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We are Missing Steve Jobs in Banking

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”   Steve Jobs

As we look around, we are seeing innovations and frictionless customer experience coming from multiple industries. iPhone / MacBook / Ola / Uber / Google / Amazon are taking our experience to the next level. AI / Blockchain / RPA / API technologies are going mainstream and simplifying our lives.

As an industry, Banking was always considered the pinnacle of technology adoption. Technology solutions like ATMs, Centralised banking platforms, Internet banking have been there for many decades. Despite the technology edge and budget (potentially the largest tech budget across industries), banks have remained laggards on customer’s centricity and experience. There has been lots of talk around digital products & Fintech collaborations by leading players, yet there is no true iPhone / MacBook experience available in Banking.

We surely are missing Steve Jobs in banking.

Time to imagine what Steve Jobs would have done if he was leading a bank.

Steve Jobs with his design thinking changed many industries including mobiles, music, watches, alarm clocks and many more. Single iPhone device created Design Tsunami that forced everyone to have a relook at their products and services.

  • He would have taken the role of Chief Design / Experience Officer in the bank. This would have triggered design thinking at the bank level. “How it works” would have been the focus after understanding who the customer is, what she needs, why she needs, when she needs, where she needs. All processes would have been optimised for customer experience. Can you imagine a 40 page loan application form in Jobs bank, which needs 52 signatures?

Who owns customer experience / design now in your organisation? Is your process optimised for customers or for your internal units?

  • He would have focused on fewer products. Too many products confuse the customers as well as the employees. Each of these products would have been spectacular ones like iPhone, iPad, MacBook. The products are a set of promises, which have to be kept from customer onboarding to exit. Each of these products need to scale, rather than creating many “Me Too” products.

How many saving products does your bank have? Does the customer even care for the variations?

  • He would have hired the best. Customer experience management, data science, mobility, credit etc need to be run by the best in business. This would mean differential selection process / differential salary.

Do you hire the best? Do you have missing skill sets in your organisation?

  • He would have made banking interesting. Can you imagine customers waiting through the night to upgrade to new Savings Account (for a mobile device they do)? Can you imagine customers entering the branch for experience (for iPhone they do)? Can you imagine a Bank CEO’s speech focusing on customers?

Is your website / communication / branch boring? Is your management communication understood / followed by your customers?

Time to reimagine banking from the eyes of the customers…



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