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Essential resources for banking executives:enter ‘Banking Reinvented’

Cracking the banking code: insights from the “Decomposing the complexity in EMEA” session at ENGAGE.

Our ENGAGE EMEA regional session promised to simplify the intricacies of the banking world.

by Heidi Custers

4 mins read


Our "Decomposing the Complexity in EMEA" session, brought together Backbase's regional experts and industry professionals to explore trends and opportunities in the EMEA region. Attendees gained practical insights and learned from the successful digital transformation journeys of customers.

Meet the session hosts

Heidi Custers, Digital Transformation Director at Backbase, and Backbase partner, David Schlösser, Transformation Stream Lead Client Experience at Raiffeisen Bank, kicked off the session. They highlighted the importance of earlier sessions that discussed the role of technology in banking, providing a comprehensive view that included Backbase's perspective and McKinsey's insights on progressive modernization.

The discussion swiftly shifted to the evolving market landscape, where customer experience takes center stage. Traditional banks are facing challenges keeping up with tech giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and neo banks such as N26, Wise, and Revolut. The panel emphasized the need for traditional banks to accelerate their digital transformation efforts to stay competitive.

Exploring EMEA markets

The panel delved into the unique dynamics of various markets within the EMEA region. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia emerged as a hub of innovation, while Africa presented its own set of challenges, focusing on financial inclusion and limited digital financial transactions. However, both markets shared common goals: providing convenience, customer-centricity, and affordability in their digital banking offerings.

Demystifying the complexity

Traditional banks often find themselves entangled in a web of onboarding journeys, products, and processes accumulated over the years (aka “spaghetti systems”). Untangling this intricate web became a central focus for Backbase and the change-makers in the audience.

Real-world success stories

The session continued with valuable insights from banking leaders who have successfully transformed their institutions.

Martin Horvath, CIO at 365.Bank, shared their unique approach to digital transformation, targeting a younger customer segment while migrating their conservative customer base. Their strategy focused on profitability, risk management, and simplifying products and services to meet evolving customer needs.

Gudrun M. Matitz, Head of Digital Sales at BKS Bank, highlighted their journey towards digitization, resulting in operational efficiency and an enhanced customer experience. By using Backbase's platform, BKS Bank streamlined processes, digitized account openings, and provided a seamless omnichannel experience for customers.

Minayegnan Coulibaly, CEO of GIM UEMOA, shared their mission to innovate and digitalize multiple banks in West Africa. Their goal is to bridge the gap between customer expectations and services provided by traditional banks, ensuring a seamless digital banking experience.

George Constantinou, Head of Digital Channels, Technology & Digital at Hellenic Bank, discussed their approach to digital transformation, emphasizing the importance of aligning digital strategies with the board's expectations and the need for patience and perseverance to achieve successful outcomes.

Unraveling the digital transformation maze

The session concluded with a reminder of the challenges and complexities involved in digital transformation. The insights and experiences shared by the panelists offered a unique window into real-world examples of successful digital transformations and provided actionable lessons for banks navigating their digital journeys.