Wednesday, September 30, 2009

E-banking in the old days..

In the old days - especially in the 80s before Internet - e-banking was seen as a supplementary channel - in addition to branches and contact centres. Today it is the main channel for almost all  services - both for the customer in his private role and in employee roles of so called corporate customers. All banks have not yet adjusted their strategies accordingly.

The importance for the adjustment is accentuated by the huge success of Internet as service channel in virtually all sectors and the need for banks to be embedded in these services with e-id, e-signing of contracts, realtime e-commerce payments, e-rfps, e-offers, e-orders, e-invoicing, e-accounting, document presentment and fronting of archiving services here.

A big challenge is the fact that the user experience not only digital natives but also immigrants rapidly are gaining is coming from global players with excellent tools - like Itunes, Spotifies and Facebooks. It is far from easy to live up to all these expectations in e-bank portals on the back of decades old legacy systems. Actually it may be better to not even try - but to focus on bringing in more value instead - in the 3rd generation-connecting-customers-e-banking domain - without going for all bells and whistles in the interface.

Internet has certainly changed the scene:

- 25% (1,7 bn) of world population use it

- 4 bn have mobile phones - most soon connecting to Internet

- 100% of 16-34y segment use Internet, 97% in 35-44, 91% in 45-54, 70% in 55-64 and 33% in > 65 - usage is growing very fast here (figures from Finland - not that different elsewhere)

- 82% are using Internet for product information, 54% buy goods (clearly higher elsewhere)

So it is the main channel for everything - and should naturally be so for banks - but not only in the form of the multi-service customized and personalized bank portal - but embedded all over the e-commerce and e-government space -  where old and new banking services are needed. We have the right to demand this - as it improves services, lowers costs and saves tax payers money.

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