Polys Hadjikyriacos, CBDO, NETinfo PLC
It is an irreversible global trend that people’ lifestyles are increasingly dominated by digital channels. Across the entire spectrum of everyday services, from social, to professional, to consumer, banks are making the conscious decision to digitise both the consumer-facing and internal aspects of their businesses in order to compete in a demanding marketplace.
Banks had made the commitment to offer many of their consumer-facing services online years ago, but much of the rationale behind this focused on cost savings for the banks. Today it is customers who are demanding the ease and convenience of access to their accounts and banking products 24 hours a day from any location, with other leading retail apps their guiding light.
George Zirkel is Senior Vice President and Head of Global Payments Strategy at Transaction Network Services, a worldwide provider of solutions for the payments, financial and telecommunications services. He has a wealth of experience in the payments industry, and has held senior leadership roles across several businesses to lead the development strategy and growth.
bobsguide spoke to George Zirkel on his career in payments, how innovation is reshaping the payments industry and why omnichannel is the buzzword of the year
Dieter Schoene, Managing Director, TAS Group
Technological and digital progresses have brought deep changes to the retail industry in recent years. Users currently demand high service levels, frictionless user experiences and one-click payments. This is especially true in today’s multichannel, always-connected, hypercompetitive consumer markets.
Buyers are constantly moving between online and offline stores, trying to obtain better services or products at lower prices. To illustrate, 54% of European citizens buy products online monthly or weekly; 34% use their smartphone to buy online; and reviews and comments on social media influence the buying behavior of 67% of customers. (IDC Retail Insights) The proliferation of customer interaction points requires brands and retailers to invest in the engineering of a customer experience conveying consistency of service and experience across channels.
Dan Rowinski, Digital Analyst, Applause
The age of waiting in line at your local bank branch is thankfully over. The banking industry went online in the early 2000s and we haven’t looked back since.
Competition between retail banks remains fierce, particularly as challenger banks and fintech players begin to take market share. In a low interest rate environment, and with bank incentives few and far between, an attractive (and secure) digital offering can often be the difference between winning and losing business.
Jeff Carpenter - Vertical Market Director, Crossmatch
More and more valuable information becomes digitally warehoused, and at the same time an increasing number of corporations and individuals are being allowed access to systems that contain that valuable information. In other words, a target is painted on that information.
Ease of access – and the size of the potential reward – makes it highly probable that the brightest and best criminal minds and nation states in the world will engage in cybercrime. These “bad actors” are prepared to spend exorbitant sums of money attempting to break into the systems of digital organisations. The value of the bounty available makes it too enticing not to do so.