Banks are embracing innovation both internally and through third-parties such as the start-up community, as they attempt to improve customer service and compete in an increasingly digital landscape.
The finance sector has typically been conservative with regards to investing in IT to support business change, with ‘keeping the lights on’ and servicing legacy systems often priority in the past. However, in recent years banks have been forced to move quickly to meet demand for digital services such as mobile banking, while the prospect of competition from online firms such as Amazon and Google sets the bar for customer service even higher.
“We need to deliver customer service through innovation and technology, but we also need to be where the customer is going to be – that is our challenge. The world is changing dramatically, and we are trying to meet their expectations,” said Mark Culleton, head of channels at Allied Irish Bank, speaking at Efma and Accenture’s award ceremony in Barcelona last week.
“We decided that our core competence has to be innovation and technology, and to create a culture of this across our organisations.”
For AIB, part of its strategy to support innovation within its company has been the launch of The Lab – a concept bank branch in Dublin. Developed alongside Accenture and Cisco, the aim of the pop-up ‘digital store’ is to both educate customers in how to use its range of online services, and allow the bank to showcase and trial its latest technologies, such as telepresence.
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