The dangers of a ‘digital first’ strategy in banking

Financial marketers know they must up their digital game. But how should they go about it? If they let a “digital first” strategy become “digital only," banks and credit unions will kill their competitive advantage. Traditional banking providers must remember that "omnichannel" means more than just mobile and online. With all the talk about digital transformation, have some financial institutions gone too far?

Traditional banking providers have heard the cacophony of consultants screaming about “digital transformation roadmaps” and the importance of CX in the digital age.

And this has Andrew Stevens a little freaked out. Stevens is a banking expert at Quadient who says that the emphasis on “digital first” has actually lead to the creation of new silos at some financial institutions — something that can squelch the very momentum such projects are intended to create.

Have some financial institutions gone too far with their digital strategies? Perhaps. But if they have, at least the reasons why are understandable. After all, traditional banks and credit unions are facing tremendous pressure from digital-only entrants like Ally, Simple and BankMobile. Then there are the all-digital offshoots from major banking brands including Finn (Chase), Marcus (Goldman Sachs), and Purepoint (MUFG Union Bank).

Both these new species present a host of fresh challenges for any organization hoping to compete in the banking sector. At least those with traditional roots in the banking world enjoy several advantages over newcomers and upstarts. Among them: customers, branches, and data.


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