The digital transformation journey is gaining momentum in the banking and financial industry. But when did the journey first start? As per a Gartner report, 69% of organizations believe that the Covid-19 global pandemic has accelerated the digital initiatives, 60% have increased the focus on improving the operational excellence through digital businesses, 50% have increased the focus to drive higher levels of cost optimization through digital initiatives, and 48% are investing on digital initiatives. Covid-19 may not be the sole reason for the growing digital business, but it has sparked the growth.
Banks are adopting new technologies on their digital transformation journey. They are taking every step to digitize the services and move processes online. Banks are also accommodating backend changes which is an essential step towards digitalization and supports the transformation. Any digital move is incomplete without ensuring security against scams and fraud risks. Banks initiate many digital moves but eventually strive to succeed or manage the pace. It is because they lack support or skill in many aspects, which are essential to compete with digital-native solutions. Digital transformation does not end with the integration of digital systems. It is a move that includes meticulous attention to ensuring user experience, security and performance of applications, monitoring infrastructure and more.
In this article, we will explore the objectives and goals banks and financial institutions are setting up for themselves and the steps they are taking toward the digital transformation journey.
Goals and objectives for digital transformation journey in banks and financial institutions
The digital transformation journey of banks and financial institutions did not start overnight. There was a pre-conceived idea behind such a revolution. Banks and financial institutions envisioned their goals and objectives before their journey. Let’s explore them one by one.
- Improving customer experiences
Customer requirements have changed with the passing years. Today, customer demands quick and easy solutions. They require digital solutions (mobile devices & digital apps) integrated with new technologies, improved use of data and analytics and more. It enables the customers to get the exact services quickly whenever they want them.
Consumer behavior has changed the way banks look and offer services to their customers. Banks and financial institutions are customizing digital solutions to create digital engagement for customers of different segments, based on the factors such as age, preference, location and more. Consumers have moved to digital platforms from the traditional model of banking services, which facilitates digital transformation.
Consumer’s changing needs are compelling banks to re-evaluate the services and future scope of the branch network. Banks are increasing their digital footprint by moving the branch footprint to a digital platform. They are aligning the services to meet consumer behavior and building new omnichannel sales and service models. Based on consumer trends, they are enhancing cross-channel marketing communications.
- Improving time and team efficiency
As the digital footprint is increasing, branches have lesser footfall. The banks are offering their services on the digital platform. Even the critical transactions are done using digital platforms. Organizations like banks and financial institutions are investing in the digital transformation journey and improving time and team efficiency. The investment includes expanding the talent base using training and cross-functional deployment to ensure that organization can save a significant amount of time from project initiation to completion.
Domain & application knowledge is critical to facilitating the digital transformation journey of an organization. Many organizations, so far, have been using legacy systems. Handling and managing the system workflow requires hard skills & knowledge. As the process changes by adapting to digitalization, organizations are putting more time and effort into building strong management and highly experienced project teams. Organizations are moving beyond the traditional outlook of using legacy systems. They are adopting digital frameworks to ensure using technologies to their maximum benefit.
Organizations are currently focusing on process and coverage repository. After undermining investment in tools and training for so long, organizations realize the importance of investing in tools and training. They are investing in training employees to be more skilled to keep up the pace of digital transformation. Organizations need the most effective solutions to help them with the quality product launch and faster time to market.
- Using modern technologies for maximum advantage
The digital transformation journey is incomplete without development in technologies. Organizations are harnessing the unconstrained potential of technologies and digital solutions. But it is not just about digital solutions; digital transformation involves other aspects of the organizations too.
Modern digital technologies are crucial to transforming the process of organizations. We need a solid technical team to unleash the potential of digital solutions. The entire digital transformation process includes outstanding digital solutions and a competent workforce to handle them. Thus, technology and people work together to transform the organization digitally.
The organizations aim to reduce the time to market quality products, change the approach of the operation, and deliver value to customers. The organizations are deploying new technologies in all their business areas. Banks are among the pureplay in embracing new technologies. Since increasing competition threatens the stability of the banks continuously, they cannot help but emerge much stronger digitally with time. From customer onboarding through video KYC to 30-minute paperless loan approval and virtual customer assistance, banks and financial institutions are leveraging digital technology to their maximum benefit.
- Promoting Innovation
Innovation is the key to the digital transformation journey. Organizations have come to terms that to move ahead with the digital transformation journey, they must innovate. As digital transformation and innovation are interconnected, innovation drives digital transformation. Hence, in the digital transformation journey organization must be open to an innovation culture.
Let’s consider the Pandemic scenario. As per a report, 70% of complex and large-scale organizations failed to reach their digital transformation goals. Organizations now have an understanding that it is critical to embrace innovation in the digital transformation journey. Thus, banks are changing their ecosystems by promoting innovation to drive a successful digital transformation journey.
Banks and financial institutions are changing the work culture and ecosystem, encouraging employees and consumers to try new technologies and innovations. The changing customer requirement plays a massive role in strategizing the digital transformation goals for the organizations. Technology empowers people and processes to add value to the customer experience. Hence, enterprise solutions are more innovative at the current time with the latest technologies to ensure an outstanding customer experience.
- Updating process and systems
There are many organizations which still use legacy systems. Organizations spend 75% of their IT budget on supporting legacy systems. There is only 25% of the IT budget is allocated to digitalization. One of its many goals and objectives for the digital transformation journey in banks and financial institutions is to shift the budget allocation to digitalization.
Banks and financial institutions are building strategies for digital transformation. Many banks are digitally transforming the front-end and back-end processes completely. The banks and credit unions are rapidly adopting digital solutions to keep up with the pace of marketplace changes, and many firms are moving to cloud computing and adopting agile principles. It helps processes with enormous amounts of data and insights in real-time and reduces costs.
However, some banks and financial institutions store a massive amount of data on their old legacy systems. The modernization of these legacy systems would either take longer than the anticipated time or would be impossible to migrate. Many enterprises have found solutions to this issue. They have digitalized their entire front-end process while operating a few back-end processes through their legacy systems.
As a part of their digitalization goals and objectives, organizations are integrating various technologies like Cloud computing, mobile technologies, advanced analytics, cybersecurity, etc. The strategy has enabled financial institutions to offer superior digital experiences to their customers. The digital transformation journey is more of an inside-out approach that focuses on speed, ease of use, and user experience.
- Preparing the team for the digital transformation journey
The bank’s digital transformation journey is more than using the most updated technology or digital applications. It is about how prepared you are to adapt to the changes. The banks and financial institutions’ goals and objectives are to prepare the team for the digital transformation journey.
Hence, organizations must focus on informing the team about the positive impact of adopting digital technology. The banking and financial ecosystem is changing, and technology plays a significant role in offering value proposition, greater efficiency, and higher profitability.
Steps banks are taking toward digital transformation journey
Being an integral part of banks’ transformational journey, we have seen a few steps that banks are taking towards digitalization. Below are a few instances.
- Banks have been undergoing massive digital transformation in the last couple of decades. They are transforming the entire banking workflow and moving the current manual processes into the digital mainstream across all banking verticals and multiple business portals. By now, banks have digitally transformed 40% of their banking workflow, but 60% of the workflow is still manually done. Since the effect of the Covid-19 global pandemic, banks can no longer delay their digital transformation journey. Hence, they are speedily adapting to the changes around them.
- Trade Finance has been essentially a back-office platform. However, due to Covid-19, many organizations decided to digitalize their back-office processes. Banks realized the necessity of streamlining the process to seamlessly work with front-office, mid-office, and back-office workflow transformation.
- Banks are moving all credit lending from non-system to digitalized workflow systems. Banks have introduced digital platforms to handle the end-to-end lending process, from loan onboarding and video KYC verification to the collection process.
- The banking industry is moving to the web, online applications, and mobile applications from branches. Mobile applications are improving the speed, making the process simple and enhancing user experience with continuous service.
- Banks are integrating the latest technologies like automation and AI with their online services. Many banks and Credit Unions are integrating these technologies into their service line and functions as robotics and AI technology improve the online services. It allows banks to save money, improve the solutions, and delegate their people to other important assignments.
Typically, a bank’s transformational journey is two ways. The broader categories are application upgrades and new implementation. As we were a part of a transformational journey for multiple banks and financial institutions nationally and internationally, we have executed end-to-end testing and supported the banks in their transformational projects helping them to go-live within strict project deadlines.
We follow a managed testing framework for the transformational projects of banks and FIs. From gathering functional and non-functional requirements, designing, and rescheduling projects, to managing code installations, release notes, and test data. Our process flow includes strategizing, planning, preparation, and execution. We define metrics based on defects management, test effectiveness, test efficiency, and test coverage. We also track defects, test efforts, status, schedule, risks, and issues.
Our end-to-end testing services include requirements assurance, integration assurance (application suite & system landscape), functional assurance (pre-migration & post-migration), non-functional assurance (performance testing, security, and usability), and test automation, pre-launch testing, regression testing, and testing CoE.