Digitization, Transparency and Collaboration - Themes Banks Need to Address to Stay Ahead

The mood at Sibos was one of growing optimism and had a different feel to previous years. Regulation wasn’t the only topic being discussed which normally is the case, technology was the main topic of discussion. There was optimism from every session for new opportunities created by technology, however there was some concern from companies that they need to reinvent their business models in order best to exploit these opportunities. From the past four days the main themes to emerge were Digitization, Transparency and Collaboration:

  • Digitization has been dominating the event as it continues to grow at such a speed that some banks are finding it difficult to keep up and  are wary of the potential threat it can be for them if they don’t look at enhance their digital offering. Banks should be looking at what the market is doing and embrace it.
  • Transparency and Openness is still required of the industry and the ever increasing demand from customers. Customers want to know what is going on with their assets, data etc and gone are the days where they could be kept in the dark. If the past few years has shown us anything is that customers will not be fooled. Banks especially need to focus on changing the way they do business and making sure that their customers are at the centre of everything they do. Culture is key to this and banks need to invest in their people to ensure they have the right skill set to deal with the growing demands and changes.   
  •  Collaboration is important for banks, regulators and market infrastructures to all work closer together to drive efficiency and best practices. Banks etc shouldn’t be scared of new entrants but instead should look at ways that they can work together. Banks have been around for many years and have a wealth of experience and in contrast startups are new and innovative but lack the experience, combining the two could provide the best of both worlds. Each party could learn from each other. Will the banks look to collaborate more or will they put their head in the sand. Let’s hope that they take on board what is out there and through collaboration could create something that is powerful and outstanding and most of all something that their customers wants.

I came away from Sibos with a strong sense that technology will continue to dominate the banking landscape and that banks will need to exploit new technology to enable growth. What will be interesting to see is if the banks will adapt their business models to keep up with the changes. Blockchain was obviously the hot topic over the past four days. However will this still be the case by the next Sibos? Only time will tell.

Rachel Fraser is the Marketing Director for Oracle Financial Services Global Business Unit. She can be reached at Rachel.Fraser AT oracle.com

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