vision to make the change happen. Many current examples exist, both in and out the banking industry, of major transformation success, such as Motorola, British Airways, JP Morgan and GE. Furthermore, many books have been written about transformation that have common criteria for success.
4. VALUE-CENTRIC COMPETITORS: Banks traditionally maximized profits via servicing all five customer requirements through the sole or joint proprietary networks ownership. Their strategies have been predicated to maximize volume through a proprietary pipeline, first via competitive growth and more recently via global expansion and mergers. Until recently, profits have been insulated largely from technological advancements. Now all this is changing. The breakup of the banking industry is creating a new kind of player, which is the value-focused competitor. Rather than offering all five value sources, the players focus on providing just one or two. Value-focused competitors pose a serious threat to traditional financial companies as they are made for superior performance in an unbundled environment.
5. CLOUD COMPUTING: Cloud computing is gradual in taking off with banks due to security issues is gaining traction. This is true with lightweight cloud for non-vital development environments, client relationship management and multi-party deal collaboration. With cloud computing, unnecessary capital expense and big upfront costs of the infrastructure could be avoided as banks could focus on all integral projects and businesses. The cloud computing system doesn’t require banks to buy budget shortening hardware.
6. MOBILE BANKING: Until in recent years, nobody imagined that mobile phones will be used for transferring money and completing shopping transactions. Now, one does not really have to visit a bank, drop by an ATM or carry credit or debit cards to do purchases. A new wave of mobile solutions that include mobile banking applications that turn any smart phone into a fully operational personal bank is sweeping through the banking scenario. With cash transfers between mobile devices becoming more a reality, mobile banking will soon become as commonplace as internet banking.
Now, banks are choosing mobile platform for innovative payment models as well as commerce capabilities. Using the features, account holders could do different transactions and enable contactless payments by using Android, iOS and Windows 8 phones, aside from letting customers update their PINS and activate cards.
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