How going digital is the key to financial services success

Digital innovation seems to be a phrase played on repeat these days. For the financial services sector, a rise in competition, evolving customer expectations and the ongoing pressures of streamlined operations –  among other factors – has led the industry to undergo a massive transformation during the digital era, and that period of change is still far from over.
Going digital allows financial services organisations to become more agile to all kinds of change, including:

  • Sudden switches in traffic volume between different market channels.
  • Regulatory change and compliance, including rules like data protection.
  • Emerging digital technologies like online, mobile and app-based banking.

Some of those digital technologies have already been embraced to an extent. Telephone banking was the precursor to digital enablement, and has been surpassed by online banking from desktop and mobile devices.
However, there is still a way to go. Full digital integration can allow financial services providers to offer unique account features, such as the ability to temporarily freeze a credit or debit card via a banking app, as well as basics like online authorisation of new payments. This is enabling new USPs in a sector that had previously become extremely homogeneous; it’s also allowing challenger banks to launch successfully into a market historically dominated by just a handful of very large banking groups.
But it’s crucial that financial services firms – from the smallest to the very large multinationals – keep a focus on going digital, to reap the maximum possible benefit from that agility and ability to innovate in the immediate future.

A roadmap to success

We recently worked with one of the biggest banking organisations on the planet as part of a finance and banking health check and delivery of a new roadmap for their digital services.
The bank faced pressure from newly emerging challenger banks, including some extremely nimble operators and digital-only brands.
The fintech segment was rapidly reaching maturity, while licensing restrictions were easing, making the financial services landscape much more competitive. Whereas small digital-based banks can adapt quickly, it’s not so easy for the monolithic global brands – any change is tightly controlled and coordinated, making the route ahead much more complex.
As a result, their evolving digital teams needed to transition away from a ‘centre of excellence’ approach to performance testing, and towards leaner, more flexible methodologies.

How Spike95 helped

Spike95 were tasked with reviewing their performance testing processes and providing a roadmap of recommendations for the future.
We assessed the banking group’s existing methods thoroughly, looking at a long list of issues including:

  • Assets and collateral
  • Delivery processes
  • Environments and infrastructure
  • Non-functional requirements
  • Reporting and monitoring
  • Test data management
  • Tooling

Our recommendations roadmap offered a logical path starting with some pragmatic steps to achieve ‘quick wins’ with little to no delay, and moving on to several sensible phases over three, six, nine and 12 months ahead. We worked in collaboration with our client to deliver this roadmap, so they were already engaged with the transformations we suggested.
As a result, they were able to make the smaller, more immediate changes with instant benefits, at the same time as they built the necessary additional capabilities for the longer-term phases.
Spike95 provided technical expertise and uplifted capacity, as well as mentoring the bank’s own team so they could proceed with bringing the long-term vision to fruition.

How digital transformation can help other financial services firms

Financial services organisations of all sizes can benefit from a fresh look at digital transformation, whether you are a global banking monolith or an emerging online-only operator. According to an Oxford Economics report, ‘many capital markets firms are already investing in new tools and platforms. In fact, 93% of technology executives at capital markets firms say their company has a long-term plan for technology innovation throughout the business.’
Digital transformation can spearhead a broad review of your services, with a focus on driving revenues and cutting costs in proportion to your size.
In many cases, you may discover you can revise your operating model substantially, including the number of branches you need in your network, and how many of your customer interactions can take place remotely.
You may find unexpected synergies between your digital services and the real world, allowing you to enter new geographic markets in locations you previously did not consider, or launch new and unique services as customer demand becomes apparent.
This reflects back on your workforce too, as you can create more specialised roles and ensure your employees have the necessary skills for those roles, whether through recruitment or retraining.
All of these outcomes depend on the quality of your software, including not only its user experience for customers, but also the data it delivers to you.
Spike95 provide the deep technical testing required to ensure digital platforms work as intended and maximise the benefits for organisations in the financial services sector and in related markets like insurance and investment.

Turn around your current financial systems for the better by speaking to Spike95 and let us show you how we can accelerate delivery and improve the performance of your business today.