Over the past year, we’ve told banks that some of them would become custodians. We’ve told insurers that many of them would be forced to specialise. We’ve told wealth management firms that many would shrink. We’ve done this to show them how digital disruption could savage retail financial services, just as it has done with the music and publishing industries.

But we don’t want to be just the bearers of bad news: We want to help you deal with new players like peer-to-peer lending platforms and even Google entering retail financial services. And to be fair, it’s not all bad news. There are plenty of companies out there using digital innovation to meet their customers’ financial needs in new and better ways. Take for example BBVA which has brought its customers the virtual assistant Lola, video banking, and the crowdfunding platform called Suma. And BBVA hasn’t stopped here. The Bank is currently running the sixth edition of its Open Talent competition for start-ups most likely to affect financial services.

We think digital innovation, or the use of digital technology to improve existing products or services or to create new value for your customers through entirely new offerings, is how you survive digital disruption. Many financial services firms agree but often don’t know where to start, as evidenced by numerous enquiries we’ve received on this topic. So we are launching a new research series which will explore how retail financial services innovators have done it. As part of this research, we will look into the processes that leaders in this space have adopted, whether it all hangs on a digital lab, a start-up incubator or perhaps a venture fund. We will examine organisation, budget, and governance structures. And we would like your help. Do you want us to evaluate any specific innovation strategies? Would you like to contribute to our research? Let us know!

And if you work for a retail financial services firm and have been involved in your firm’s digital innovation activities, please take our Digital Innovation in Retail Financial Services Survey, available here.

  • The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
  • The survey will be live until September 8, 2014.
  • Responses will be kept strictly confidential and published only in an aggregated and anonymous manner.

As a thank you for your effort, we will send you a complimentary copy of a report outlining best practices in digital innovation of retail financial services.

In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact me oberdak@forrester.com