I’m not sure what is going on in the UK but here in Australia online banking is the norm. I’d argue banks big and small are passionately pursuing digital innovation – something that keeps us all on our toes.
There are several drivers.
First, IT and particularly smartphone penetration is amongst the highest in the world. Banking has increasingly become a companion activity. We see this every night in our data. People sit down to watch TV and start paying bills and checking balances.
Second, banks here invested ahead of demand – especially CBA. Take contactless terminals – they are everywhere. In the US you will struggle to find them. What that means is ideas like tap-and-go payments made possible by Kaching suddenly have very broad appeal. We’ve also invested many hundreds of millions of dollars creating one of the most modern core banking platforms in the world. What this means is instant visibility into account status and real-time payments. This not only puts people in control of their money, but makes the digital world more secure and meaningful.
We are past the digital tipping point. A new world of banking is upon us – a world that will start on small screens everywhere. The key to unlocking this innovation isn’t dollars. They are important and they must flow at some point, but in reality they are realitvely small in the context of any Banks overal P&L.
The crux of the issue is culture. To fully capture the online opportunity any business needs to create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship – one that harnesses their natural strengths in things like Risk and Security — and applies them to new challenges. THe culture needs to be based on “yes” principles rather than “no”. Most importantly, it has to be maniacly passionate about customer – about surprising and delighting them.
Once the right culture is in place and tested, innovations like Kaching and the CBA property app flow. Interestingly, culture is hard to replicate and hard to compete against.
It also makes for a pretty fun place to be.