Banks and the banking business are on the edge of profound change. This is the primary finding of the newly released “Bank & Zukunft 2015” trend survey. Only a fifth of the executives and managers surveyed still anticipate business to take a positive direction in the next four years. Despite this, banks continue to drag their feet when it comes to implementing innovative business models in order to tap new areas of revenue.
The 2015 edition of Fraunhofer IAO’s annual “Bank & Zukunft” trend survey reveals uncertainty among bank directors and managers. Following years of optimism, it has become clear to decision makers that the status quo won’t hold for much longer. Falling revenues in established business, increasing regulatory conditions as well as decreasing customer loyalty are already causing difficulties for many institutions.
Despite this growing pressure, banks are still far too hesitant to make the necessary changes. The results of the IAO survey show that, once again, decision makers today focus primarily on cutting costs with the aim of achieving the related efficiency KPIs in the short term.
Yet this unilateral focus on costs leads to an erosion of the basis for long-term growth and is thus often counterproductive in the long run. “Right now, too many decision makers are still shying away from adopting innovations that would give rise to completely new business models.
In doing so, they’re letting the competition get a jump on opening up new sources of revenue and occupying them over the longer term,” warns Claus-Peter Praeg, who, as part of the Banks & Future innovation network, has been observing the development for years now.
Digital ecosystems offer opportunities for new sources of revenue
Focusing on the topic of banks and the digital economy, the 2015 trend survey presents banks with various ways to break away from the downwards spiral triggered by a pure focus on costs. The increasing digitalization of daily life – for both private as well as commercial banking customers – opens up new roads to lucrative banking. “There’s no shortage of opportunities. What’s in short supply is the courage to step off the beaten path and try something different,” says Praeg.
Doing so is inconvenient and risky; it also requires managers and employees alike to be willing and able to adapt. “Banking must be transformed if it is to once again live up to the important role it plays in the lives of many people,” says Praeg. Digital ecosystems offer banks excellent opportunities here for offering brand-new customer experiences in banking services, which will allow them to successfully operate on the market for the long term.
Findings to be presented at the Banks & Future conference in October
Copies of the Bank & Zukunft 2015 trend survey are available now in the IAO shop. You will have an opportunity to discuss the survey with its authors as well as banking experts at the annual Banks & Future conference in Frankfurt am Main, October 7-8, 2015. The event is organized by Fraunhofer IAO in cooperation with IBM and Commerzbank.
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Juliane Segedi | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
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