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Consumers today are in the driving seat. Bolstered by the incoming waves of digital natives and growing digital confidence among boomers and Gen X consumers, the banking and commerce landscapes are changing fast – and all organisations need to evolve to remain relevant.
Traditional financial institutions are mindful of the need to innovate, to enable more digital-first journeys. But the biggest question is; how? With legacy system constraints and constantly evolving customer expectations, catching up and keeping up with digital demand is a battle for which many traditional FIs are not well-equipped.
Building in-house is often not a viable option for time-pressed, cost-sensitive FIs. Partnering with technology vendors is the common answer for many FIs, because it can help them to innovate more quickly, without the same degree of technical development and investment costs.
Choosing who to work with, however, can be a difficult process to navigate. For a start, it’s hard to know what’s really ‘under the hood’. FIs need to pick apart the commonly used buzzwords being used to promote technology solutions and weed out those that are empty promises or not all they seem.
For example, newer providers may have purpose-built solutions that appear to be ‘all-singing, all dancing’, but it’s important to understand whether those capabilities are actually live and proven to deliver the functionality and benefits that the FI is looking for. It’s also vital to be sure that the provider has the right experience and expertise in the market, not just strong tech skills.
The other danger zone for FIs as they seek a technology partner are the older solutions that are dressed up as something more technologically advanced than they actually are. All the industry expertise in the world can’t create agility and future-proof functionality from outdated technology alone.
Selecting the wrong vendor could cause an FI more harm if it leaves them unable to fulfil the innovation goals and customer service standards they need to achieve. Thorough groundwork is an essential starting-point. FIs need to assess what their key business objectives are and what precise goals they wish to reach with their payments systems. This framework can then be used to assess the suitability of providers.
When going out to market, FIs need to be bold, clear and ask the right questions. This means digging into each vendor’s expertise and solution to assess the fit with their strategy, customer experience ambitions and impact on their other technology platforms. This is what will help to create clarity around the project and find the right partner.
There are solutions out there from vendors who offer solid industry expertise combined with next generation technology. These are likely to be the most fruitful partners for FIs who are looking to evolve their offering and meet their objectives quickly and with confidence. If they can support a bespoke deployment model for FIs, so much the better, as this will ensure that the right balance can be struck between agility, speed and cost.
The A-Z of financial technology solutions