World Retail Banking Report 2020

57% of consumers prefer internet banking in the COVID-19 era.

Progressive core banking transformation enabled by shift to platform-based models can help banks take swift action to improve innovation, growth, profits and operational efficiency

Paris, June 11, 2020 – Retail banks are facing pressure to transform as new entrants focused on customer experience gain significant market traction, according to the World Retail Banking Report 2020 (WRBR) published today by Capgemini and Efma. As the pandemic environment is moving consumers to interact more digitally with their banks, platform models offer agility and scalability during uncertain times. The report found that platform-based banks find it up to two-times easier to increase operating profits, unlock new sources of value, and improve operational efficiencies. 

The report reveals that the global financial sector is in the midst of an historic transformation as nimble, digitally native non-traditional players continue to champion customer experience and redefine long-held principles to gain significant market traction. With over half (57%) of consumers now preferring internet banking, up from 49% pre-COVID-19, and 55% preferring banking mobile apps, compared with 47% previously, the stakes have risen further as the COVID-19 context continues to move consumers towards digital banking.

The report suggests that banks need to evolve into platform-based models to fuel the growth and innovation needed to stay competitive and that embracing Open X[1] will be critical to long-term success. While COVID-19 has accelerated the urgency for digital transformation, banks may need to take a more pragmatic approach to transformation to pursue their journey towards Open X given these uncertain times.

Consumers expect a seamless digital experience from their financial providers, as they’ve grown accustomed to BigTechs[2] in other parts of their lives. Traditional banks are being challenged to meet these expectations given that digitally native new entrants focus on customer experience from day one,” says Anirban Bose, CEO of Capgemini’s Financial Services and Group Executive Board Member. “Banks that invest now in modernizing their core technology and evolve it to a platform-based experience will simultaneously delight customers and grow profitably.

COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the digital banking experience,” says John Berry, CEO of Efma. “The modernization of legacy systems must be prioritized by banks looking to accelerate their growth as customer expectations are ever increasing and those that neglect this risk falling behind.

Evolving legacy systems will transform the core

Having prioritized near-term profits over long-term sustainability, some banks have an accumulation of legacy systems in place. This situation makes it a challenge to integrate emerging technologies, which is affecting customer experience and operational excellence. Yet, despite legacy system challenges and the advantages of a modern core, banks are reluctant to take transformative action because of the levels of resource required and the risks associated with inefficient implementation.

Bank executives recognize the obstacles to moving to a platform model. The report found that 80% of bank executives cited cybersecurity and privacy concerns, outdated data management (68%) and identifying the right partners (73%) as primary barriers to moving to a platform system.

Partnership and Open X are key ingredients for transformation

Capgemini’s report outlines how banks can overcome their challenges and approach core banking transformation through strategic, integrated and collaborative orchestration. Research[3] shows that progressive modernization is the preferred evolution method (54%) among bank executives, allowing banks to upgrade the most critical functions and incrementally transform legacy systems.

Partnership is also a clear accelerant for banks’ success. Two-thirds (66%) of bank executives say it takes 1-2 years to innovate and launch a new concept when working alone; 58% reported that it takes less than a year to launch a product in collaboration with FinTechs/BigTech partners. Regulatory and compliance issues (72%) and poor IT compatibility (72%), however, are identified as barriers to effective collaboration. The Open X model acts by helping banks lower operational costs and move from a high fixed investment in IT development to a more cost-effective and flexible  cost model that incorporates specialized players in the ecosystem.

Platform models diversify sources of revenue and create a new digital ecosystem

Banks that embrace platform models can expand their market reach, improve operational efficiencies, increase business profitability and offer differentiated, personalized products and services over their traditional competitors. By shifting to a platform-based model, banks that were experiencing incremental customer growth can create new business models to monetize some of their strengths.

The report outlines three main options for transforming into a platform-based model: banks can either buy and integrate a new platform, build their own, or share ready-to-use ones. Barriers to a platform-based model include security, legacy core banking systems, outdated data management, inherent risk-averse culture, identification of the right partners and budget constraints. 

Report Methodology

The World Retail Banking Report 2020 draws on research insights from the 2020 Global Retail Banking Executive Survey, executive interviews and the Capgemini Open X Readiness Index. The report includes insights from focused interviews and surveys with over 80 senior executives of leading banks across regions.

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[1] Open X — X for eXperience — is an open platform approach in which participants of all sizes and from across industries work together. During the impending Open X era, banks determine their role (supplier, aggregator or orchestrator) based on their strengths; and they leverage third-party capabilities to provide an enhanced CX journey.
[2] BigTechs are large, multinational technology firms such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Alibaba, etc.
[3] Data from the Capgemini whitepaper developed in collaboration with Everest Global: Core Modernization for Building Future Banking Experiences – Perspectives for Mid-market Banks in North America.


About Capgemini

Capgemini is a global leader in consulting, digital transformation, technology, and engineering services. The Group is at the forefront of innovation to address the entire breadth of clients’ opportunities in the evolving world of cloud, digital and platforms. Building on its strong 50-year heritage and deep industry-specific expertise, Capgemini enables organisations to realize their business ambitions through an array of services from strategy to operations. A responsible and multicultural company of 265,000 people in nearly 50 countries, Capgemini’s purpose is to unleash human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future. With Altran, the Group reported 2019 combined global revenues of €17 billion.

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About Efma

A global non-profit organization established in 1971 by banks and insurance companies, Efma facilitates networking between decision-makers. It provides quality insights to help banks and insurance companies make the right decisions to foster innovation and drive their transformation. 120 financial groups in 133 countries are Efma members. Headquartered in Paris. Offices in London, Brussels, Andorra, Milan, Stockholm, Bratislava, Warsaw, Moscow, Istanbul, Beirut, Dubai, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, and Montreal.

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