DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE BANKING INDUSTRY, Part 3

  (Source: East Japan Railway Company)

Leverage Digital Technology

In the banking sector, players should strive to become trailblazing purveyors of financial services that leverage digital technology.

There are areas in the banking services value chain where firms should work independently to generate unique, in-house, high-value-added services and products; there are also areas where banks stand to benefit by collaborating with other firms to drive down costs. Also, firms should consider collaborating with other firms to leverage economies of scale and economies of scope, parlaying cost centers into new profit centers, and securing a role in the industry infrastructure.

In actual operation, after deliberating and implementing such initiatives, big-data analytics and the automation of all processes will prove the most important. Here as well, a shift to a modular supply structure will be required, and a critical factor in determining the success of financial institution management will be alliances — namely, how adroitly firms partner with other entities.

In Conclusion

Celent offers the three points below as food for thought and policy prescriptions for modernization in the banking industry.

1. Technology as a driver of growth:

  • Look for ways to pioneer new segments through the use of technology without fixating on the segments that have been your bread and butter up to this point.
  • For example, robo-advisors can be used not only for mutual fund but also for insurance products sales to retail customers. Bancassurance and alternative distribution channels should also be driven by robo-advisors.

2. Vertical disintegration:

  • Prioritize finding the sweet spot for cost and risk and revisit and rethink your processes (such as vertical integration and/or internalization, and the use of horizontal division of labor and/or outsourcing) across the board.
  • For example, enhancing the agility of new payment product research and development might be achieved by vertical disintegration of banking business into payment services discovery, development, and marketing organizations.

3. Industry-wide priorities:

  • Place top priority on initiatives to raise financial and IT literacy among customers.
  • Actively seek to leverage monetary policy and system reform as business opportunities; avoid a passive approach to system reform.
  • Rebuild the industry value chain through methods of modularization, specialization, and integration.

Legacy modernization in the banking industry is much more than simply the application of novel technology. Rather, it portends nothing less than a structural overhaul of the banking industry, an opportunity to envisage anew and redefine the industry’s future. There can be no doubt that this transcends the mere establishment of a digital channel; rather it will certainly impact products, services, IT units, and sourcing models, and, in so doing, provide the banking service providers of the future a chance to seriously consider exactly what kind of companies they would like to be and the corporate cultures they would like to foster.

Celent perceives legacy modernization in the banking industry as instigating change at a fundamental level, in both business execution and organizational structure. Moreover, this transformation promises to have legs and vast implications that will play out over the long haul. Legacy modernization is much more than just new technology and it will have sweeping implications.

 

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Related releases:

Legacy Modernization in the Japanese Banking Industry, Part 1

Legacy Modernization in the Japanese Banking Industry, Part 2

 

Digital Transformation of the Securities Industry in Japan and Asia

Modularization of Industry

Industries across the board are undergoing structural change. This change extends beyond individual firms and spills across industrial sectors. Other industries that have been exposed to the tide of technology-driven structural changes have through the process harnessed technology to be reinvented as new industries befitting this evolution in industrial structure. The financial industry traditionally has been far from the vanguard of this change.

The proliferation of the Internet and digital technologies is only accelerating the evolutionary modular shift across all industries. This stands in stark contrast to the traditional non-modular, vertically integrated structure (that is to say, the antithesis of a modular structure, where all the products and services are provided through and within one exclusive value chain) that the industry has historically embraced.

However, disruptive new market players have visibly forced conservative, existing entities to begin to seek new approaches; at the same time, regulatory authorities have also started to embark on establishing a new, more robust system for regulating the financial industry.

The Securities Industry of the Future

The securities industry can be regarded as the first sector in the financial industry to have embarked down the path of modularization. A major area that has been involved in this first step toward modularization has been mutual funds.

In the closed model era of brokers and mutual fund firms, which was the norm until the 1960s, mutual fund firms would outsource sales to securities companies (full service brokers). Then, the market witnessed the emergence of no-load funds starting in the 1970s. This era was characterized solely by diversification of sales methods, and was entirely absent changes to the closed model that covered planning, manufacturing, and sales. Finally, change descended on the market in the form of the mutual fund supermarket revolution. Metaphorically speaking, this approach was akin to companies putting mutual funds on the shelves of a supermarket and charging commissions only for the products sold. The interface between mutual fund companies and securities companies opened up, with this the creation and sales components were decoupled and functionally modularized.

The Role of New Technology: Robo-advisor

Robo-advisor initiatives can be expected to accelerate the speed of advances in modular demand structure. Presumably, coming delivery channels will seek to optimize information and investment expertise provided, driven by approaches that respond to the needs of investors by sometimes providing "automated advice" and sometimes harnessing brokers as "a human support mechanism.”

In Japan, megabanks, startups, and dedicated online brokers are all jockeying to leverage their strengths in a way that accords them the most advantageous position possible. Their robo-advisor initiatives so far largely appear tailored to support the sales of mutual funds. As easy-to-use, non-face-to-face channels, they are garnering interest from investors with a level of comfort with IT and a degree of financial literacy. Moving forward, further advancements that draw on both the asset management facet and technology are expected in the 4 areas; diversity of products, diversity of services, automation, accommodating B2B.

Excluding Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, Asia is a fragmented market for retail investors, and therefore it’s still inaccessible. In addition, such markets as Taiwan and Korea are showing an increase in home bias. Thus, how the robo-advisor business thrives in the Asian market will depend on its distribution dynamics, along with its asset growth potential and product development.

Legacy modernization in the securities industry is much more than the application of novel technology. Rather, it portends nothing less than a wholesale structural overhaul of the securities industry that is an opportunity to envisage anew and redefine the industry’s future. There can be no doubt that this transcends the mere establishment of a digital channel; rather it will certainly impact products, services, IT units, and sourcing models, and, in so doing, provide the securities service providers of the future a chance to seriously consider exactly what kind of companies they would like to be and the corporate cultures they would like to foster.

 

Related releases:

Legacy Modernization in the Japanese Securities Industry, Part 1

Legacy Modernization in the Japanese Securities Industry, Part 2

Fintech and Robo Advisors: Booming in Japan

Legacy Modernization in Japan’s Financial Industry, Part 2: What the Auto Industry Can Teach the Financial Sector