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Getting Closer to the Customer in Financial Services

Last month, SAP hosted its annual Financial Services Forum in London to discuss the challenges brought forth by digital transformation and to provide a platform for discussion around innovation and its complexity across the financial services industry.

 The landscape is becoming increasingly competitive for those operating in the banking, finance, and insurance industries.  Businesses need to adapt to the ever changing customer demands.  Additionally, the impact that Millennials have on the these industries further accelerates the need for transformation.

Digital is changing the context of the traditional financial institution

The rise of digital creates both opportunities and challenges for banks and insurance companies. Customer demand for digital channels is changing the context of financial institutions and challenging the relevance of traditional financial services offerings.

During a panel discussion regarding the challenger banking landscape, Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank, discussed the increasing expectations that customers have relative to bank offered services and the need for banks to keep pace with these demands.  Innovation and niche solution offerings will allow financial institutions the capability to attract and retain their customer base.

Changing to a culture of innovation

Failure to accept the need for technological change will mean that firms risk becoming disenfranchised from their customers.  Subsequently, businesses will lose market share to smaller, more agile players who can better harness technology for delivering a more relevant customer experience.

A second panel on re-imagining financial services highlighted the cultural change that many financial institutions will need to make to remain competitive. Scott Bales, Independent Consultant at Innovation Ronin,  shared his strategy for staying relevant in the eyes of the customer.  Scott emphasized the importance of changing the organizational culture, leveraging capabilities to bring new ideas to life and defining new collaborative partnerships across the total value chain.

Building on this, Kevin Hanley, Director of Design Services at RBS, spoke about the need for firms to adopt a high-speed product development journey followed by a learn-fast approach. He believes that every product iteration should incorporate customers in the design process and that design-to-production should be shortened from months to weeks.

We would like to thank all of our customers and partners for supporting this year’s Financial Services Forum. All presentations and keynotes from the event are available via the SAP website.


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