THOUGHTS

Category Scan: Retail Banking Market Updates and Future Trends

Mar 28, 2019

The retail banking industry is undergoing a wave of change. To lead the change, it is essential for retail banking companies to choose the right business strategy. Experts at Infiniti Research have engaged in discussions and surveys with top global banking leaders and several retail banking customers to gauge their opinion on the changing retail banking landscape and gain a better understanding on the upcoming trends in this sector. A fair majority of the prospects who engaged in this discussion agreed that technology is rapidly morphing from an expensive challenge into a potent enabler of better customer experience and effective operations. Despite this, attracting new customers is one of the biggest challenges facing retail banking companies today.

The article below scans the category for retail banking services in its entirety to help companies and customers in the sector to understand and stay abreast of the latest news, innovations, and market developments.

Retail Banking: Recent Innovations and Market Updates 2019

Personalization is the new normal

Personalization is gradually becoming a primary mechanism for retail banking companies to enhance their customer satisfaction as well as to increase their economic value. Customer retention is often seen to be higher at banks that understand customers’ financial needs and interact with them in ways that reflect their preferences. In an era of hyper-personalization and competitive pressure, retail banking customers expect meaningful insight and advice on demand from their retail banking partners apart from the speed and convenience of transactions.

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More local markets may close for outsiders

Traditionally restricted markets including China, India, and Korea will be joined by others in the case of restricting market share for foreign institutions through local regulation and subtle preferences wherein domestic institutions are more favored. Consequently, the ability to emerge market financial institutions to penetrate markets outside of their home countries will become limited. This can only be avoided in case the regional and bilateral trade agreements concluded over the next five years drives select opportunities for certain institutions where financial services are included in the scope of the agreements.

Branch banking will undergo significant transformation

As technology enables every aspect of online retail banking, reducing the usage of hard cash, traditional branches are slowly losing their importance. Given their high fixed cost, branches will need to become increasingly productive, or significantly less costly. Several retail banking companies have already begun cutting down on staffing, closing the most unproductive branches, and have started experimenting with new branch concepts. These trends are expected to accelerate as customer demands and expectations evolve.

However, we do not expect branches to face a full shutdown, rather they may continue to function as centers for flagship information, advisory and engagement hubs, and provide smart kiosks that offer service, sales, cash, and video contact with a range of specialists. The branch size and costs will be reduced by introducing new models and migrating transactions to low-touch digital channels. Although the human touch will always be available, digital channels are expected to dominate the future of the retail banking sector.

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Cybersecurity will be paramount

Recent cases of high-profile data breaches have generated fear and uncertainty among retail banking customers, prompting retail banking companies to undertake strict measures to curb such incidents. As the regulation over cybersecurity is rising, banking companies will need to do more in terms of intervening and keep pace with the constantly growing and changing cyber threats. It is expected that by 2020 leading banks will have developed advanced cyber-security strategies that are more aligned with their business aims, risk-management protocols, and regulatory requirements. Since many banks lack the capabilities and resources to tackle these issues on their own, such companies will partner with third parties to leverage such strategies.             

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