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Why are banks slack in the implementing of cool digital tools?


Being a part of Airome Tech, I used to talk to a lot to clients. Sometimes, I feel really sorry for bankers that started in non-digital era and now they have to work hard to keep leading positions in the world of IT. As many people say now: every bank is willing to become an IT company. But it is not that easy as it seems to be and based on my stories – or it’s better to say your stories – let me sum up.

We have budget but…

Many of you would assume that the key problem of the follower’s position is the financial one but not really. The key point here as I see it is in people and their mindset.

Recently I got a very interesting conversation with one of the bank’s CIO. He said openly that they have a business team that cannot formulate their vision for the IT digital team. There are a lot of technologies that can be implemented but without a proper business vision based on client’s feedback, it all go useless. When business team is out of tech, it could be hard.

What is the reason for this? Maybe lack of experience, maybe not well-enough collaboration between tech and business teams, or maybe people responsible for business are from the world of finance, not technologies. Anyway, based on the number of stories of this kind I would assume, that collaboration of different team is the key.

We already have it

Sometimes, what I hear from bankers is that they have something similar. But in fact this “something” usually is one or two features of 10. So, it’s necessary carefully evaluate if the rest 80% of functionality can really help in current tasks

Our company had such a story with two top-ranked banks in two different countries in APAC. While in one of these banks after the presentation digital leader said that they have the same solution – meanwhile his team on mid-level was excited with some of our simple user-friendly features like QR-authentication without a user-name or confirmation from active messages. In another country when we had a conversation with banks representatives, they said that they don’t need full functions, but need only one, the key one. And this is what we could offer, of course.

So, instead of making comparison or negotiating about onboarding several features only, some digital leaders prefer  not to go deep into details and in fact they lose in UX as a result.

We are full with current projects

This is a typical answer, I believe, every solution provider hears from time to time. And not always it is a kind of polite refuse – very often it is the truth. Digital bankers are swimming a long distance in a pool of ideas, projects, new trends and timeline. In my experience, sometimes we had to come and pitch on repeat the same people. And I completely understand that it is not about our sales skills or listening abilities of the banker. This is about in-principal opportunity to focus on many things at the same time.

How we can help as a vendor is to identify priorities for this year and ongoing projects and needs. Sometimes, synergy between our solution and their ongoing projects is not obvious.

We will do it ourselves

Obviously, tech ambitions or hunt for cost-reduction are not enough motives to start development of complicated systems that perform key operation functions – like payment processing systems. In the same way we feel about security. Definitely, we met a number of banks that decided to create their own security software after reviewing solutions of professionals. But the best digital experience is usually provided by those who is focusing on the client path  instead.

I’ve already made a separate publication on this topic and just to sum-up: security solution developing is a separate very special niche. If your digital team is around 20-30 people, to focus on security development means to lose user-experience or neglect other important digital components. So, again, collaboration takes key position in this.

We use third party’s solution

For small and mid-level banks it’s fine to have third party’s customized solution for digital banking. But if being a bank you see some cool features, do not hesitate to like-up solution developers with each other – we live in a collaboration era, position like “I’ll do it alone” a direct way to the past. In many cases via a short intro of solution developers to each other you as a bank can create a good precedent for collaboration, so that you will get new competitive advantages in your system as a benefit.

As a conclusion

Looks like nowadays more than ever we need open conversation, knowledge exchange and collaboration to create something better than we did before. Despite the tough timeline, never-ending runway, cost-efficiency of everything we do, those professionals that stay open-minded to new experience, fast decision-making and co-work with niche solution developers have a chance to launch a new leader of this digital competition.



Comments: (3)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 21 March, 2023, 12:55Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

In my company, we target our customers' "cool digital tools" at banks, FIs, insurers and other verticals and, based on this experience, I can say that BFSI has a way higher adoption of such tools than any other industry. Objections will always be there, I've observed that it's the quality of rebuttal from vendors that matters more in the final analysis.

Irina Latushkina
Irina Latushkina - AIROME Technologies - Singapore 22 March, 2023, 07:281 like 1 like

Hi Ketharaman,

Completely agree that in general banks are keeping leading position in tech adoption and digital transformation. But I should admit also that based on my observation, teams are different and some are really very fast in tech onboarding and full of collaboration vibe in the way they’re doing business. But of course not all of them – “I’ll do it on my own” is still alive in many tech teams :)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 22 March, 2023, 10:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If you scratch the surface, you might find that there are deep-rooted anxieties undergirding the "not invented here" syndrome and driving the "I'll do on my own" behavior.

We've found the "co-visioning" approach useful in rebutting that objection.

Irina Latushkina

Irina Latushkina

Chief Business Development Officer

AIROME Technologies

Member since

05 Oct 2022



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