Majority of banks reach ‘digital promised land’

In 2019, the majority of banks have made significant progress in digitalising their retail product line, with 65 per cent of digitally active large banks reaching the ‘digital promised land’, according to Temenos.

This represents a significant shift from 2017, when the banking software company ranked the majority of banks as ‘legacy lovers’ or ‘under achievers’.

The Digital Sales in Banking report, now in its fourth year, compares the digital account opening capabilities of 60 large and representative mid-size banks in North America, Europe and Australia.

It found that within Europe, progress has been slowed by having to deal with Open Banking and the General Data Protection Regulation, “distracting banks from their digital sales projects”. It added that several banks in France, Germany and other European countries “scored very poorly”, with effectively no workable digital account opening.

The research revealed that three quarters of personal accounts can now be opened online.

Over the past three years, the gap between digital - including online desktop - and mobile has continued to shrink. Today the two are nearly synonymous, according to Temenos, which stated that it is unrealistic to offer a digital sales option that does not function on mobile.

Where in 2017 the overall digital capabilities were nearly two times mobile, today the difference is less than 10 per cent. Mobile appears to have finally gone mainstream, with half of accounts of all types available for opening on mobile devices.

Temenos also found that business account opening took its largest jump in Europe, up from 20 per cent to 38 per cent, much faster than in other regions.

Small business account opening is both the most profitable and most complex type of account for most banks, according to the report. Despite new challenges on Know Your Customer compliance for business accounts in the past year, both Europe and North America made “substantial progress”.

Elsewhere, for the first time since the study’s inception, the largest US banks now lead the world in mobile enabled personal banking, at three quarters of accounts, surpassing the perennial leader Australia.

Derek Corcoran, chief experience officer at Temenos, said: “Globally, banks that invested in digital transformation projects three to five years ago are beginning to see the fruits of their labour in the form of improved customer-facing digital capabilities hitting the market.

“With banks mostly solving only the basic requirements of digital account opening for personal banking, much opportunity still exists for banks to implement advanced retail features, as well as digital sales channels for wealth management and business banking,” he added.

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