Don’t Look Back. You’re Not Headed That Way

Laurence Leyden

In my last two blogs, I’ve talked about looming pressures on banks and financial institutions as digitisation continues to disrupt business models, and risks to both market share and longevity if they don’t adapt.

The media is full of analysis on industry failings, but I’d like to provide you with some practical insights and a real world example of a bank that is leading the charge and getting things right.

For me, mBank is a perfect example of a bank that understands that banking is no longer simply about banking, but rather enabling consumer lifestyles. As Poland’s fourth largest retail bank with 4.5m customers, mBank has completely revolutionised banking services. Not just by replacing branches or call centres with mobile capabilities, but also in their ability to provide a truly personalised banking experience.

Thanks to predictive analytics, they know what customers are doing in any given moment and are able to react, but they can also look at the history of their purchases and predict what their future requirements might be. They can proactively suggest appropriate products – such as restaurant deals, house renovation offers, and high end electronics for example – all the while leveraging non-traditional relationships with new ecosystem partners, such as retailers.

They can also combine these customised products with standard banking offers, garner better results from marketing campaigns, and lower costs in their sales channels. By becoming integrated into the fabric of their customers’ lifestyles, customers have no need to switch banks. mBank has already effectively taken them off the market, negating their need to look elsewhere by properly engaging with them as an intrinsic component in the value chain.

Technology in this context is not about the product, processes or workflow, but rather about enabling the business outcomes for banks, and creating ongoing, connected ‘stickiness’ with today’s modern customer that lacks both loyalty and patience for poor experiences.

Analytics is just one tool that can help banks identify hidden opportunities, expose risk, tailor insights, visualise big data, and predict outcomes for better more informed decision making. Similar benefits can be harnessed through real-time transaction and data platforms for accounting, risk and finance, as well as supporting a customer-centric operating model with orchestrated customer facing channels seamlessly linking to digitised back end processes.

Banks must apply modern sales and service solutions if they are to acquire, manage and engage customers with consistent, proactive, profitable, and agile distribution of products, services and bundles. Existing, old style, silo processes and clumsy mismanagement of customer experiences cannot take you where you need to go. The old adage of “Don’t look back, you’re not headed that way” has never been more applicable.

If you’d like to read about more examples of digital innovators you can do so by downloading the eBook from the recent SAP Financial Services Forum: The digital evolution – As technology transforms financial services who will triumph”.


Laurence Leyden

About Laurence Leyden

Laurence is general manager of Financial Services, EMEA, at SAP and is primarily involved in helping banks in their transformation agenda. Prior to SAP he worked for numerous banks in Europe and Asia including Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC. He regularly presents on industry trends and SAP’s banking strategy.