Incumbents accelerate technology spending to stave off digital challengers | RadioFinance

Incumbents accelerate technology spending to stave off digital challengers

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Presenting key insights from the Excellence programme held in Hanoi in March 2023, Christian Kapfer, research director of TABInsights, identified personalisation, customer engagement, embedded finance and platform ecosystems as the key trends and best practices that industry players are focused on

  • Banks ramp up spending on technology to keep up with fintechs
  • Focus is on becoming more agile and customer-responsive
  • Market position strong amid post-pandemic rebound and fintech funding crunch

Retail financial services markets have changed dramatically in the last few years. Today, there are more than 100 digital-only banks operating across Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, while payment platforms have become increasingly entrenched in the fabric of retail financial services.

However, the assumption that digital-only banks will weaken the market position of incumbents has turned out to be premature. With the new credit and interest cycle coinciding with a contraction of funding for the fintech sector, leading retail banks, with their deep-pocketed balance sheets, have seen a strong rebound post pandemic.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, consumers have rushed into digital banking in an unprecedented wave of adoption, and traditional banks have had to double down on digital transformation and core modernisation.

Kapfer said: “The banks today have come around. They’re still on a big journey on being nimbler, becoming more agile, more customer-responsive.

“But at the end of the day, what we ask ourselves is: what does the customer need from us? The second question is the execution part. It’s already there. It’s just that the tactical roadmaps laid out based on legacy systems and operational models is still a big battle ahead.”

TABInsights recently published its 2023 global rankings for Best Retail Banks, Best Digital Banks and Best Platforms. CaixaBank from Spain topped the list with a comprehensive win over more than 20 top-tier peers, including runners-up Itau Unibanco from Brazil and China Construction Bank.

The Excellence programme administered by The Asian Banker and refereed by prominent global bankers, consultants, and academics, is the most prestigious of its kind.

Global Retail Banks Ranking 2023

BankQuality Survey 2023

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