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Expert story

The future of banking, banks and bankers

Early October, I had the pleasure of providing a keynote at the kick-off summit of the Financial Forum in West Flanders. I was in good company with representative speakers from Eubelius, Febelfin, Capgemini and KBC. All the banking buzzwords did pass by, with one central theme: “Put the customer and the value we create for the customer at the heart of everything we do”.


Allow me to kick-off with what I consider the conclusion of the summit:

Going forward, we do need banking, we do need banks and we do need bankers.

However, the future definition of what this entails will substantially differ from what we used to know. This is mainly, if not entirely, driven by what customers expect from financial services and their providers in the future.

The customer’s expectation remains to have the right product or service at the right time and through the right channel. What has changed is the interpretation of what is “right”.

Fit one's personal needs

The notion of “right” when it comes to banking products or services nowadays goes beyond qualitative, secure, trustworthy and compliant. New values have entered the expectations frame like convenient, relevant, personalized, connected, responsible. Simultaneously there’s a move from standardized to more flexible in order to fit one’s personal needs. This requires data and insights.

Instant and relevant

Secondly getting the timing right has gained in importance. We got used to having the service at reach whenever we want or need it and if it’s pushed to us, we want it to be relevant. This requires a good and deep understanding of your customer and the ability to not only deliver upon the current needs but predict the future ones. Since traditional segmentation does no longer the job, again this requires data and insights.

Frictionlessly omnichannel

Finally the channels through which customers interact with you in a digital world have multiplied. Accessibility for the customer through the channel of his choice, is at the core of most banks’ digital strategy. Huge steps have been made to be multichannel. A superior customer experience requires an omnichannel strategy, where every interaction a customer has with its financial services provider regardless of the channel used, is recognized and clients can frictionlessly switch from one channel to another to complete any transaction.

Opening up the industry    

In order to deliver upon these additional values, one of the keywords is “open”: open data, open banking,... Opening up an industry which has amongst its core historic values such as trust and security, and which is highly regulated, is a challenge. Financial services providers operate in a field of tension between maximizing customer value, be loyal to their core values and be compliant to regulatory requirements.      

Needless to say that, apart from a new kind of banking services, the industry will also need to onboard new skills, competences and attitudes – certainly not solely in the IT department –, to ensure itself a solid architectural basis and embrace the right technologies to unlock the full potential of new services.

Interested to find out more?

Do you want to know more about why personalisation matters, where your organisation stands today, the steps you can take to enter into a relevant, personalised interaction with your customers and the competences you need to get there? Download our free whitepaperHow to deliver a relevant, personalised experience to your customers” and find out how AE can help you adapt to the new reality.

whitepaper personalisation

Contact us via for a deep-dive conversation on your personalization strategy.