The global pandemic has created an unprecedented digital banking pivot point. Customers are now more demanding than ever before. Business as usual is simply not enough. Banks and financial institutions are facing real challenges in moving away from product centricity and legacy technologies to customer centricity and personalised seamless solutions. Most financial institutions entered a crisis mode of building digital capabilities that allowed consumers to bank without branches.

It is quite clear that all African financial institutions recognise the importance of digital banking in their growth strategy. They are under pressure to adapt and innovate as they face the evolving demands of modern consumers and increasing disruption from emerging technologies. Despite many financial institutions making significant moves into providing a great digital experience, the digital banking landscape remains open for the taking. Now more than ever they must rethink the definition of ‘digital banking’ with the application of data, analytics, technology, innovation and human resources that will transform customer experience.

Customers now expect a fully immersive experience and COVID-19 is driving everyone towards a low contact, low touch economy. Financial institutions that remain within the traditional domain will be pushed to the margins by other competitors and FinTechs who previously may not have had a strong appeal with customers, but who now offer convenient solutions, seamless efficiency and an excellent service experience.

“The ability to exploit Big Data and digitisation are mere enablers in the new economy; the real differentiator is the ability to hyper personalise the customer experience and provide convenience,” said Vimal Kumar, former Chief Executive: Retail and Business Banking, Digital and Customer Experience, Absa Regional Operations.

According to Dr Terence Sibiya, Group Managing Executive at Nedbank Africa regions, Nedbank Group: “Enhanced customer experience is going to be imperative and the choice of bank for customers will be based purely on maximum convenience. Data is of no use if we cannot convert it into services, and therefore a realisable revenue.”

Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. Innovation in digital banking starts now!

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