Customer-centric bank
03 November 2017

This article was published in the November 2017 IT for Finance Special of the Netzwoche.


Services and products of local financial institutions hardly differ anymore. The forward-looking bank can not help but take on the customer journey. Digital customer portals are very trendy against this background. But customer centricity at the front is only successful if the organization's underlying structures are modern, flexible and highly scaled.


In the digital age, the customer has to be the center of attention. Because he is not interested in actual bank products - he is more concerned with the realization of individual needs. Today's banking structures allow personalized advice only to a small extent. The causes are manifold. The customer advisor lacks the time and the right digital tools to provide customer-focused advice. With a "digital customer portal" financial institutions can remedy the situation and offer the end customer a contemporary customer experience along the customer journey.


The decisive factor here is that the digital customer portal is not only used at the front, but is also used within the bank. Client advisors as well as middle and back office employees all use the same "digital capabilities" as the customer. This ensures uniform processes, a common understanding between customer and bank, and above all a coherent view of information and data. The digital customer portal unites the individual interests of all those involved and thus acts as a hub. While one ecosystem is dedicated to the needs of the customer, the other focuses on the client advisor.


Consistent digitization of the organization


A unique and modern interface with the customer therefore requires consistent digitization across the entire value chain. The success of interaction at the front is therefore dependent on a modern, flexible and highly scaled organization operating in the background. But transformation at the front is by no means equal to transformation in the back office: the drivers as well as the procedures differ significantly in the two areas. While the front-end transformation is about the customer, back-office drivers are tools, products, and processes with agility, flexibility, and scalability. In summary, the back office is concerned with ensuring perfectly functioning, well structured and highly industrialized banking capabilities. These can be developed, offered and operated both by your own organization or by third-party providers. For banks, in the age of digitization, nothing less than that
Link between a customer-centric portal at the front and reliable and calculable banking capabilities in the back office.


For a successful transformation across the entire bank, we recommend considering the following experiences and best practices:

  • Success requires courageous investment in transformation.
  • But before money is allocated and spent, the strategy and the organizational structure have to stand.
  • Management needs to be involved from start to finish, ensuring clean governance.
  • Digital is always teamwork.
  • The necessary cultural change for a successful transformation is not negotiable.
  • Successful implementation requires planning with milestones; Within the plan, resources are allocated to the respective project streams from the beginning.
  • Implementation models are agile and defined by a Balanced Score Card.
  • The training of employees, especially those at the front, is decisive for the outcome.

Author: Aniello Bove, CEO and Partner, andrion

Netzwoche - Kundenzentrierte Bank