Banking tech ‘a barrier’ to digital sales

Banks continue to face challenges when driving customer sales and acquisition via digital channels, according to a new global study published by Efma and Misys.

The survey of 185 banking professionals revealed that only 12 per cent of customer acquisition globally was conducted digitally, and 87 per cent of banks generated less than 10 per cent of their sales via digital channels – a figure that fell to less than one per cent for one in five banks.

However, respondents forecast that sales via digital channels would jump from an average of 13 per cent today up to 75 per cent in three years’ time. This meant that banks must overcome barriers to achieve this migration to digital channels, said the report, with 39 per cent of respondents citing organisational culture as a hurdle, and 26 per cent blaming technology issues on their failure to achieve greater digital sales.

Core banking systems emerged as the number one technology challenge, with 61 per cent stating they were a barrier to optimising sales performance. A third of banks viewed core systems as incapable of meeting the demands of the sales process, with 12 per cent referring to their banks’ core system as “highly incapable”. Examining the business impact of technology issues facing sales teams, and slow time to market with new products and services were found to be causing the biggest problems. Banks were also frustrated by an inability to create customer-driven, personal products and services.

Vincent Bastid, the CEO of Efma, observed: “The ambitious plans to drive the majority of sales via digital channels are unachievable in the current technology environment. Banks must develop a strategic link between digital channels and their ability to support customer experiences that – crucially – result in sales outcomes. Those banks that flourish will be customer-focused institutions, founded on core software and systems that can deliver better customer experiences as well as increase sales, all via an omnichannel approach.”

Mark Yamin-Ali, the retail banking solution lead at Misys, added: “The real issue here is core banking – banks which focus only on digital to achieve customer-centricity will have a beautiful shop window, with outdated stock. Customer-centricity must be from channels to the core. And only with core modernisation, can banks reap the full benefits of digital innovation.”

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