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Essential resources for banking executives:Enter ‘Banking Reinvented’

Building the blueprint: re-architecting the future of Engagement Banking platforms

Future-proof your bank and reduce your tech debt with the power of a single platform.

by Thomas Fuss


As the late, great Warren G. Bennis said, “In life, change is inevitable. In business, change is vital.”

And make no mistake, times have changed since the first digital bank went live a few decades ago. These days, it’s essential to ensure that your bank’s customers are fully satisfied with its services — across all touchpoints and life events. That’s the key to connecting with them on a deeper level and creating life-long relationships. And if you want to maintain these relationships, you’ll need to have all the pieces in place to give them a world-class experience. Think of a Formula 1 team — every member working in harmony to create and service a powerful machine. That’s how your bank needs to function, covering everything from scalability to data security and privacy. But, of course, that’s easier said than done.

Unfortunately, legacy systems, silos, and point solutions can stifle your ability to innovate and create truly customer-centric digital experiences. And realizing a modernization vision isn’t easy. You have to agree on a shared vision and then integrate it, all while competing with different expectations from various stakeholders. When you factor in the fact that 84% of digital transformation programs fail, things start looking even more dire.

But that doesn’t mean that all is lost.

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As I explained on stage at Backbase ENGAGE EMEA, banks need to see change not as a threat, but as an opportunity. You need to seize this chance to create a new paradigm and shift to a platform model, allowing you to future-proof your bank and reduce your tech debt, all while delighting your customers and empowering your employees. Here’s how you pull it off.

One platform for all your needs

Let’s get this out of the way — a single-platform model is your key to survival in the new generation of banking. That’s because scalable, modular, configurable building blocks are the only way to get to market fast while adding instant value. That covers your foundational needs, as well as your technical needs, thanks to out-of-the-box features. And eventually, you’ll build a solid foundation for creating differentiating features. That way, you’ll remain sustainable and competitive, which is a massive advantage in a crowded market.

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It’s all thanks to these platform building blocks, which give you the flexibility to build and differentiate where it matters. By leveraging the power of open standards, robust ecosystems, and out-of-the-box capabilities, you’ll be able to crowdsource innovation, easily integrate with different technologies and vendors, and accelerate your time to market. And by making use of incremental deployments and scalable design, you’ll reduce your technical debt and lower your total cost of ownership, meaning you’ll always be ready for growth.

But a word of caution — be sure to center your digital transformation around your customers’ real-life needs, as well as your business goals. If you don’t understand what they want, you’ll get sidelined and distracted, eventually delivering products and services that no one asked for — and that few will adopt. And also keep an eye on your business goals, which you need to set early and check in on often. Over the course of years, priorities change, but your digital transformation objectives should be set in stone. That way, you’ll be able to realize a consistent, comprehensive vision without wavering or losing sight of your goals along the way.

Backbase: your partner in digital innovation

We always say you need to buy for speed and build for differentiation.

By using the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform, you’ll get to market fast with the out-of-the-box, front-end journeys you need, plus the essential back-end, open-source connectors. We’d never claim this covers 100% of everything you need, but it’s more than enough to get you going so you can begin iterating. You’ll gain instant speed, and once you’re up and running, you can build custom journeys, capabilities, and APIs — all you have to do is decide where you want to differentiate.

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The best part is that our white-label platform facilitates every single decision you may want to make. We don’t put you in a corner, and your days of vendor lock-in are over, because you should always be able to make an informed decision about your transformation journey. With Backbase, you can start where you want and begin building your flywheel, creating momentum to drive change.

The chart below is the perfect example of how it works. By reducing your technical debt, for example, you’ll boost agility and time to market. That naturally leads to lower operating costs, which will allow you to reallocate budget to value creation. After that, you’ll be able to streamline your customer journeys and so on, eventually leading back to even lower tech debt.

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But the platform is so much more than just a tech enabler. It’s also an anchor point, which you’ll need to establish early on. During a digital transformation, lots of people come and go, each with their own ideas and agendas. The platform will keep you on track so you’re not in constant restart mode, re-inventing the same thing over and over again. Your organization changes over time, but your digital transformation goals? They should be consistent. And by working with us, you’ll become flexible, agile, and adaptable, all while keeping your customers’ needs at the heart of everything you do. And that’s the kind of bank that wins customer loyalty — future-proofing your operating model for years to come.