Speaking at the Annual Retail Banking Technologies Summit 2018

Why Digitalisation is much bigger than Digital? Digitalisation will fundamentally change how we interact with our customers and more important, how they will interact with us. The journey has already started and is accelerating quickly. What defines successfull digitalization? In a future world where everything might be connected, automated, and always accessible, differentiation among banks will become more challenging.


I had the honour to speak at the 2nd Annual Retail Banking Technologies Summit in Vienna, hosted by the Allan Lloyds Group. The essentials from the publication are below, which I hope are valuable as a reference guide for your own digitalisation journey. 


What are the key ingredients for a successful digitalisation journey? Let's look at each ingredient a bit closer:




  • Demand for digital channels is increasing fast. It is a result of generation mix and shift in habits. Bank branches are still popular but declining in its current form (half of bank customers have not visited a branch in the last 12 months...and further declining).
  • Ecosystems are essential. Single solutions are exchangeable. Ecosystems provide a holistic experience and lock-in if done right.
  • Convenience versus security needs a close look. Security is expected but needs to be as seamless as possible. Most convenient security is almost invisible to the consumer.




  • Digital touch-points cut through traditional processes. Redesign of processes and services required. And new evolving touch-points will require further redesigns.
  • Customer journeys are critical and need review. Digital and physical/human world need to be interconnected. Information hand-over and consistency are key.
  • Observing/partnering with FinTech to foster innovation, but not only. Innovation is also born within an organisation and beyond startups -> look left and right. Technology is enabler, but it's more than that (think Uber, Netflix or AirBnB. It was not about technology).




  • Internal Digitalisation is important but only the beginning. It leads to internal efficiencies, improved cost structure and frees up resources for other tasks. However, for external customers it is visible only indirectly or not at all.
  • Not just shifting value, adding value is important. Additional value from the customer's point of view matter. Clients still appreciate the human touch, which will be even more valuable in the future.
  • Simplification is perceived as added value. People suffer from complexity fatigue. Simple is better, easy wins.




  • Digitalisation takes a lot of time and effort on top of daily business. New customer journeys need changes in process ownership. Breaking silos is required.
  • From perfect solution-design back to Minimal Viable Product (MVP). Improve time to market and investment risk through launching a few key features fast. Learn from customer usage and further develop where demanded.
  • Cultural shift is required -> this is the hardest part. Culture is the result of beliefs, behaviours, rules, reward, punishment and formed over a long period of time. If you apply the same behaviours, rules and rewards like in the past, you will get and retain the same culture for the future.

A digitalisation strategy requires more than digital and needs to combine all three ingredients (digital touchpoints, connected end-to-end processes, additional customer value)  in order to provide a sustainable experience for consumers. I think we have a fascinating time ahead of us with many challenges but also great opportunities.


Chris Frey @chrisfrey.com