Digitalisation and new entrants: what is the impact on banks?Banks are experiencing a gradual loss of their monopoly, due to the arrival of new players born from digital transformation. To face these new challenges, what strategies can banks deploy to fight against the erosion of their privileged situation?
Banks are gradually losing ground on their monopoly due in part to the arrival of new players that have arisen in the digital transformation. They must therefore adapt in order to stand out and capitalise on the trusted relationships that have been established between them and their customers. They must turn towards a customer-centric approach.
New players in the banking sector
The new entrants to the banking sector are players in mass retail, telephone companies and GAFA.
Now talk has turned to neobanks*, which attract consumers with their (almost) free-of-charge products and/or services, their speed and the (almost) immediate accessibility of their products, handled through simple smartphones, or their availability in everyday consumption locations. Apply pay, Libra*: GAFA help make these new ways of viewing banking and payments popular.
New customer relations to make a difference
This change is the result of, first, a change in regulations, and second, the rampant digitalisation of the economy, aided by artificial intelligence. With Open Banking systems, payment automation, instant payments, etc. the concept of invisible finance has popped up. There have been so many upheavals and disruptions that require drastic transformations for the banking community. In this context, the banks must rethink their business model.
Consequently, banks must focus more on their customers to continue offering an added value to them: a return to human contact in bank-customer relationships so that the finance sector can return to its place serving the economy as well as society. This approach has moved onto the development of soft skills among banking professionals: empathy, re-humanisation of customer relations, listening to customers, etc.
A customer-centric approach
A new type of customer relationship needs to be established and the sources of value creation need to be revised to improve customer experience. To be customer-centric is to put the customer, and not the product offer, at the centre of the company’s concerns. It is about understanding consumers, thinking about their behaviour and their questions in order to respond to them in the best way possible.
The banks’ monopoly is disappearing. They need to reinvent themselves and make innovations to their economic models and/or partnerships with the new entrants to emphasise their knowledge and skills that are built on trust. And to accomplish this, their employees must capitalise on their social skills.
L’Essentiel de la Banque, 7th edition, by Karyotis C., Gualino Publisher, Jully 2020
Nouveaux Business Models et Innovations Marketing, Pearson, November 2019
“L’impact des changements environnementaux sur les marques et leur Business Models l’exemple des nouveaux challenges du secteur bancaire”, by Collard F., Karyotis C., Rigaud E.
Neobank: “a mobile, often digital, bank that offers a fluid user experience and free or nearly free products. All of the offered transactions are dematerialised and can be made from a smartphone.” Source: www.culturebanque.com
Altice Bank: Altice = ex-SFR
Compte Nickel account = created in 2013 by the former directors of the Société Générale group, it allows customers to open a bank account at a newsagent. Anyone can open this type of account without any fees. Since 2018, it offers a premium bank card at a price that undercuts the competition.
C-Zam: a bank account launched by Carrefour
Cryptocurrency: “a virtual currency that is based on IT protocol made up of encrypted, decentralised transactions, called Blockchain.” Source: Institut national de la consummation (French National Consumption Institute)
Libra: cryptocurrency launched by Facebook