Scotiabank makes digital bet in search of big productivity gains

Scotiabank makes digital bet in search of big productivity gains

Canada's Scotiabank has fleshed out its "digital transformation" plan, predicting that its massive outlay on new technology will lead to big efficiency improvements.

Last year Scotiabank outlined plans to take advantage of its customers' migration to online and mobile channels to help it slash operating costs and make big savings.

Led by former BBVA Bancomer CEO Ignacio Deschamps, the plan will see digital investment of $425 million this year and $1.3 billion over three years, split almost equally between Canada and the bank's key Pacific Alliance markets of Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Chile.

All of this is designed to play a major part of a structural cost programme that will deliver a 200 to 250 basis point improvement in Scotiabank's productivity ratio by 2019. Digitisation is expected to drive an additional 100 basis point improvement beyond 2019, pushing the productivity ratio to 50% for 2021.

A major focus of the digital transformation plan is improving the customer onboarding process, reducing the amount of work at expensive branches in favour of mobile and online channels. A new mobile platform has already been rolled out in Mexico, leading to 30% transaction growth, while digital sales n Chili are being carried out far faster than those done through branches.

Meanwhile, in Canada the bank is focusing on building "micro-services" such as money movement and authentication in the cloud without changing the backend, enabling faster deployment and an iterative approach.

This kind of fast development is one of the key roles for Scotiabank's new 70,000 square foot Digital Factory in downtown Toronto which is housing 350 digital, design, engineering and agile experts working to improve customer experiences.

"Our customers want to do more of their banking through digital channels," says Scotiabank CEO Brian Porter, "and we want them to conduct more of their business with our bank. Our digital-first mindset should send a clear message to customers, employees and shareholders: When it comes to digital banking, we are positioning Scotiabank to lead."

Read the bank's digital banking presentation

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