Are you shaping your bank’s digital future or is it shaping you?


Fabio Gasperini

EY EMEIA Financial Services Office Advisory Banking & Capital Markets Leader

Thought leader in financial services. Always pushing for innovative strategies. Striving to live life with passion.

5 minute read 29 Oct 2018

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To remain relevant in the new banking ecosystem, banks must reshape their business and operating models.  

The pace of change we are witnessing today in the banking industry is unprecedented. The banking ecosystem is constantly evolving as new players enter the market, new regulations are imposed by the regulators and institutions, and new technologies disrupt consumers’ banking expectations and perceptions. Banks now, more than ever, must redefine their business models to rapidly adapt to these changes rather than just focusing on building bigger ‘digital’ banks. 

In the past, banks typically have focused on digitizing their legacy systems to improve the customer experience, decrease costs and manage their risks. We believe banks in the future will adopt entirely new operating and business models, evolving to better face the opportunities that digitization offers.

Banks will need to define their role in the ecosystem and determine if they should provide products and services, customer experiences, or banking operations and technology. This will involve speculation and scenario analysis: what will the relevant ecosystem look like, who are the disruptors, and what are the medium-to long-term trends?

As banks take steps to define the new bank of the future, business and operating models will differ significantly. Fundamentally, banks look to increase revenues in two ways: through their customer base, which demands an exceptional customer experience; and by offering infrastructure, products and services to compete in the market. This requires a high level of efficiency at the back end.

We believe there are five ways banks can thrive in the changing ecosystem:

  1. Bank as an experience: providing a superior experience for customers
  2. Bank as a marketplace: creating a convenient and attractive platform for customers and third parties
  3. Bank as a service provider: outsourcing critical banking operations and software components to other banks
  4. Bank as a facilitator: bringing together customers and developers into a single community to boost innovation
  5. Bank as a producer: providing full end-to-end banking propositions or specific products on a white label basis to other banks

Banks that will thrive in the future will shape their models to be adaptable, and focus on where they can increase value in the ecosystem. You may make different choices for different parts of your business, but whatever the shape of the future business model you define, it should not be static. You will need to adapt it, again and again, in response to continual evolutionary and disruptive change.

It’s time for banks to reshape their business and operating models to remain relevant in the new ecosystem. Making the right decisions today is critical to create success tomorrow. 

As banks choose the most appropriate future business model, they will need to develop their change management agenda, identify gaps, and reprioritize resources. This can be achieved by asking the right questions at the start to assess how your new model and role fits within the evolving banking ecosystem.

  • What steps will you take to develop a strategy for your future banking model?
  • How will you align the investments for your chosen future banking model?
  • What performance management tools will your organization need to show where real value has been created?
  • How will you adapt an agile approach that enables your organization to take advantage of changes in the ecosystem?

Banks need to act now to reshape their digital transformation journey.

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Your digital transformation journey will depend on your role in the evolving banking ecosystem and the banking model you choose for your entire bank or segments of your business. 

About this article


Fabio Gasperini

EY EMEIA Financial Services Office Advisory Banking & Capital Markets Leader

Thought leader in financial services. Always pushing for innovative strategies. Striving to live life with passion.