Quite apart from all their traditional challenges, retail banks around the world are facing new forms of high-impact competition: the open banking ecosystem, emerging technologies, and soaring customer expectations, according to the World Retail Banking Report 2018 from Capgemini and Efma. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

But despite the reality of growing regulation, non-traditional competition, emerging technologies, and customer expectations, banks are not powerless to use change to their advantage, the report concluded.

In fact, a significant majority of banking executives (70.8%) think they can 'generate non-traditional revenue' via collaboration with FinTech and BigTech providers, whether to develop a new service or distribute third-party products via a marketplace platform. Most banks believe there are untapped opportunities to make more strategic use of data to improve the customer experience: executives said they plan to use customer data to create smoother customer journeys (87.5%), develop relationship-based pricing (75.0%), build personalized loyalty rewards (58.3%) and create lifecycle-stage products and services (54.2%).

Among the report's other key findings:

  • Satisfaction is low
    Barely half of customers say their experience across different bank channels was positive (51.1% in branch, 46.9% on mobile and 51.7% on internet banking), despite continued bank investment.
  • Consumers are open to BigTech
    Nearly a third of customers (32.3%) might consider BigTechs for financial products and services (that includes 43.0% of Gen Y2 respondents, 53.0% of tech-savvy consumers3 and 70.2% of those already likely to switch their primary provider).
  • Personalization is key
    Satisfaction was notably higher among those customers who had been offered personalized digital experiences proactively (49.1%) than those who had not (39.5%).

What's disrupting the market?
The report also surveyed banking executives about the main causes of industry disruption. The most-cited factor was rising customer expectations, with nearly three out of four executives (70.8%) stating that positive experiences in other sectors mean customers now expect more from their banking provider.

More than half of executives (58.3%) also said that regulatory pressure was a cause of disruption, while 54.2% identified the increasing demand for digital channels as a factor. As lines between traditionally different industries now start to blur, banks now face increasing competition from non-traditional firms who are targeting niche areas of the banking value chain. At the same time, increasing digitisation and the explosion of new technologies are rapidly changing the banks' ways of working.

"With FinTechs, BigTechs, and other non-FS firms finding their place in the market, retail banking today is all about the customer experience when interacting with their financial institution," said Anirban Bose, CEO of Capgemini's Financial Services Strategic Business Unit. "As a new, open ecosystem - comprised of customers, traditional banks, non-traditional firms, regulators, and developers - takes shape, there is now a clear opportunity for banks to leverage digital transformation to retain customer relationships by re-inventing the customer journey and creating new revenue streams."

"The retail banking industry is at an inflection point and needs to determine its role going forward in the open banking ecosystem. There is opportunity to innovate through collaboration as well as reinvention. It is an exciting time to be in banking as regulation, innovation, competition and collaboration merge to form the bank of the future," concluded Vincent Bastid, Secretary General for Efma.

For further details of the report: http://www.worldretailbankingreport.com