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The banking industry is in the grips of an identity crisis. Leaders of the world’s largest banks — such as Citi, BBVA, and Goldman Sachs — have begun describing themselves as technology companies with banking licenses.
However, this description is still aspirational. Executing the vision will require billions of dollars in investments, the restructuring of teams, a reimagining of the entire banking technology stack, and the adoption of a far more customer-centric business view.
The stakes of failing to transform are high: Accenture projects that 35% of all bank revenues could be at risk from more tech-savvy competitors like fintechs as soon as 2020 for incumbents that fail to up their game.
As a result, a wave of digital transformation is now sweeping the banking industry, as incumbents shore up against consumer demand and competitive pressures. Major banks have already announced multibillion-dollar, multiyear digitization projects: By 2021, global banks’ IT budgets will surge to $297 billion, up 14% from $261 billion in 2018, according to Celent.
Many incumbent banks are opting to decrease their branch budgets and networks and reinvest their resources in digital channels such as mobile instead to cater to current consumer preferences, and are enlisting the help of tech-savvy software vendors to modernize their tech stacks from top to bottom as part of this process.
In the Digital Banking Ecosystem report, Business Insider Intelligence explores the incumbent banking landscape as a whole, and the third parties banks are calling on to help their transition to digital. We then take a closer look at the three biggest drivers for incumbent banks’ digitization push: digital-native competitors like neobanks and Big Tech companies; changing consumer behaviors and banking channel preferences; and a growing array of cybersecurity threats.
Lastly, we examine what incumbents are already doing today to transform themselves into digital-first organizations to compete in a customer-centric, data-driven global economy, and how they are learning to meaningfully measure the progress of their transformations.
The companies mentioned in this report include: Acronis, Amazon, Ant Financial, Apple, Ario, Banco Galicia, Bancorp, Bank of America, Bank of England, Barclays US Consumer Bank, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Caixa Geral de Depositos, CaixaBank, Capital One, China Construction Bank, Citigroup, Citizens Bank, Compliance.ai, CSI, Dave, Detroit Fintech Bay, Deutsche Bank, Diasoft, Emirates NBD Bank, Finastra, Finn AI, Finxact, First Direct, FIS, Fiserv, Flagstar Bank, Forcepoint, ForSee, Forward Networks, Geezeo, Gemalto, Goldman Sachs, Google, Grab, Hello Bank, Help Systems, HotJar, HSBC, IBM, ICBC, Infosys, ING, ING Direct, Intesa Sanpaolo, Jack Henry, JPMorgan Chase, Kenna Security, Lloyds Bank, Lyft, Midwest Bank, Mission Bank, Monzo, N26, Nationwide, NatWest, nCino, ObserveIT, OnDeck, Openbank, Osano, Personetics, PNC, RBS, Reciprocity Labs, Saga, Santander, Sberbank, Square, Starling Bank, Strands, Tanium, Temenos, Tencent, Thomson Reuters, Thought Machine, Tink, TSB, Uber, United Income, US Bank, Wells Fargo, Zelle, and Zopa.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
- Incumbent banks are intensifying their digitization efforts in the face of changing consumer demands and growing competitive pressures.
- The number of US consumers considering switching banks in the next 12 months increased by 86% from a year before, from 6.9 million to 11.9 million, per Resonate, with consumers citing the need for better digital banking services and more personalized products and tools as major motivators.
- Meanwhile, tech giants like Google and Amazon are poised to grab up to 50% of the $1.35 trillion in US financial services revenue from incumbent banks, per McKinsey, leveraging their tech expertise to lure away customers.
- Legacy channel usage is steadily dwindling, while digital channel usage is firmly on the rise. This turn to digital is being accelerated by younger, tech-savvy generations like millennials and Gen Zers quickly becoming banks’ largest addressable market.
- Once the most widely used banking channel in the US, branch use will drop at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -2.01% between 2019 and 2024, per Business Insider Intelligence projections.
- Meanwhile, mobile banking, the least-used banking channel in 2008, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.83% between 2019 and 2024, the highest among all channels.
- To digitally transform, banks need to join forces with partners, enemies, and frenemies alike. Vendors will be key to the modernization of banks’ IT, with specialists catering to each layer: 81% of banking executives surveyed by Finextra and the Euro Banking Association cited working with partners as the best strategy for achieving digital transformation goals. Banks’ growing IT budgets reflect their changing priorities: By 2021, global banks’ IT budgets will surge to $297 billion, up 14% from $261 billion in 2018, according to Celent.
- Banks’ digital transformations are already well under way, and incumbents are making massive changes to the way they operate and plan for the future to compete in a digital economy. They’re doing this by embracing digital-ready innovation models; adopting new business models like open and direct banking; and reorienting their tech stacks around the digital customer experience.
In full, the report:
- Outlines the incumbent banking landscape and its components, and the structure of the banking tech stack and the vendors supplying each of its layers.
- Explains the biggest drivers behind banks’ digital transformations, especially the rise of tech-savvy competitors, shifts in consumer behaviors, and a growing number of cybersecurity threats.
- Highlights the steps banks are already taking to turn themselves into digital-first, data-driven, and customer-centric organizations.
- Evaluates the progress incumbents have made towards digitization, and how deeply they’ve embedded themselves in the emerging cross-industry digital banking ecosystem.
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