For us to provide the best solutions to our clients, it’s important that we keep an eye on trends that are making an impact in the digital banking sector today, and those that we think will play a significant role in defining what the industry will look like tomorrow. We put our heads together and came up with 10 facts about digital banking that we think you should be paying attention to.


1. More branches do not imply more growth any more.

The traditional banking model depended extensively on building a strong network of branches. Customers were more likely to visit branches to conduct transactions and learn about new offerings well into the 21st However, with the advent of the digital age, customers have been increasingly more willing to place their trust in online solutions over physical interactions. New accounts can easily be opened online, and more and more transactions are being conducted through secure and efficient online channels. As a result, a bank’s growth is no longer tied to the number of locations it was present at.

2. Digitisation brings cost and efficiency savings.

Large-scale banks have traditionally been more cost-effective and efficient than smaller players because of shared overheads and the effects of having an extensive distribution network. However, robotic process automations, artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions have become increasingly mainstream and accessible, resulting in tremendous cost savings and reduction of redundancies. Also, with the increasing amount of digital data being made available, banks that can best utilize their data will see lower customer acquisition costs through improved targeting and bespoke solutions. McKinsey estimates that banks can remove 20 to 25% of their cost base by leveraging the shift to digital and transforming how they process and service.

3. Don’t count traditional players out just yet!

While customers have increasingly made the shift towards online solutions, trust is still the key factor when choosing who to rely on. Traditional players have built strong foundations of credibility based on years of secure services and attention – something which newer players can not easily recreate. Well-entrenched incumbents also have larger resources available that they can channel towards replicating the technological and UX-oriented offerings of newer players quickly, which gives them an advantage.

4. Voice may be the future of banking.

Voice is fast-becoming the dominant interface across digital industries, and the banking sector is likely to follow suit. 1 in 6 individuals in the US have a voice-powered assistant, and the numbers are growing rapidly. Banks have already started to leverage this, such as Capital One with its Skill for Alexa. Other players are creating their own solutions that can assist customers in multiple ways, including voice. Bank of America recently launched its chatbot, Erica, which racked up 4 million users in its first six months.

5. Blockchain, blockchain, blockchain.

Banks have started to see the potential of blockchain in providing a more efficient and secure process, a trend that we expect to see more of in the near future. Examples of recent implementations include Santander, which recently launched One Pay FX, an international money transfer service based on blockchain; JP Morgan filing a patent for an application of blockchain that would speed up cross-border payments; and 14 big Italian lenders launching a project on blockchain-based interbank reconciliations.

6. Cash may not survive the transition.

According to a Citibank mobile banking study in April 2018, 68% of millennials who mobile bank see their smartphones replacing their physical wallets. This, along with the rapidly increasing number of mobile banking users, shows a definite trend towards the eventual replacement of cash by mobile payment solutions.

7. Multi-channel on-boarding has no downside.

According to a recent Deloitte report, only 13% of customers said they received customized information from their bank, and that poorly targeted communications caused 69% of customers to close their bank accounts. Providing multiple channels allows customers to define how and how often they want to be communicated with, giving them control over the relationship. As a result, customer retention has been seen to steadily increase.

8. Personalisation is everywhere.

Across the digital space, customers are more willing than ever to share information with companies. The trade-off? They expect solutions that are more relevant and customized to their needs when they need it. Effective data collection and analysis can be used to identify upcoming opportunities and shift the bank’s role from “service provider” to “solutions provider”.

9. Fintech startups may be more of an opportunity than competition.

Nimble fintech startups are able to quickly identify and solve for problems in existing processes. While these are likely to be looked at as competitors, traditional players should instead look at them as opportunities – by trying and proving new business models, they are able to indicate the best way forward for incumbents. These startups could also prove good partners in developing new solutions, or as potential acquisition targets.

10. Digital alone is unlikely to work in the long term.

While the winds of change have clearly begun to blow, customers are loath to fully commit to a digital-only service – especially when things go wrong. When customer service goes awry, customers want to talk to a live agent who can listen and address their issues as soon as possible. When a live agent is absent, customers are more likely to be vocal about their issues online through social channels (such as Trustpilot), which can be damaging to a bank’s reputation. Tide and Revolut are two examples where issues have been recorded online for all to see.


At Penser, one of our core focuses is helping clients transform their business and enter the digital era, especially in areas related to payments and digital financial services. We have supported our clients in their investment decisions, innovations and operational challenges, and are committed to ensuring they reach their goals. To learn more, visit our digital transformation services page.

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