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Be flexible, be tactical, but whatever you do: just do it

According to the most recent figures in the annual World Payments Report*, there are about 260 billion non-cash payments made each year, with credit and debit card use up by 9.7% at the last count. The cards business is becoming a major driver of revenue and with mobile payments on the horizon, banks need to get on and make the most of this opportunity if they are to thrive.

To do so, financial institutions need to deliver new services, more quickly, more cheaply, and better understand the needs of their customers. But for a bank – which has legacy systems and is often less agile than newer players such as PayPal – this can be a challenge and could demand major organisational change and cost.

Cue the hand-wringing and naysayers. The banking industry has many great ideas but they often seem too hard to implement – many aspirations but a lot of historical challenges to overcome. But the cost of doing nothing is far greater than organisational change, and there are practical steps that banks can take to unlock greater value in their investments.

For example, there is plenty of customer data to which banks have access. Often, this is totally overlooked, but it can be used to garner insight to offer additional products and value added services, and to improve the customer experience overall.

I have often talked about the unlocked value of data which, used correctly, gives you knowledge. Knowledge, applied in the right way, turns into intelligence. Intelligence, brought together in context, delivers insight – and that can be used to create revenue. In turn, this makes investment justifiable and change more acceptable.   

So, as the industry recovers, one thing is clear. Doing nothing is not an option and flexibility of approach is essential. If that means taking tactical steps such as unlocking the value of customer data, so be it. Be flexible, be tactical, do what you need to do, but whatever you do – just do it.

*7th World Payments Report, Capgemini, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Efma, September 2011


Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 July, 2012, 21:29Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Couldn't agree more.  I have worked with some very intelligent people in the banking industry but when it comes to execution that all crumble. 

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 09 July, 2012, 15:53Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I agree that banks have access to a lot of customer spend data. Banks like BankAm have already announced concrete initiatives to use suitable technology to help convert that data into insights and drive upselling and cross-selling. At this point, it would help other banks decide whether to follow suit or not if vendors of such technology can share concrete findings from such initiatives.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 July, 2012, 10:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Banks are not great at doing Target Account Selling concepts. Basically planning who to target because you have researched them and understand they have a potential requirement. Most companies in the high-tech arena have been using well known Sales Methodologies/Sales Process Tools like TAS, SS... but have the Banks implemented that approach inisde their CRM for day to day reinforcement of best sales practice by sellers? No, but it plays dramatically to better sales productivity, upselling, cross selling.... and compliance which is what they need because sales managers can monitor in real-time whether qualifying questions have been asked.

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