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TRUST - our financial future depends on it!

Is there any aspect of our lives that isn’t wholly dependent upon trust?  Our relationships with our partners, family, friends, colleagues, suppliers of our goods and services, medics, law makers, governments, world leaders – all fundamentally rely on trust.  With it, those relationships can be successful and productive.  Without it, relationships falter and progress stalls (at best).

Right now, in 2020, people around the world are deciding who and what to trust.  Are the experts guiding us correctly in a global pandemic?  Are our governments keeping us safe?  Will world leaders work together to defeat the virus, deal with the financial crisis, treat people fairly, protect the planet?  Proof delivers certainty and with it comes trust. 

TRUST is fundamental to progress.  Whilst we can’t solve the world’s problems with it right now, we can look to solve those trust issues preventing progress in financial services.

Open Banking – possibly the biggest game changer in the financial services sector, so why has progress been so slow?  Trust.  People still need to understand what it means for them, see the benefits of owning their own financial data and trust that the sector will access their data responsibly.  New financial services providers need to earn that trust and that takes time.  Perhaps banks too, are uncertain of a future where, what has always been their data asset, is shared?  They should trust in their ability to move forward in this new open environment.

Artificial Intelligence – so many applications that can make our lives smoother, more efficient, show us opportunities we didn’t know were available to us, or prevent us from making mistakes.  So why has progress been so slow?  Trust.  People have yet to trust the technology, instead of seeing the benefits, they are fearing the uncertainty of life with “intelligent computers”.  We are only at the beginning of that journey too.

And on the other side – why have banks failed to tackle digital transformation?  Trust.  Very few have attempted to move away from their legacy systems to the land of more profitable, agile, all online and truly digital financial services – and some of those that have tried it, successfully demonstrated the fear was well founded!  Nevertheless, the move has to be made and technology providers need to give financial institutions sufficient trust to make that leap, because surely the case for digital transformation has been won already? 

Financial institutions are facing significant competition from neobanks now.  Accenture’s Digital Banking Tracker determined that the neobanks’ rate of growth was 150%, compared with 2% growth for traditional challenger banks and 1% for incumbents.  It seems the customers’ voice is loud and clear – they expect a high standard of digital financial services, personalised customer services and they’re open to new ideas like subscription models and self-service.  Unless traditional financial institutions pivot to capture these new digital customers, one in ten banks, as global management consultancy A T Kearney predicts, will disappear in the next five years.

How do we, as technology providers, develop trust?  Small, incremental, positive experiences.  Demonstrating reliability.  Dealing with inevitable setbacks fairly.  Responding quickly.  Moving the “so what” to the “how did I live without that”!  Giving confidence by delivering progress.

All of that can take time, but sometimes there are moments in time when suddenly you get a mighty shove, and lockdown, in digital transformation terms, is one of those moments.  An opportunity to generate momentum while all around is looking for you to deliver your promises online.

Financial institutions - work with your partners/suppliers of digital technology, build trust inside and outside of your organisations and get on with digital transformation.  Your customers want you to do it and they’ll trust you to get it right in small, incremental steps.  Not doing it, is not an option now.


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Tim Simon

Tim Simon


Madiston plc

Member since

06 Apr 2006



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Banking Strategy, Digital and Transformation

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