European banks: connect now to win

Posted on: August 2, 2018 by

A wave of change is crashing through the financial services industry in Europe. In Spring 2018, the European Commission’s financial services directorate will unveil a range of new policy recommendations on areas such as blockchain, cloud data servicing, and online security in a bid to help the European FinTech industry continue to flourish. In recent months, we’ve also seen several digital only banks apply for a European banking licence, enabling them to eat into market share traditionally held by the larger players.


Increasingly, customers are waking up to the fact that tradition doesn’t always equal reliability. In the face of disruption and with a growing number of FinTech challengers to contend with, this trust is eroding faster than ever. In fact, according to Salesforce’s 2017 Connected Banking Customer Report, only 15% of respondents strongly agreed that banks have their best interests at heart.

This lack of trust is one factor which has allowed a disruptor model of banking to evolve. A wave of agile, mobile first alternatives are not just securing funding from investors, they’re securing more and more customers as they grow. Much of this success rests on their customer-centricity; they understand how customers want to interact with them and anticipate their needs to offer a more personalised service.

Bridging the gap

As the European financial services sector confronts the greatest period of disruption in its history, banks are facing a pivotal moment. Our report showed that 83% of millennials have used FinTech companies for basic payment activities. It’s clear that traditional banks must embrace change in order to meet the evolving needs of their customers and defend against competition which is increasingly coming from different directions. Tapping into the digital innovation that is happening across the industry is key to bridging the gap from the traditional banks of yesterday, to the nimble banks of tomorrow.

In the face of disruption, technology can play a vital role in helping banks achieve a more customer-centric approach, boosting trust, convenience and security. Integrating cloud, social and mobile technologies will enable them to engage customers at any time, from any device and in new, personalised ways.

Adding real value

One of the biggest benefits that cloud computing offers is the ability to break down silos. Our report shows that, regardless of age, customers of today opt to bank via a range of channels. For example, banking websites are now the most popular way to carry out routine transactions, with nearly a third (30%) saying this is the main channel they use. Use of mobile apps is also on the up – in fact, almost half (45%) of the younger, millennial generation interact with their banks via an app several times a week, or more.

But despite our love of technology, we still value the in store experience, and this holds true across the generations. Look at the figures: 70% of millennials, 75% of gen Xers and 73% of baby boomers still walk into a branch at least once every few months. In this, traditional banks with their brick-and-mortar presence still have the upper hand. And this presence offers a great opportunity to add real value, complementing the online experience. With customers using multiple channels to access services, banks can use technology to understand data from each interaction, including the in branch experience – when it occurred, what the customer required, and whether any follow-up is required.

Blended experience

Achieving this relies on maintaining a single view of each and every customer that blends the online and the in-branch experience. By breaking down the silos between each channel, and understanding the resulting customer data, banks across Europe can ensure that engagement is meaningful and personalised at each touch point.

For banks that have been slower to adapt, now is the time to look to technology to create a more seamless experience. By listening to, and truly understanding, customer needs, Europe’s banks can effectively blend the online and in-branch experience and be able to meet and exceed expectations for years to come.

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Digital Vision for Financial Services

This article is part of the Atos Digital Vision for Financial Services opinion paper. We cover what every business should know about cyber security, why a concerted response is essential, and how to protect data, systems and services from any attack.

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