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#CiscoChat Recap: No More Bankers’ Hours

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How often do you bank? ?

For me, it’s a few times a week, but more frequently when I have a few bills to pay. Today, digital technologies makes checking balances, transferring money and even depositing checks an “anytime, anywhere” process using apps and mobile devices. Banks and other financial institutions that plan to stay ahead of the digital disruption must find innovative ways to transform and differentiate themselves. Otherwise, they may end up a part of the estimated four out of today’s top 10 financial services giants that could be displaced by digital disruption in the next five years or as Chris Skinner predicts, ‘see all their margin on traditional products erode in the next decade’.

During our latest #CiscoChat, banking futurist Chris Skinner (@Chris_Skinner), chairman of Europe’s Financial Services Club, joined @CiscoFSI for a live and fun discussion on how banks can make money, when everything is ‘free’. When transactions are table stakes.

If you missed the chat, the full recap is here. Below, I summarized a few of the highlights and insights. Read More »

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No More Bankers’ Hours: Join the Live Chat

“Bankers’ hours” started disappearing with the advent of ATMs in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, online and mobile access has made the transactional side of banking a 24/7, anytime, any place proposition. And that’s just the beginning. Innovative financial institutions and startups are also bringing disruptive new business models to deliver higher value banking interactions, such as financial advice and wealth management. The drive to the branch has been replaced by the drive to digital.

How can financial institutions stay ahead of this wave of disruption? I hope you’ll join me @pdjameson on the upcoming #CiscoChat to tackle that question next Tuesday, November 3rd at 1:00 PM EST / 10:00 AM PST. Together, we’ll consider such questions as:

  • In an age of commoditized transactions, how can banks differentiate themselves?
  • Where should banks focus as they seek to evolve their current business models?
  • What kinds of on-demand services do customers want?
  • What’s the key to winning wallet share of the digital customer?

Read More »

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A New Model To Innovate in a Digital World

Becoming a digital business requires transforming literally every aspect of your company, including the way you innovate. Because digital business breaks down boundaries between industries and markets—think Uber—innovating within the walls of your organization doesn’t work any longer.

The challenge is that for many years, companies have invested in creating first-class innovation organizations and capabilities. This has resulted in a mindset that innovation is best done within and not without. After all, when you spent millions of dollars creating a capability you are proud of, it’s hard to shift your approach.

Yet changing to a new model is exactly what’s required today. Further, this new model must stretch your boundaries beyond your organization’s four walls, compress learning from years to days, and increase expectations of what’s possible in that short timeframe. Read More »

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Please Hold: Your Wait Time is 4 Days

As somebody who avoids going into shops at every opportunity it was only natural that I reached for the laptop when we decided it was time to move to a new home. A mere 48 hours later an agent had visited our property, produced an advert which made us wonder why we were moving, leaving me to click a button (which I did on my phone whilst holidaying in the south of England) which put our house up for sale. Frictionless in every sense.

This new business model just ticked every one of my buyer motivations, or in this case perhaps I should say, seller motivations. I get to benefit from a quality 24/7 online sales system (where 70 percent of their sales activity occurs outside of traditional office hours when agents are closed), a fixed price sales fee which was one-third of a typical agent fee, and a speed to market which was, quite frankly, scary.

With our house up for sale we turned attention to our budget. We headed straight to our current lenders website to see how much we could borrow but where I expected to find a lending calculator, I instead found a number for the contact centre.

So I called (but I had to wait until the next day when they were open again) where I was asked when I’d like to book an appointment for? Immediately. This of course was not an option, by which time my wife was already looking at houses I was certain we couldn’t afford. Begrudgingly we joined the 4 day long queue to speak to a mortgage advisor and hoped those in front of us were more impatient.

With time to kill I picked up the laptop again and decided to visit an aggregator site to see what other mortgages were available. I knew we had a great deal from our current lender so I wasn’t particularly optimistic; after all, most people’s largest monthly expense is their mortgage and price is important to me. But I was wrong, very wrong.

To illustrate this, 45 seconds later I had completed a search* which returned 385 mortgage products from 32 different lenders. Impressive, but most of all was a price differential of only £39 per month between the first 100 products. To give that some context, of the 28 utilities companies who provide energy in our area, we could pay anything up to £46 a month more for exactly the same service depending on who we chose.

With price no longer a competing factor between so many products all regulated to perform in exactly the same way, it was time to choose a new lender who could see us at a time that suited us, not when it suited them.

This experience got me thinking about how each lender operates. On one hand you have a lender who has too much demand and is losing customers, on the other you have a lender who appears to have too much capacity which must be unnecessarily costing them. Neither feels like a good business model to me.

So where should they compromise? Well actually they shouldn’t. Today, lenders across the globe, like Nationwide Building Society is digitising the home buying process with huge reward.

No longer are their customers waiting four days (or more), neither are they employing a small army of under utilised mortgage advisors who lurk in branches waiting for the next customer to walk in. Instead, these innovative industry leaders are equipping their branches with a capability-rich high definition video solution that enables them to sell a mortgage in a single customer meeting. Achieved with a supporting shared service centre of highly productive mortgage advisors, who, with a touch of button are instantly connected to a customer irrespective of location and time.

This new digital operating model results in lenders dramatically improving customer satisfaction, increasing sales and reducing operating costs. Too good to be true? Definitely not.

Attend my session “Reinvisioning Mortgage Origination through Digitization” at NAMB National to learn how Cisco has helped financial institutions evolve their business model, leveraging Cisco’s analytics and technology capabilities, to optimize their mortgage origination process; increasing revenue and decreasing operating costs in record time.

Learn what you can do to get ready and start your digital transformation journey today.


* Sources: Search based on for £150,000 of borrowing on a property of £200,000 on a 5 year fixed rate product with a 25 year total term


The Branch: A Retail Bank’s Secret Sauce to Success

So This Guy Walks into a Branch…

I like to think of myself as a tech-savvy consumer, and that includes my banking habits. That means that I rarely step across the threshold of my bank’s branch, since most of what I need can be accessed online, or via my bank’s mobile app.

However, when it comes to complex interactions and larger spending decisions, I still prefer my local branch. What’s more, I have repeatedly gone back to the same bank as we have added new investments, even when they didn’t offer the best rate. Why? Because I value their expert advice, their understanding of my history, and, most importantly, their ability to see the whole picture — rather than just an isolated transaction.

Bank Customers Want It All

In this sense, I am not alone. The digitalization of banking has transformed customer expectations and behavior. Advances in technology have allowed customers like me to manage our own accounts remotely, from any place at any time. Yet for the more complex transactions, we still prefer personal interactions at our local branches.

Ian's blogAn annual survey of 1,000 U.S. adults for American Bankers Association (ABA) by Ipsos Public Affairs, in August, 2014 found that consumers are embracing mobile banking in ever-increasing numbers. However, in-person branch visits are still popular with many customers. Preference for branch banking had increased year over year from 2013, from 18 percent to 21 percent, and 89 percent of customers who come to the branch required advice for complex financial products.

Today’s customers expect the best of both worlds: the convenience and easy access to online banking, along with the expert advice and personal guidance from their local branch. In short, they expect a blending of the physical and virtual, a value proposition that online-only banks cannot match. Read More »

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