Don’t get left behind: unlock competitive advantage in banking and payments

31 July 2023 | 15 Shares

From technological advancements to changing consumer preferences, the banking and payment industry is evolving rapidly. While exciting, its dynamic nature can make it challenging for banks and non-banking financial institutions of all sizes to keep up.

It becomes crucial for institutions to compare their strategic priorities, product roadmaps, and plans for future innovation against their competitors. These valuable insights into market trends, customer demands, and emerging opportunities allow them to make informed strategic decisions.

For example, a 2022 report from Bottomline revealed that 66% of banks and financial institutions (FIs) think that compliance and RegTech will become more important over the next year, and 87% thought it would be somewhat or very challenging to remain compliant.

This knowledge allows executives to make the right decisions regarding resource allocation and investment in technology, helping them meet regulatory requirements effectively. If this isn’t prioritised, companies face significant challenges with compliance, potentially exposing themselves to regulatory penalties, reputational damage, and loss of customer trust.

Benchmarking against peers enables banks to identify areas of improvement and best practice. Analysing successful institutions can help them identify gaps in their operations and implement necessary changes to enhance efficiency, customer experience, and overall performance. The process fosters innovation in the industry and boosts the institution’s growth.

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The report from Bottomline, which surveyed  more than  500 banking and FI players across Treasury, Fraud, Operations, and Product at C-suite level in 34 countries, revealed that 64% view digital transformation as their biggest focus, with 27% of banks and FIs specifically identifying the need to address legacy payments infrastructure as a priority. Those not prioritising technological updates – like integrating a SaaS communication platform to reduce data silos and improve customer experience – may fall behind in the future.

In most industries, surprise outcomes are a hindrance to a competitive business. Keeping abreast of the latest developments and having a healthy insight into what is around the corner is essential to remain a key player. Being unaware of the latest shift in customer expectations regarding fraud protection, for example, can mean competitors meet demand, and create a drop in your company’s revenue.

To alleviate this danger, leverage benchmarking activities, like taking the annual survey from Bottomline. After answering just 12 questions (it takes  around 5 minutes only), you will receive a personalised comparison of how your strategy and pain points compare to those of your peers in banking and payments.

Once the survey is completed by what’s expected to be more than double last year’s participant numbers, you will receive a comprehensive report highlighting insights from the full data picture.

The 2022 report showed that the top priority of most banks and FIs was real-time payments, an increase of 15% from 2021.

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Zhenya Winter, the Head of Financial Messaging Marketing at Bottomline, said the increased interest in real-time payments can be linked to schemes and mandates such as SEPA Inst and SIC IP, which provide more accessible access models for banks and FIs. A good example would be the UK’s New Payments Architecture and Europe’s Target2, which champion  how real-time payments can provide new revenue streams by using digital overlays and, of course, meeting customer demand.

Winter said: “The business case for real-time is no longer in doubt, whereas previously, banks were concerned about having enough volume and value to justify the spend on implementation.”

Riccardo Colnaghi, the Head of Business Development at Solarisbank AG, agreed. “Not adopting real-time payments would mean ruling out the upfront opportunity to join a wider set of longer-term payment trends that are likely to be key for future competitiveness.” Indeed, 54% of survey respondents said they have either completed planning and want to start implementation or are already ‘live.’

The report also highlighted that many banks and FIs consider prioritisation in a busy roadmap the biggest barrier to adopting real-time payments. In 2022, financial institutions were caught up with maintaining regulatory and industry compliance, and educating customers on new digital platforms implemented since the pandemic. With access to this kind of insight, you can take advantage of the shortcomings of your competitors to stay ahead.

Can you afford to fall behind your peers’ strategic priorities, technological advancements and innovation? Ultimately, having access to industry insights provides an essential competitive advantage and the opportunity to stay at the forefront of the banking and financial landscape.

If you want to take advantage of a personalised comparison of your business against its competitors and get access to the full 2023 report, take the Bottomline survey today.