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Customers increasingly expect banks to be integrated into their daily lives and are looking for the Netflix experience in banking: a highly personalised banking experience, driven by a customer centric approach.

This does not necessarily mean that fintech companies will dominate and traditional banks will be left behind. Instead, this change provides an opportunity for traditional banks to improve and better serve their customers by being more available and responsive to their needs.

Developer experience drives customer experience

The drive for speed, innovation, and growth is causing CIOs to balance conflicting demands for talent, time, and money. They must hire top engineering talent, including developers and architects in large numbers to build, manage, and grow their technology-based businesses and allocate that talent to customer-focused activities. 

At traditional banks, developers only spend about 32% of their time writing code, with most of their time devoted to maintaining infrastructure and upgrading systems, rather than developing new software using standard APIs. Having to spend days fixing issues rather than building exciting products your internal teams believe in, leads to a less motivated workforce. It comes down to creating an environment that gives agency to each individual and implementing tools internally that enable teams to make a tangible impact.

Unfortunately, a significant portion of bank IT budgets, around 70% are spent on maintaining legacy systems, reducing the CIO's ability to invest in new innovation. Finally, CIOs must transform their operations to deliver new offerings and innovations quickly to meet the demands of stakeholders and customers, who have limited patience. Studies of companies such as N26, OakNorth, and Tide show that neobanks and fintechs are twice as fast as traditional banks in bringing new features to market.It’s clear that the biggest difference in teams is the psychological mindset.

Personalisation in banking

Banks believe in products. At any incumbent bank you’ll find a ‘Head of Mortgages’, ‘Head of Credit Cards’ and so on… these employees will be thinking of the same customer but in different ways based on the product they want to sell. This is very far away from the hyper-personalisation that really grips customers.

In an ideal hyper-personalised world, banks would act as a personal CFO and place themselves in the customers' financial life. But we’re not there yet.

Like the most successful technology and digital companies, banks too, need to sharpen their client focus and listening abilities. They must get a deeper understanding of their clients in order to pinpoint their unique demands and develop more specialised offers to meet those needs. A disciplined and iterative strategy should be used, concentrating on certain customer segments with a small number of key use cases that are swiftly introduced and scaled progressively.

How can SaaS banking platforms and fintechs help?

Organisations like Mambu are technology enablers; before we can help there needs to be a cultural shift. We can provide the tools to help incumbents create these experiences for customers.

At Mambu, we recommend a three-pronged approach to technology modernization for banks.

  1. Using best-of-breed, cloud-native technologies, create a composable architecture first. This will enable the bank to swap components in and out as necessary.
  2. Offer a platform geared towards developers with a standardised set of adaptable APIs and programmable code so that developers can quickly build and deploy new products without the need for complicated integrations, training, or personnel.
  3. Automate extensively throughout the build, test, and deployment phases, utilising tools such as continuous integration and continuous delivery [CI/CD] and incorporating DevOps principles.

This approach allows top engineering talent to concentrate on enhancing the customer experience and doesn’t require hiring a large number of developers in a competitive job market.

In addition, banks can benefit from substantial reductions in IT operating costs, up to 50% in some cases. Instead of spending on IT, CIOs can invest in technology that generates revenue and retains and cultivates their best engineering talent. They can also innovate rapidly, delivering new functionality up to 95% faster than conventional development methods, when introducing new products or modifying existing ones.

This way, they can gain a significant advantage in the market while satisfying customers and improving the overall banking experience for everyone.

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Kunal Galav
Kunal’s experience in customer strategy for digital transformations comes from experience built in prestigious banking institutions like Credit Suisse and HSBC, as well as consultancies like McKinsey. At Mambu, Kunal heads the partnership development team, which is responsible for building strategic partnerships with large tech companies and GSIs.
Kunal Galav