Gamification -- the application of gaming principles and mechanics to non-gaming environments -- is not entirely new to the banking industry. Reward points on credit card usage, for example, is an established practice. But in the digital banking era, where the focus is shifting from enabling transactions to creating personalised experiences, gamification has to evolve into a more strategic and enterprise-centric practice.
An effective digital strategy can boost profitability by 40 % or erode it as rapidly as 35% in the next 5 years - if you don't get it right, says one study. Another says digitization is at top the agenda at retail banks, ahead of all else. There is universal agreement that the future of banking, indeed every business, is digital. Most banks you speak to are cognizant of the need to digitize, and fast; a number of them have already got a plan going.
Identical individuality is a pre-digital concept. Digital customers expect their banks to recognize their individual identity, their contextual needs and create personalized solutions that are relevant to their unique financial life stage. Customers want financial partners, rather than financial service providers, who will help them achieve their financial goals and aspirations. And so forth.
Credit Unions are fully invested in the potential of digital channels like mobile and online to transform their member experience. But their focus has predominantly been on enabling self-service and ensuring security. Success with more advanced opportunities like cross-selling, targeted marketing, member education or ensuring a consistent cross-channel experience has been rather limited.
Digital banking opens up pathways for traditional banks to pursue new opportunities within new ecosystems, markets and communities. Access can now be taken for granted. Rising mobile penetration, and freedom from the limitations, or need, for a physical presence, means that banks can now expand into areas that previously did not meet the cost-benefit cutoff. And it is not merely about access. Given the innate flexibility and versatility of the digital model, banks can even purpose-design and deliver products and services to fit the needs and circumstances of even the smallest of communities.
In an omnichannel banking world, the quality of experience enjoyed by a customer is actually built backstage, where internal processes are hard at work. It is process innovation that ensures that every transaction in every channel is optimized to maximize customer expectations as well as business objectives.
Innovation has become the leitmotif of the global retail banking industry. Changing trends in consumer expectations, competitive dynamics and new technologies are compelling banks everywhere to focus on innovating on everything, from products and processes to channels and business models.
Channels were at the frontline of digital disruption in the banking industry and continue to be hugely influential in banking transformation. Channel experience is a critical factor in how customers rate their overall banking experience. Also, for an entire generation, the value of a bank's product and service offerings is only as good as its mobile channel. Channel innovation, therefore, still represents a huge opportunity for banks to deliver a differentiated and personalized experience to their customers. Little wonder then that it tops the innovation and investment agenda at a large number of banks.