Add value and reduce effort: a game plan for platform-based business success

Tim Rutten of Backbase opened the day with a look at the era we are living in – the 4th industrial revolution. He examined the implications this has for business models and outlined the characteristics of traditional, platform-based, and hybrid business models. We got to compare the linear, yet finite growth trajectory of traditional businesses with the unlimited scalability of platform-based ones.

Fast growth from aggregating the value of others, combined with a low cost base makes the sky the limit for platform-based businesses. They also get to keep customers interested with a stream of new products and improvements. Tim illustrated how digital customers offer higher income levels, lower acquisition and servicing costs, and higher engagement levels. Profitability may be slower to arrive, but when it does, these business models are seriously competitive. Banks simply must experiment with them. Getting digital to the core, having the right technology in place, and being obsessed with the customer are key factors in making the necessary changes along the way.

The leap into digital

AIB then took the stage to recount their leap into digital, which delivered a prominent digital footprint in the consumer banking space. Keenly aware of the importance of the SME sector in Ireland, they wanted to replicate this success in their business banking. There were significant challenges, including an old legacy setup and strict open banking regulations. AIB overcame these hurdles. They figured out how to add agility and a deep focus on customer needs drove their actions. These efforts made them first in the world to have certified open banking to global standards. AIB continues to co-innovate, co-create and change path with Backbase as part of a successful ongoing partnership.

Creating the bank of the future

Sofia Flores and Claude Botes of Backbase showed us how Backbase, even out of the box, can easily deliver sophisticated mobile apps. Customers can do things like change withdrawal limits, block a card and unblock it again – all in a few taps or clicks. Personal finance management is easy with smart dashboards and tools that help people see and manage spending and cashflow. At the backend, we saw how Backbase connectors reduce friction in connecting to the core or to third parties, freeing banks to focus on their internal integrations.

Serving tomorrow’s customer

Jelmer de Jong of Backbase showed us what happens when a bank puts the customer at the center of mobile experiences. He noted how crucial it is to look at every step of the customer journey – for today’s and tomorrow’s customers. We looked at how smart rules and machine learning offer insights on customer behavior, which banks can use to target rewards or predict needs. These technologies also give end users information and insights to improve their financial lives. Pim Koorn and Sachin Mukesh of Backbase took us through SME and Corporate Banking, sharing visions of smart CFO mobile apps, card management and more. We saw how staff can serve customers with clear simple screens that match those of end users. Some items on the business banking roadmap were highlighted, like enhanced finance management, cash flow, and 3rd party integrations.

The best way to predict the future is to help create it

When the world’s second largest credit union began its digital transformation, they found the in-house development to be endless. In the end they sought a technology partner to drive progress – looked beyond the US – and found Backbase. Along the way they dropped ‘waterfail’ in favor of agile methods. They took on a huge training program, major organizational culture change, new tools, processes and approaches. What started out as building an app created a whole new way of working. State Employees’ Credit Union moved into the digital arena in record time and technologies such as biometrics are part of the roadmap.

Facing the facts

Gregor Neumeyer and Roger Baumann of Uniqa Group saw that they needed to respond to impending competition. They had a vision to help customers throughout their life and needed to get to a new digital level to do so. That meant building the right platforms and channels – it basically meant changing everything. They took up the challenge and in the end transformed from an insurance product provider to a service provider. They managed to open up to other players, launch a chatbot, mobile app and a portal – all done with user research and testing firmly at the forefront.

The launch of Backbase Identity

Morgan Williams and Niels Mouthaan of Backbase demonstrated the latest identity and access management tools. We got insights on how people use smart technologies like biometrics to identify themselves. We saw how the mobile phone is used as an authentication device to access mobile and web banking. Customers can bank from any location at any time, and in complete security because Backbase Identity does all the heaving lifting in the background.

Transforming to grow

Siegfried Cougé and Michael Delsaut-Scherens of bpost bank brought us on a journey. We went from their early ambition to become omni-channel and future proof, to the resulting success story. Burdened by a legacy system that didn’t support their goals, they entered an RFP process. Backbase was selected because it was an open solution, so adding functionality was easier, as was reaching out to third parties. Within a year, bpost bank went from silos to unified omni-channel. They can build once, and deploy the same functionality across different channels. Some success factors were outlined for such a project, including getting people on board, having a keen focus, and communicating frequently.

The power of the cloud

Bruce Schilder and Jesse Honigberg of Sterling Bank talked about the power of the cloud and the almost infinite scalability it offers. This bank has reinvented itself into a portal, built on digital capabilities, with continuously improved digital experiences and superb omni-channel. They brought us through the ecosystem they use to deliver superior experiences, while getting things done in a cost-efficient way. A key pointer was the importance of getting the leadership team to understand they are buying into a strategic approach, rather than just a solution out-of-the-box.

Digital acceleration in wealth management

Joris van Dongen of Capgemini and Yvan Pirenne Group of Degroof Petercam discussed the optimal balance between physical and digital service delivery for high net value clients. Degroof Petercam managed to make onboarding completely paperless in a sector where form filling was the status quo for decades. Documents downloaded online, rather than sent by post, or push notifications that deepen customer interactions – creating benefits like this meant re-shaping and digitizing processes, one step at a time. The bank also moved to the hybrid cloud. They got the mix right and the results have been impressive.

The Backbase Partner Awards

Backbase recognizes the valuable contribution of all its partners, from solution partners right through to execution partners. All add pivotal value, in areas like creating optimal solutions, or building a foundation to grow in a region. Backbase identified some partners who stood out throughout the year. IBM, Comtrade Digital Services, PWC, Orbium, Bring Global and Capgemini all took the stage to collect their awards, after which a drinks reception rounded off another inspirational day.