The new word of focus, as proven by research, is omniaccess. Forget omnichannel.
We just performed a short survey about the views of banks and FinTechs regarding the pandemic, sponsored by Oracle. The results are out today and here’s the summary:
- 48% believe the change from physical to digital is here to stay
- 47% believe we'll get back to normal within the next 12 months
- 41% said the old normal is gone and things will never be the same
Within the banks that were surveyed:
- 71% had issues, especially the need for staff to work from home
- 66% had challenges with their technology structure
- 50% are focusing on technologies such as Cloud, AI, APIs and Mobile
Probably my stand-out is that, of the banks:
- 28% said these past months massively changed their view of physical vs digital
- 43% have permanently changed their strategy
For the 2010s, many talked about omnichannel. I always rebelled against this phrase as I hugely dislike the use of the word channel. Channels are what we added to our old infrastructure and, in today’s world, is like the word record or tape. We used to record and tape things; today we stream and watch. We used to have channels; now we have access. Omniaccess to a common data core, shared by all. Nothing to do with adding extra channels to an old, fragmented system.
If we look at banking in the 2020s as omniaccess, not omnichannel, were banks ready for this? Were they truly digital when the pandemic happened? If they weren’t, how can they become truly digital with omniaccess?
I’ve spent a long time talking digital and, in 2020, we were all forced to be digital. Many of us didn’t like it, but we had to do it. Some resisted but, as some who know their science fiction, resistance is futile. During this pandemic, if you weren’t digital, you weren’t relevant. If you were omnichannel, you weren’t omniaccess. If you don’t provide consistent access to a digital core non-stop real-time, you are irrelevant.
Knowing this, we have several groups of companies who have faced the challenges. Those who depended upon physical connections – airlines, shops, retailers, entertainers, theatres and so on – have seen their businesses shut-down. They basically could do no business until people could gather and connect once more. Those businesses geared towards digital connectivity – logistics and delivery firms, online stores and retailers, online streaming and entertainment and so on – have flourished and been incredibly successful, with share prices doubling, tripling, quadrupling or even more in the past year.
In financial services, we had four groups of companies. Banks that were ready and banks that were not; and FinTech firms that were well funded and those who were not. In both cases, the latter groups would struggle immensely whilst the former groups would eat their lunch. Is that what happened? Is this the state of today’s nation?
To find out, we surveyed the world to see how the crisis was affecting them and whether they had adapted to be truly digital in the past year. Here are the results along with a few comments both from survey respondents and industry observers.
You can download the report here.
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Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.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...