Digital banking is the way of the future, and the Asia-Pacific financial services industry needs to be prepared for the enormous changes that are on the horizon.
“One of the biggest mistakes any bank can make right now is to just do nothing,” he says. “It is imperative that banks and financial services evaluate their existing strategies and look at how they can evolve with the times rather than remaining stagnant.”
“A digital transformation is inevitable in the APAC financial services industry – in fact, it’s already happening in many countries in our region. However, many established institutions are in dire need of a cultural overhaul before they can really embrace this brand-new world. Banks need to start thinking and operating like fintechs in order to remain competitive.”
Mambu – launched in Germany but operating globally – works with banks, fintechs and telcos to help create a technology-first approach to banking, opening up new opportunities to optimise operations, ensure regulatory compliance and increase customer acquisitions.
Continues Bertrand, “Banks are realising that they can’t continue to think and operate the way they always have because the industry is undergoing constant transformation. We see banks now starting to source senior talent from tech-giants like Google and Apple, strategically sourcing tech talent for their senior leadership roles. Technology isn’t just a siloed business unit anymore; it needs to underpin the entire business model.”
While enhancing customer offerings is a key benefit of digital banking, the impact on regulatory compliance also provides a competitive advantage.
“Digital banking is actually going to make it easier for financial institutions to comply with all of the different regulations,” says Bertrand. “It’s going to make it easier to track transactions, keep data safe and will also reduce duplication. So those organisations that make the transition from less secure legacy systems to cloud-based digital platforms, where security improvements are constantly made, can boast greater peace of mind and set themselves ahead of competitors.”
To stay in the game, banks need to be able to roll out products and services at a rapid pace, adding new features to platforms, while simultaneously enhancing existing ones. This kind of agility is next to impossible to achieve with most institutions’ legacy systems. However, composable banking architecture – the quick and flexible assembly of independent systems on a cloud platform – can provide the opportunity for organisations to create a dynamic platform with intuitive, responsive features that can be quickly and continuously updated.
A truly agile platform undergoes short, regular updates with a constant pipeline of improvements that are automatically layered on top of existing cloud technology and allows business to run uninterrupted on the front end. This allows financial institutions to make minor changes regularly, rather than major, infrequent updates that can cause significant disruption and draw the ire of customers, as has been the case with some traditional transformations.
With so many new players arriving in the marketplace looking to capitalise on the impending digital transformation of the industry, the key to successfully transitioning to digital banking is to look for proven, reliable fintech partners with experience and a successful track record in helping financial institutions make the switch. By working collaboratively with a proven digital engine, banks and financial institutions can build innovative integrations into new or existing product channels, creating simple, streamlined and automated customer experiences.
“I think the financial services industry – globally, not just Asia-Pacific – is going to be turned on its head over the next 12 to 24 months,” concludes Bertrand. “We really want to help banks take the leap and make the necessary changes to embrace the opportunities that digital banking can offer and set themselves up for success.
“As the looming fintech age forces institutions to digitise, innovate and scale to adapt to customer needs, those banks and financial institutions that can move at the pace of a technology company while remaining committed to strength, security and service will be the leaders of this new era.”