Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically in recent months as a result of Coronavirus, leading to a phase of hyper-digitisation.
High quality is no longer enough; today’s consumer demands an extreme response to customer needs, a high degree of personalisation and mass customisation.
The shutdown has accelerated the use of digital channels – not only in retail.
This development is not expected to reverse after the pandemic.
Among the winners are the well-known internet giants, but also specialists at the digital customer interface. In the financial sector, for example, neo-banks such as Revolut or N26 are enjoying a steady influx and specialised B2B ingenuity such as Klarna, hand in hand with online retailers, are serving consumer’s financial needs on the digital channels.
A recent study by Capgemini shows how important simple and customer-oriented banking is. According to the study, almost half of young and technology-wise consumers plan to change their bank in the next twelve months because their current one does not cover enough services, does not meet their needs or is not sufficiently integrated with the platforms and apps they use on a daily basis. This increases the pressure on banks to deal with and learn from the successful models of digital competitors.
Customer orientation beyond the own product
Digital companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon score points above all with their broad customer access and the uncompromisingly customer-centric design of their offers. They do not orient their services towards a single product request, but rather towards the holistic needs of the customer beyond their own product range in order to create the best possible digital customer experience. Customer centricity and platform philosophy are the basis for their success.
In a digital world, banks must radically put the customer at the centre of their offerings and become the central platform for the customer – or integrate their offerings into their customer’s platforms. They have to serve the customer’s need for holistic financial solutions beyond their own portfolio and integrate the best products and services in the market into their own digital offerings. This requires opening up the bank and networking with partners via open banking.
The neo-banks show how this works. They rely on a focused product range geared to the target group and offer the attractive services and products of Fintechs and other partners in order to provide corresponding added value, such as special loans, foreign transfers, financial analysis or accounting functions for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Three central aspects of the platform model
Platforms are valuable because they open up a whole new source of value creation. They create benefits through economies of scale on the demand side, also known as network effects. These benefits arise when a product or service becomes more valuable to its users, the more people use it.
Banks can learn from the platform thinking of the big internet giants. Three aspects should play a central role in strategic considerations when building a banking platform:
1. Customer centricity
How do I design my digital offer in a customer-centred and holistic way according to the needs of the customer?
What solutions and offers does my customer expect?
Can I meet customer requirements with my products?
2. Choice of partner
It is important to understand which complementary services I can use to complement my digital services as a bank.
This is the basis for offering innovative financial solutions.
This is where banks need to identify and integrate the best partners in the market.
3. Technological basis
You have to look at the foundation of the platform.
Powerful and scalable open banking platforms are the definite success factor and the basis for implementing a networked offering with digital partners.
Traditional banking systems are thus opened up to digital partners and new fintech services are simply integrated into the digital offer.
The ideal way to the digital customer
The customer is king and is more important than ever in the digital age when banks want to arm themselves against the big technology companies, but also against digital challenger banks. Only if the banks succeed in acting customer-centred, they will be able to stand up to the internet giants and specialists at the digital customer interface. The platform idea is the ideal way to attract and retain today’s digital customers.