In brief

In brief

  • Accenture research shows that thousands of new competitors have altered the banking market structure and begun to take noteworthy revenue share.
  • Banks can no longer wait to pursue successful growth strategies and only a few are using digital to build new sources of growth.
  • The shift to digital-driven growth is an immense challenge, requiring many difficult decisions by risk-averse bankers in the face of uncertainty.
  • We offer three ways for banks to be relevant and grow.

It’s a whole new banking frontier

Arduous customer expectations shaped by convenient, hyper-relevant, personalized experiences consumers get outside of banking. Competition-friendly regulations that are opening markets. Digital technologies that redefine efficiency and agility. These are the most notable market drivers that have slowly, but significantly, rotated the banking industry over the last 10 years into a new frontier for incumbents. Thousands of new players have entered the market over the last decade. More importantly, they are encroaching on the banking revenue pool—considerably in some countries.

Our research shows that the nearly 1,400 new players in Europe that emerged from 2005 to 2017 captured 6-7% of bank revenue, totaling €54 billion in 2016—one-third of all new revenues.

Incumbent banks have tapped digital to improve—and even optimize—the current model, though their efforts for the most part have not translated into new growth. Still, they can’t win by simply being the biggest, most powerful players in the traditional business—no matter how efficient they are.

Winners will use digital to generate growth

A few banks have emerged as digital leaders, effectively executing a digital strategy to grow business in ways that have garnered Wall Street recognition. Accenture Research analysis of data from the last three years shows that these banks have been rewarded with a premium of 13 to 17 percent above the value of their core business. But, more is needed to be relevant to consumers and stay competitive in the digital economy—and it won’t come easy.

The reality is that the pivot to “the New”—to a more customer-relevant, digitally enabled growth model—is tough for risk-averse incumbents. They must make many difficult strategic choices in the context of market structure change: ecosystem partnership plays with shared “ownership” of customers, fast-proliferating technology, complex investments, and more. Those that make it will generate more value from their core businesses while investing adequately in the New.


Three ways banks can be relevant and grow


  1. Use digital to expand market share through rapid deployment of better and cheaper versions of existing services. The fastest way to do this is to partner wisely with digital platform players.
  2. Generate more revenue from existing customers by identifying and offering new value-adding services they want. Some banks, for example, are providing data to small- and medium-size enterprises about consumer purchasing behaviors.
  3. Develop new kinds of services and businesses beyond banking—things like consumer lifestyle tips or purchase-related tools and resources (think home, auto or big equipment) or entrepreneur-centered platforms for small-business customers.

Banks’ success in making such moves and growing their business depends on the clarity of their market identity and organizational agility—enterprise- and investment-wise—to deliver change quickly. It starts by choosing the right strategy.

We are ready and able to help incumbent banks set an overall strategy and create a plan to pursue it with focus, intensity and success. Download our report and watch the video below to learn more.

Julian Skan discusses findings from our research and how clients can adapt to create more value both within and beyond traditional banking.

View Transcript

1Financial Times, "Royal Bank of Canada warns on Big Tech threat to banking" June 13, 2018.

About the Authors

Julian Skan

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Strategy

Alan McIntyre

Senior Managing Director – Banking

Francesca Caminiti

Director - Accenture Research


Elena Vizzardi

Senior Manager – Banking, Accenture Strategy

Mauro Centonze

Manager – Banking, Accenture Research

Dariusz Orynek

Manager – Banking, Accenture Research


Banks, find your North Star business model
Competing in the new era of open platform banking

Subscription Center
Stay in the know with our newsletter Stay in the know with our newsletter