4 trends driving change in the retail banking sector

In the current climate, it isn’t easy for retail banks. Aside from demographic changes and regulatory pressure, low interest rates and digital disruption are creating a world where customer expectations are ever increasing and budgetary constraints continue to bite.

Digital disruption is putting pressure on the traditional bank-customer relationship and is moving the customer interaction model to one which is dominated by digital platforms and increasingly delivered via mobile.

We’ve uncovered a number of trends that are likely to drive structural change within this space in the years to come:

1. Personalised products will become the norm

We foresee customer service being based around individual customers rather than products. Banks will start abandoning set product portfolios and begin to look at their customers as a ‘segment of one’ as digital transformation, improved big data and data analytics capabilities facilitate this.

2. Big banks will facilitate innovation by restructuring, partnerships or acquisitions

Much has been written about the threat that fintechs pose to retail banks, but it’s important to recognise that they also open up exciting opportunities for established banks to adapt their current models and integrate cutting-edge technologies. Developing innovation capabilities will become vital for larger players. We will see established banks trying to do this by attracting the best digital talent, developing products using leaner and more customer-connected methodologies, as well as partnering with and acquiring successful fintechs.

3. Banking processes will be automated

As banks progress towards digital maturity, process automation will gain momentum and generate cost savings on resources needed to execute banking services. With this increasing automation of processes, new players in the market will face fewer barriers to entry. As a result, traditional retail banks will need to find ways of differentiating their services in order to offer a higher value proposition to customers.

4. Consumer interaction with banks will be predominately driven through digital channels

De-branching is not a future trend but a current reality. We expect this to increase significantly as customer expectations as well as cost-cutting will cause banks to overhaul their digital offerings to a degree that allows complete digital delivery of all services.

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