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Being digital: Digital strategy execution drives a new era of banking

Banks must execute their digital strategy using two speeds, three governance roles and a single “being digital” mind-set.


"Digital can drive up return on equity by more than 5 percent for mature or emerging market banks."

Digital disruptors are attacking the banking industry, redefining customer expectations and reshaping industry boundaries. From competitors to customers, processes to people, banking executives who want to lead in a digital economy need to make fundamental changes to how they operate. As one of the world’s largest banks acknowledges: “we must change our execution model to be digital.”

Large incumbent banks know they need to move rapidly to react to digital disruption. But while each bank has its own digital journey, executing at the right speed, with the right governance model and mind-set can be a fast track to success.


Key Findings

Competitive pressures are being rewritten. On one hand, start-ups are driving fundamental changes in customer expectations and impacting specialized revenue streams. On the other, established, large digital leaders are extending banking services into non-banking digital ecosystems where they are already dominant. Instead of the traditional bell curve response of a typical product or service life cycle, a series of quick-fire innovations produces a “shark fin” business model, where disruptive products or services are embraced and discarded in fast succession.

Digital can transform the business of banking, with the potential to drive up return on equity (ROE) by more than 5 percent for both mature or emerging market banks. But in a climate of such rapid change, time is of the essence.

32 percent of bank revenues are at risk from new digital business models.

Banks must adopt a new “being digital” mindset



Digital strategy execution drives a new era of banking


By becoming an “everyday bank”—one that offers integrated financial services and non-financial services solutions to meet a range of lifestyle needs—banks have an opportunity to reposition their services and be digital.

As competitive pressures increase, banks need to operate at two speeds:

  • Speed 1—Disruptive growth options outside the core

  • Speed 2—Transformation of the core

Banks must also govern with three critical roles:

  • Banking entrepreneur
  • Technology entrepreneur
  • Digital entrepreneur

Finally, to successfully execute digital strategies, banks need to evolve their culture, externally and internally:

  • Being digital on the outside (improving customer engagement)

  • Being digital on the inside (adapting internal banking practices)

Being digital lies at the heart of the future of banking.

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