The global online event was a huge success, with over 700 people registering from 40 different countries. Like many other companies, we made our event digital to allow for the current safety measures – however we took the opportunity to create a bigger, more inclusive event. It’s clear that the topic of innovation in digital banking is a high priority across the globe. In our event, we started with the strategic perspective given by our keynote speakers and zoomed back in for a look at the solutions available right now. The sense of urgency came across loud and clear – consumers’ tastes and expectations are changing rapidly; they are setting the pace and financial institutions must race to keep up.
Learning to listen
One theme that came across again and again was that of listening to customers. This is more than just systematically tracking consumer behaviour. Our keynote speaker Ramesh Sankar, Group Head of Digital Channels at DBS Bank gave an example of a co-creation workshop at his organisation in which customers were invited to share their ideas and concerns as part of an initiative to drive agile working. Putting customers at the heart of an organisation can help to facilitate the right sort of change at the right time. Ramesh Sankar spoke about the DBS “heartware” at the root of their strategy; he summed up this approach and DBS’ aims for their service with the acronym RED: Respectful, Easy to deal with and Dependable. Taking these ideas centrally into the strategy and organisational culture will make a big difference. It all starts with listening closely to what customers require and expect. As the pace of change accelerates further, the organisations listening closely will be best placed to deliver innovations.
Culture is as important as technology
In our live polls, one result was the acknowledgement that advances in digital banking weren’t simply a matter of technology. Organisational culture and a willingness to change appeared to be as important. A culture which does not support innovation can create friction that stalls advances and prevents creative solutions from being delivered. Fintech strategist Chris Gledhill highlighted that it was important to start that process of change as soon as possible to create a culture which fosters new ideas, before a competitor comes along with a bold solution that changes the game. Digital banking isn’t just the same old solution in a new wrapper. It is a fresh way of looking at finance and wealth management. This new perspective demands not just an investment in the right technology, but also a new organisational culture to match those aspirations.
Change is happening now
Across all the presentations we heard as part of Open Innovation Day 2020, there was one constant message: Changes to the market are happening right now when it comes to expectations about digital banking. In contrast, according to a live poll, the majority of our delegates felt that their organisation was not doing enough to satisfy digital customers. You can read more about the results of the live polls and recent CREALOGIX research in our Open Innovation Day report. What became clear was that the pandemic may have accelerated the pace of change this year, but there are no indications that things will slow down if and when the issue of the virus recedes. Anyone waiting to see what will happen next is likely to be too late as customers opt for financial services that suit their lifestyle and personal goals. Personalised services can be delivered at scale through digital banking; the trick is to listen to what customers are demanding and be innovative about how you deliver.
Key trends and opportunities
Our trends radar, presented at the event, showed that the three highest trending themes in digital banking now are omnichannel capabilities, advanced analytics and a conversational user experience (UX). The three are very closely linked. Advanced analytics can facilitate personalised digital communications with customers across a range of channels to address their concerns and help them achieve their financial goals. Conversational banking is a new way to engage with clients that builds loyalty and increases share of wallet and can leverage onmichannel capabilities and advanced analytics. We were proud to present some demo use cases of innovation concepts and the recently launched CREALOGIX Conversational as our response to these trends. As Chris Gledhill noted in his speech, it’s not about getting more engagement from customers in terms of volume, the focus is on adding value and moving from a transactional relationship to one of interaction.
Moving from ideas to action
We were keen to make sure that the Open Innovation Day 2020 wasn’t just a one-off and that we followed it up with the actions needed to help our customers deliver on their digital ambitions. As well as providing information on the key takeaways from the event and details of our Conversational solution, we also provided all delegates with the opportunity to sign up for a free private workshop to help them discover how conversational might work in their organisation and we’re booking these in the diary now. What we learned on Open Innovation Day 2020 is that the pace of innovation is fast, and it keeps accelerating. Listening to customers and industry peers, creating a culture of openness to change and selecting the right partners to work with will change the pace in advancing digital banking.