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Branches – the last word?

Well, my blog on design around  lP instead of branches created a real debate last week.  Now, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a debate and so it’s nice to finally have one online.  About time.

As I can see from the viewings, it’s also popular with you guys.  So I
have to thank readers for prodding me into explaining my thinking
in far more depth, articulation and preciseness than I thought
necessary.  But then I assumed the initimacy with financial technology
was far higher with some of the readership than perhaps it is.

I also think I need to set the record
straight, as some blogger’s have picked on my discussions and are writing about my views as though Chris Skinner believes it is all about IP and that customers, branches and processes are unimportant.  This is based upon a complete misinterpretation of my blog
entries and responses.

In other words, I do not believe any of those things.

For
example, I totally agree with the point that customers and processes
come first when you’re designing a bank.  It’s pretty darned obvious
isn’t it?  And, for those who have followed this debate and/or my blog,
I’ve always said that human interaction and face-to-face connection is
critical.  Sure, we could debate whether such interaction can be
achieved electronically versus in person, but financial services is a
service-based business and service can only be delivered by human
connections and relationships.  So yes, BPR and all that good stuff is
essential when you’re designing for your customer.   That’s why it’s
called Business Process Redesign. 

These have all been common themes of mine and, for those who know me or read my blog, are integral to my thinking. 

Some bloggers happen to ignore the fact that I have this view by trying
to put words into play that make it look as though I don’t think this
way.  Some have taken a view to position my views as being IP-focused as the
priority and first focal point, which it is not.  My background is very
firmly in the BPR camp and how to apply and use technology to innovate
and differentiate as a result.  Therefore, the focus should be upon
designing tomorrow’s bank bearing in mind that IP is the new foundation
stone when it comes to implementation.  I’m pretty sure that’s where I
started in my original blog entry.

Some points also relate to, but are totally different from, my original posting. 

My
point was around branch versus IP as a foundation for the bank, and
that IP is now mature enough to design the bank completely around this
as a foundation stone.  This is therefore all about new materials for
building a bank architecture.  Brick-based raw materials have been
replaced by IP raw material.  This is all about architecture and
implementation, and is my core debating point. 

Some blog sites point out that it has nothing to do with IP and is
all about BPR, processes, customers, service and so forth. These are
all related to my argument, as processes need to be redesigned to
service the customer across multiple channels that are IP-based.  So,
everything I’ve said relates to customers, processes, TQM and BPR, but
it is a different point completely.

This comes back to the key
question: Why are we redesigning?  Answer: because we are changing
branch foundation stones and architectures with IP ones.  The new IP
foundation stone requires a focus upon customers, channels and
services, as all of these areas need redesign using BPR and other
techniques.  This point I’ve covered extensively in the original blog entry, it’s follow-on entry, and again on Friday. 

Why
do I keep adding to this? Because I think this is fundamentally
important to the modern bank and so I want it to be clear to every
reader, including the ones who find it hard to understand.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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