Digital banking face to face: lively industry exchange in Cologne

On 22 February 2018 the CREALOGIX Digital Banking Breakfast industry event took place in Cologne for the second time. Mariusz C. Bodek, Senior Manager Digital Transformation at KPMG AG, left no doubt that there is no alternative to the switch to hybrid banking for financial institutions. His ideas and surprising examples of banking applications that offer customers value in an entertaining way provided a topic for discussion.

Do you really know exactly how much you spend at your favourite Italian each month, what you give to Amazon and how much your reading material, music and clothes are worth? Roughly maybe, but what if your account overview for all debited amounts displayed the logo of the recipient? Or what if you could filter your expenses by different keywords? And giving something up occasionally would be much more fun if a nice graphic showed you how your credit balance had increased in recent weeks.

Make no mistake: Digital Transformation isn't something you can spend a bunch of money on and check off a list - it's about the future of your core business, the future of your customers and what they expect.

Mariusz C. Bodek

Flagship projects: customer experience on another level

Customers of Austria’s Sparkasse AG Erste Bank already have access to all of these functions. Over 1.1 million Austrians already use George digital banking, which can be expanded and customised using plug-ins. Mariusz C. Bodek presented this as a flagship project for an innovative customer experience in retail banking at the Digital Banking Breakfast on 22 February in Cologne. The Polish mBank is also setting standards as a hybrid bank by combining impressive online services with an exceptional physical banking experience.

The range of smart applications customers can use to make their current account more exciting could be extended. However individual financial institutions decide to proceed, they should start now. Mariusz C. Bodek quotes Ian Schafer: “Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Customers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.” According to the digital transformation expert, this will hardly succeed with in-house development as it simply takes too long.

Technological basis to overcome obstacles

Some of the industry representatives present in Cologne did not want to accept this just like that: Is digitalisation really worth it for small banks with a manageable customer base? Where do we start and how do we get employees on board? According to the bankers, outside of the big cities, there are few qualified to handle hybrid customer support. Regulations such as MiFID II and PSD2 already present institutions with significant technical challenges. At the Business Breakfast, Jessica Nastro, Technical Account Manager, ELAXY I CREALOGIX, showed the advantages of the digital banking hub as a basis for a scalable digital banking environment.

It is generally worthwhile for banks to change their perspective: the digital transformation offers the chance to finally make money again with the necessary, but poorly marketable current account – for example with additional services, like the Austrian Sparkasse offer with George. Another option is to make third-party offers, such as insurance, accessible via open banking and receive commission. We look forward to continuing the lively discussions started in Cologne with you, the financial practitioners. The next opportunity to do so will be on our Product Innovation Tour. Register now for Frankfurt, Düsseldorf or Hamburg!

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