2022: What should Banks and Financial Institutions have on their “Things to Look at List”?

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I am never a fan of new year predictions, as the world literally moves so fast that market movements can appear in a matter of days, and the “new normal” makes that even more likely as all businesses adjust their operating models for resilience.

Over the last two years, the pandemic has shown that irrespective of what market sector you are operating in, the overall method of “trading” needs to be able to adapt as the environment changes. As a result, it has never been more important to have flexible business operations and diversified services that can help smooth out any market shocks. Also an ecosystem of partners can help with customer-centric innovation. So beyond cost and regulation, what other themes should feature on the agenda?

My Top 8 of Things to Look at in Banking in 2022

Resilience – most organisations survived the COVID crisis, but what are the measures now needed to thrive in a more federated operating model. How can more “digital first, but not digital only” approaches help to better serve customers

Crypto offerings and Payment Modernisation– scope to examine how non-traditional digital payments can drive cost efficiencies, and offer clients new services or yield. Putting payment infrastructure modernisation firmly on the agenda, as this is such an integral part of enabling inclusive banking and driving cross-sector collaboration 

Open Banking – Customer centricity still feels like an urban myth in traditional banking, so what are the options for creating “proposition clusters” with other organisations that improve the financial well-being of consumers 

People Development and Talent – With a more extensive industry agenda following the pandemic, there has never been a great need to invest in people that can help drive not only creativity but the execution of great ideas that help move the organisation forward 

Reducing Waste – whether it is process inefficiency or excessive reliance on paper-based communications, “waste” needs to be addressed to help with right-sizing cost:income metrics and improve experience. But, quite plainly, it is also better for the environment, so make 2022 the last year you do a paper elimination programme! 

Collaboration – the same mind that creates a problem often cannot fix it. It is hence vital to refresh the stock of partners that support your bank to drive fresh thinking, as well as potentially offering new services for your customers 

Embedded Finance – this needs to be considered an essential extension of the overall payment’s strategy and a new route to market. This is perhaps one of the fastest-growing areas for pan-sector collaboration, as it not only offers new growth avenues but also better margin options for banks 

ESG Offerings & KPIs – developing propositions for customers that support financial well-being and environmental prosperity. Also, the inclusion of ESG centric KPIs across all corporate functions to measure progress

I am sure I have missed off many other equally relevant themes, and there is also more to do than the time available…with this in mind, these 8 for me make the most significant difference if time and budget are a challenge.

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