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The disruption of the last few years changed the way businesses operated. Bank branches closed or had to reduce their services significantly. This is where remote access became key and led to institutional customers adopting digital banking providers because their employees were at home.

I recently joined our customer Apex, along with tech partners ComplyAdvantage and Currencycloud, for an online roundtable discussion on how digital banking has enabled greater access to bank accounts and allowed visibility over reports and analytics.

Pain points being faced by legacy providers

As a consumer, you can open an account at one of the main digital banks in a matter of minutes. But is this possible for institutional customers? Absolutely not. This is where, with the use of technology, we can improve the experience of opening an account.

It comes down to the onboarding challenge and the banking challenge. Institutional customers have a complex structure. Making sure that onboarding is efficient allows them a seamless, transparent online experience, removing the need for any vetting. It improves the overall accessibility of services.

On the other hand, the banking challenge is providing customers with a fully digitised, cloud-based, secure multi-factor authentication. As well as ensuring security in terms of their data, the optionality in which they can make payments from the same portal, and more importantly, taking care of the day-to-day reporting requirements or the balance monitoring.

How can it be done today?

The environment requires you to be able to deal with change. We've seen this in the retail banking space, it carried over to the commercial banking space, and then it moved to the institutional banking space.

Here, what we’re really talking about is customer-centric thinking, but what does it mean?

There's no other way of dealing with the future other than having an open environment. You need the ability to provide changes at the same speed as the market, and that is only possible with an architecture that is modern, that is open, that's API driven. It could never be done in the ‘old days’.

On the other hand, that's the ‘basic banking requirements’. The complexity and the basic needs need to be solved and addressed in equal measure. The flexible API-led type solutions allow the customers to really bring those to market in the right way to meet their specific needs.

Fintech vs legacy

Fintechs by nature are disruptors and are often challenging the bigger banks in areas of service offering. They’ve chosen specific needs to provide a better customer experience and when they are successful, it makes the bigger banks take notice. When you’re being challenged in a commercial way, you have to pick up and respond.

After service offerings, it comes down to trust. Bigger banks already have the trust of consumers, this won’t stop fintechs from challenging, but there's an obvious strong market for the big banks, and the things they do well.

It’s clear that there’s room for a collaborative, partnership-led approach in order to deliver the right digital-first solutions, to the right types of customers at the right time. It isn’t a question of who needs to win. It’s about how we collectively come together to bring the best solutions to market as quickly as we can.

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Nick van Bommel
Nick is an international sales leader with over 20 years of experience, and the Market Sales Director at Mambu.
Nick van Bommel