Google, 21st Century Branch Banking, and the Power of the Platform

This year, FinovateFall Digital brought representatives from some of technology’s biggest players to our all-digital stage. One of these individuals was Paul Rohan, Solutions Consultant with Google Cloud.

Rohan’s presentation on the future of banking showed a connection between the evolution of branch banking and the necessary changes banking will need to undergo in order to thrive in the 21st century. He also discussed the changing nature of competition in financial services brought on by trends like open banking.

Check out our interview with Rohan ahead of his FinovateFall Digital presentation last month.

On the current state of open banking and PSD2

This is a major change in mindset because you start to realize that you could have the very best banking product with superb features and brilliant pricing. But if it’s not a part of these connected digital experiences across multiple brands that customers are increasingly demanding, it could fail. And you could have a middle of the road, not the best financial product, with not the best prices and not the best features. But, boy, if it pops up with the right context, with the right personalization, and the right customization – in these connected digital experiences – it could be a tremendous success.

On open banking as 21st century branch banking

Why did unit banks fall away and then branch banking become the norm? Because it didn’t matter how superb the staff were in the one branch you had, or how wonderful the customer experience was once they came into the branch, or how fast the decision-making was because everyone in your bank was in that one location. But if your one branch was in the wrong town, or beside the wrong industries, as things changed, it didn’t matter how wonderful the user experience was … In essence, (branch banking) started to allow customers to begin their customer journey with the bank where they were living their lives or where they did business.

On the difference between pursuing an app strategy versus a platform strategy as a financial services provider.

The sociology is quite different. In a traditional enterprise that’s quite reliant on doing everything themselves, and there’s always a human desire to innovate and serve your customers, if you do something clever to serve your customers, there is a big round of applause: “This is exactly what we should be doing.”

Companies that are immersed in the connected experiences of digital ecosystems (are) all about trying to make your partners clever. Enable them to be clever because they’ll do the customization, they’ll do the personalization. So there’s a huge amount of thought that goes into taking friction and difficulty out of your partner’s ability to deal with you, and to extend your brand and your proposition into segments you don’t want to serve yourself directly or you couldn’t serve yourself directly.

Watch the rest of the conversation. And for more from our FinovateFall Digital speakers, check out our Finovate TV YouTube playlist.