For several years, we have noted a shift in power from companies to customers. Customers call the shots; they can and do transfer their loyalty when they aren't catered to with engaging customer experiences. The age of the customer has reached the banking industry; as in other industries, banks must change the way they do business to move the customer center stage.
Thus, application development and delivery (AD&D) teams must work with their peers across the bank to develop and apply the technology, systems, and processes needed to win, serve, and retain customers, partnering with eBusiness executives leading digital banking initiatives to drive new digital innovations. And this is not just a minority movement: Forrester’s Financial Services Architecture Online Survey 2014 shows that close to 80 percent of financial services firms around the globe work on transforming their application landscape or plan to start doing so within the next two years.
To prepare for this transformation imperative, AD&D pros need to be aware of the key trends for banking applications; the emerging and accelerating architecture trends, products, and services; as well as their to-do lists for 2015, which you can learn more about in Peter Wannemacher's Predictions 2015 report. While some banks aren't yet ready to take full advantage of these trends, Forrester believes that AD&D teams must be aware of, learn from, and prepare for eight trends in 2015. Among them:
- Advanced Banks Will Enhance Their Systems Of Engagement. A growing number of banks will recognize the need to work with all customer touchpoints rather than just physical channels: In 2015, banks will demand cross-channel solutions that are flexible enough to support all of today’s physical channels (including the branch) as well as potential channels in the future with great customer experiences. Increasingly sophisticated off-the-shelf cross-channel banking solutions will make it easier to execute the "buy" option. Social media and gamification will move center stage in the banking industry’s application planning in 2015, fulfilling their as yet untapped potential to win, serve, and retain customers. However, banks will need to remember that many of their customers aren't mobile-savvy but remain key contributors to their revenues and profits. In the years to come, banks will need to maintain a parallel approach of embracing mobile touchpoints, offering a choice of channels, and providing a great customer experience on all of them.
- Two-Speed Banking Will Arrive. Many banks still use decades-old banking platforms; these can result in business limitations that create serious, if not threatening, barriers to success. Some banks keep trying to patch new capabilities into old solutions, but the complexity and breadth of regulatory requirements, the need for a more proactive approach to building flexible, revenue-generating banking products and services, the desire to continuously improve the customer experience, and new business needs require a more enduring solution, thus reinstating the transformation imperative. Banking platform transformation will allow high-speed banks to use systems of engagement to offer great customer experiences, such as business apps that deliver real-time payment information, as well as new banking products and services with a short time-to-market. If they fail to implement this transformation, banks will find themselves moving at low speed — and will find it hard to win, serve, and retain customers.
We are also making calls on what to expect in 2015 regarding the bank branch, Big Data/analytics, regulation, industrialization, software-as-a-service and transactional banking. In addition we are looking what all these developments mean for application development and delivery teams in banking.