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Digital Banking Strategy

Three actions banks can take to generate more value from their digital investments

Overview

Customers now inhabit an “always-on,” connected world, and they demand seamless, digitally enabled experiences from all their providers. If banks fail to deliver, customers will go elsewhere.

To deliver the digital experiences customers now expect, banks can no longer think like traditional banks. They need to think—and act—like digital entrepreneurs. A deep understanding of digital’s potential, coupled with sound economic models, will allow them to re-imagine their digital strategies and place digital bets that pay off big.

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Key Findings

Banks that successfully implement internal and external digital strategies can, over the next five years, potentially:

  • Increase revenues by up to 55 percent

  • Reduce costs by up to 30 percent

  • Achieve return on equity (RoE) of approximately 15 percent in mature markets1

To achieve such results, banks are understandably upping their digital investments.2 Yet, their returns are generally flat. Since 2010—when many banks became serious about digitizing their operations—banking revenues have declined and the average RoE for banks in mature markets has stagnated at around 6 percent.3

Why are banks struggling to achieve their digital potential? In many cases, banks simply don’t have insights into the economic impact digital can have on their internal banking practices, their customer experiences or their profitability. Without that understanding, they find it difficult to design initiatives that will generate the returns they desire.


[1] Accenture analysis (derived from the Accenture Return on Equity model for banks)

[2] Kieran Hines, "Global retail banking technology spend to reach US$131bn by end 2015," Ovum press release, April 27, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2015 from http://www.ovum.com/press_releases/global-retail-banking-technology-spend-to-reach-us131bn-by-end-2015.

[3] Accenture research analysis of Bloomberg data, October 2014.

Recommendations

Banks can do three things to improve the likelihood that their digital initiatives will pay off.

  • Adopt lessons from other industries. This means understanding (and measuring) what matters, creating agile delivery organizations, and thinking of digital as a discrete business—not just another channel.

  • Move out of the banking “comfort zone”. This means developing “Everyday Bank” ecosystems, becoming innovation hubs and exploring opportunities in untapped areas.

  • Pursue the cost-reduction potential of digital. This means focusing on process automation, straight-through-processing, and the optimization of physical distribution networks, unconventional architectures and just-in-time transaction factories.

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Author

Frederic Brunier

Frederic Brunier
Managing Director – Accenture Strategy

Frederic helps organizations in the Banking and Capital Markets industries transform to achieve high performance through mergers and acquisitions, dynamic operating models and growth strategies. With nearly two decades of experience, he also specializes in corporate strategy, IT strategy and architecture, cost reduction and operational excellence. Frederic is based in Zurich.

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