Making important decisions in the area of finance often carries a heavy personal burden. Empowering users to make the right decisions is possible by providing them with the best information through a clear and effective user interface. Gathering data to support decision and user experience to manage the process is at the heart of experience management (XM).

Traditional banks are currently facing strong competition. On the one hand, financial technology companies (Fintech), on the other known as “Challenger Banks” that are very focused on improving the experience of customers and users (UX).

Faced with this situation, consolidated financial institutions need to expand their market share and consolidate the existing one, improving the ease of use of their products, increasing customization and providing new intelligent systems that help customers choose their platforms.

Is Open Banking the definitive change?

The advent of Open Banking diluted the power that banks had over customers. Launched in early 2018 in Europe and the UK, this regulatory initiative has created a new level of competition in finance.

 

This new financial model gave new technology companies access to customer bank accounts and transaction data.

To counteract these losses, more traditional banks have initiated a series of strategies. First, they have sought to encourage innovation and learn lessons from the new voices of the technological world.

While Open Banking establishes FinTech as potential rivals for banks, it has also given them the opportunity to work together by imposing the creation of open application programming interfaces (APIs) that unite their technology.

Second, financial institutions have adopted a new strategy through experience management in order to learn, propagate new ideas and adapt quickly to future situations.

With these new guidelines, a new stage of business maturity has been opened for financial institutions, marked by the reorganization of services into a new way of working, called ‘Open X’.

A new era, Open X

Within this new banking model, Open X, the key elements that will increase the strengths to drive the business through a universal service offering with various levels of quality are:

  • A greater focus on the customer experience.
  • Designation of data as an asset.
  • Partnership for new capabilities and open ways of working.
  • Prioritization of cooperative models of shared access.

Thanks to the benefits offered by Open X, banks are already reconsidering how they run their businesses. To do this, CEOs must create strategies that will support more automated and flexible operations to optimize the experience of their customers and employees.

For CFOs and COOs, responsible for building the processes and cash flows that this new model will deliver, it will be necessary to have clear control over the costs and revenue streams that will change with the business.

As banks rebuild to operate in this new environment, they will need to reinvent the way they raise, acquire and receive capital and services. Internal resource planning, accounting and even general accounting structures and models for invoicing and cost allocation will need to be rethought.

Executives with customer and product relationships must intertwine the user and customer experience (UX / CX) with data and analysis, allowing a customer or employee to participate in a process and have access to the knowledge they need, which has previously been defined as experience management or experience economics.

Automation will increase, but so will responsibility, creating greater pressure on tomorrow’s leaders. Consequently, the support of Human Resource Managers (CHRO) will be needed, which will become the focus of the strategy, as is the CFO today.

CHROs must balance their process and interpersonal relationship skills to win the fight for talent, to build a bank that will be in harmony with new models of financial companies in the future.

APIs, an indispensable element

The Open X will lead the financial services industry into a shared ecosystem, in which the industry will initiate the regrouping of products and services, and both banks and FinTechs will need to re-evaluate their innovation strategy and customer service.

At that point, APIs that allow third parties to access banking systems and data in a controlled environment will become catalysts for creating the Open X market.

While customer data is already widely shared and leveraged in the industry, standardized APIs are not common. While the requirements and regulations are complex, standardization will help reduce fraud, improve interoperability, increase speed to market, and improve scalability.

 

Industry participants are currently studying two possible monetization models for APIs: a revenue sharing model (which 60% of banks and 70% of fintech consider viable) and a payment system that provides access rights to APIs (supported by 46% of banks and 55% of fintech). However, only about a third of bank managers consider that they are currently well prepared to monetize these APIs.

Concerns slow progress

Despite the understanding by all players in the industry of the importance of collaboration, privacy and security concerns remain paramount.

 

On the other hand, both traditional banks and Fintech firmly believe that these new financial paths will affect payments more. This line of thought is caused by the emergence of the PSD2 and the fact that less traditional players increasingly control the domain of payments.

An example of this type of union is Alipay (which has more than 900 million active clients per month in China) and WeChat Pay (a payment and messaging platform with more than 1,000 million clients), a clear sign of the global future of Open X.

The alliance between the two companies has perfectly combined social networks, e-commerce, payments and other financial functions into unique applications and easy-to-use ecosystems, with the aim of attracting new customers and improving the development of activities.

Finally, both Fintech and banking institutions see their progress in achieving full collaboration held back by the culture and corporate mentality of their alliance partner.

 

Although all these barriers may suggest that neither of the two parties interested in the union is ready to carry it out, the reality is that the Open X, needs a preparation superior to the Open Banking, phase in which most of the associations are starting at this time.

Conclusions

The introduction of Open X is a gradual evolution, not a disruptive revolution; each department in each bank will make changes that collectively will provide customers with a new banking model.

The opportunity is enormous, and as customers move, banks will be under pressure to lead the charge. Right now, the most progressive CEOs are already getting involved with their entire senior management to lay the groundwork for the banks of the future.

To overcome all the barriers identified by traditional banks, they must improve their integrated model and then focus on areas that provide them with specialized strength. To this end, several roles are expected to evolve.

  • Suppliers will develop products and services;
  • Aggregators will accumulate products and services from the market and distribute them through internal channels, maintaining relationships with customers;
  • Orchestrators will act as market connectors and coordinators, facilitating interactions with partners.

Regardless of their role in Open X, you must recruit the right talent, leverage data and technology, and collaborate with FinTechs to first ensure the best internal capabilities for the competitive delivery of services relevant to the current Open Banking landscape.