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Essential resources for banking executives:Enter ‘Banking Reinvented’

Disrupting the private banking landscape

Private banking clients require specialized guidance to assist them in achieving financial goals


Private banking clients require specialized guidance to assist them in achieving their financial goals. They also need help to access a variety of services, such as customized credit solutions and services, deposit and financial services, and bespoke guidance based on their financial priorities. This is the hallmark of private banking and wealth management. However, the ever-looming pandemic has exacerbated preexisting challenges in terms of evolving client needs and the role of digital transformation in private banking.

Challenges to the traditional private banking model

Seamless customer journeys: The impact of COVID-19 has accelerated the need for seamless, technology-supported customer journeys. A customer’s banking relationship includes key experiences that range from onboarding and transacting to maintenance and problem resolution. But regardless of the experience, banks must take care to create a consistent, frictionless, value-added experience for customers across all lines of business.

It is always important to curate a seamless customer journey for each and every user, no matter the size of the customer base. Global, multi-asset investment platform eToro sought a technology partner that would allow them to continue to grow and meet their evolving customer needs. The introduction of Backbase’s Digital Sales solution enabled eToro to deploy a fully digital, seamless account-opening experience across its entire user base.

A seamless customer experience can be worth at least as much as a superior product or efficient process. These journeys are no longer solely dependent on relationship managers, with the importance and impact of digitization moving from mass consumer banking into the realm of private banking.

Disruption through digitization: We are in the midst of a technological revolution. Traditional financial institutions are racing against time to embrace digital offerings that were first introduced by fintech disruptors. However, it is essential that digital transformation journeys are holistic, taking a long-term approach.

The question remains: how can private banking tread the fine line between customized, high-touch services and the conveniences of digitization? At Backbase, we strongly believe in leveraging technology to bring value to private banking clients, worldwide. Our partnership with Berenberg, one of the world’s oldest banks, showcases the vitality of technology by utilizing a state-of-the-art stack.

With our help, the bank was able to develop an omni-channel Wealth Management Portal that ultimately focuses on enhancing the services provided by its relationship managers. As a result, Berenberg achieved 75% digital utilization for its wealth management clients.

Personalization through tools and technology: Private banking clients are now embracing digitally enabled remote solutions and are increasingly open to private banking journeys with remote human assistance, as needed.

However, customers can easily become sceptical when things go wrong and they don’t have access to a human representative. Swiss bank BCV needed a solution to enhance its digital proposition and client experience. To help them, we used the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform, a solution customized to provide value-added features.

The platform allowed BCV to create a product that meets its wealth customers’ unique needs. It also includes customizable security and integration layers for the BCV development team, as well as a remote access feature which allows the bank’s relationship managers to view the software in the same way as a wealth client. This allows them to personally assist the client with both investment decisions and use of the technology.

At the end of the day, there is no one size-fits-all solution to truly disrupt the private banking landscape. Financial institutions must rapidly reimagine their offerings and start delivering a remarkable client experience powered by top-tier technology. Engagement with customers should be the heart of every digital transformation strategy, as it is vital to establish an underlying connection across all interactions, life events, and touchpoints. To create differentiation, private banks must look to continuously improve every aspect of their digital journeys, ensuring the overall experience is as frictionless and customer-centric as possible.