Money & Banking

Pandemic accelerated retail banking innovation, says report

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 08, 2021
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However, 57 per cent of respondents still feel their digital investments are yet to deliver as expected: Infosys Financle & EFMA report

Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Infosys and the European Financial Management & Marketing Association (EFMA), today unveiled the 13th edition of the annual ‘Innovation in Retail Banking’ report, authored by Jim Marous, publisher of the Digital Banking Report and co-publisher of The Financial Brand. Senior executives from over 1,165 banks and financial services companies worldwide participated in the study.

The key inferences in the report state that 14 per cent of the respondents - up from 7 per cent last year - said their organization’s digital transformation had scaled and delivered as expected. Sixty-four per cent of the respondents believe that pandemic has made them substantially more successful at innovation. Overall, more than half the respondents continue to rate their organizations’ digital transformation efforts as insufficient, similar to last year’s report. Fifty-seven per cent of respondents stated that their digital deployment was partial or that digital investments were not delivering as expected.

One area that witnessed accelerated innovation during the pandemic was digital delivery – from onboarding to service and engagement. Lockdowns and social distancing meant that banks had to expand the remote service of customers in an unprecedented manner. Forty-four per cent of respondents said they had increased investment in digital delivery by more than 10 per cent. Respondents expected enhanced investments in customer experience and channels, which are key components of digital delivery, in 2021 and beyond.

Some of the other highlights include Digital delivery, Payments and cards, and Lending services were major areas where investment in innovation had increased. Data and advanced analytics, Open APIs, and cloud computing were seen as the most important technologies having the biggest impact on banking over the next 12 months. Cloud computing is seen as an area of great importance in the future. Respondents have cited that big tech firms have significant advantages over traditional financial institutions in data and analytic capabilities and skills and talent of teams.

Respondents believe that non-traditional competition will lead to innovation across several areas. Fintech startups will lead innovation in digital delivery and lending services, leading consumer technology companies such as Apple, Google will lead innovation in Payments and cards, and challenger banks will lead innovation in checking/current accounts.

Sanat Rao, Chief Business Officer & Global Head, Infosys Finacle, said, “At a time when the banking industry was already struggling to drive profitable growth, the pandemic tested their resilience and agility to the core. The pandemic challenges accelerated digital transformation agendas at banks across the word, and consequently, banking innovation as well. Not surprisingly, digital delivery saw some of the highest action, and this trend is expected to continue in 2022 as well. Also significant in the findings was a higher acceptance among bankers of the dramatic changes that are disrupting their business, as well as the need for sustained, holistic business model innovation to stay relevant.”

John Berry, CEO at Efma, said, “This year has yet again proved that the financial services industry continues its evolution towards digital banking transformation. Even the most innovative players are now facing strong competition from big tech companies and of course fintechs. It is essential that they must continuously innovate in order to stand out from the competition. Customer engagement is still centerstage for future success.”

Jim Marous, Owner and CEO of the Digital Banking Report, said, “This year’s Innovation in Retail Banking report shares the digital transformation progress of financial institutions in the 18 months since the pandemic disrupted banking. Moving beyond pandemic-driven crisis management, financial institutions of all sizes have made significant strides in reimagining the purpose and structure of innovation within the banking and are integrating data, analytics, modern technology, and process automation to provide improved customer experiences. The research results shared in this year’s Innovation in Retail Banking report provide a guide for strategic planning and investment prioritization for banks and credit unions globally.”

Published on December 08, 2021

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