The last 3 days I spent listening and talking to some great speakers on the forefront of the digital banking revolution at Digital Banking 2016 in New Orleans. It was of course clear that the banking industry is undergoing a structural transformation with mobile as the key element. Once you got passed the usual conversation about millenniums, you heard about the real technology opportunity, you heard about the need to reach and gain adoption of all digital channels and of course the mobile race was front and center.

Incumbents face many obstacles, legacy platforms, conservative risk approach, new competences required and a cultural shift needed within the banks. Yet despite this reality there is a race, will the incumbents get innovation first or will the Fintech disruptors get scale. Keynote Manolo Sanchez Chairman and CEO at BBVA Compass message was clear, it is not fail fast it is learn fast. I love this twist, overall for us at Horizn failing has never been an option, learn fast puts you in a winning mindset.

It got very real for me as CEO of Horizn when Daniel Latimore Senior Vice President of Celent asked his high profile bank panel about mobile adoption flattening out a bit, and what were they doing about it? You see the early adopters are already in, the millennial, the digitally savvy, but the rest needed to be recruited to digital banking.

 Now the work begins, you need to be influencing the enterprise, your ambassadors, your front-line in branch or at the support center unsung hero’s who talk to your customers all day long. If they are not equipped to talk about your digital innovation and your latest products to your clients you are missing perhaps the single most influential moment in your marketing mix.

It is critical to get your marketing team aligned with your innovation. It is equally critical to get your frontline staff aligned and selling your latest digital innovation. Nobody feels the ownership of the customer like the front-line tellers. Your front-line are your digital ambassadors, whether they are in-branch or in your call centers.

So who is this digital financial consumer we are wondering, we learnt that digital customers are relatively younger then non-digital customers. Non-digital customers are older and have more tenure at the bank. Also no big surprise here but the numbers talked about spoke volumes about how critical the future of digital adoption is for everyone.

  • Digital Users averaged 1.1 more products
  • Digital users generate 10.7% more in average revenue
  • Digital bank users had 5% lower attrition then bank branch users

Overall the some of the key learnings that stood out for me came from Jamie Armstead Head of Digital Channels from Bank of the West.

  • The value of a digitally engaged customer is incrementally higher
  • Customers adopting digital banking are less likely to attrite
  • Overall engagement and transaction have risen post digital banking adoption.

The shear scale of Bank of America digital innovation and omnichannel scale as told by Michelle Moore, Head of Digital banking was a great way to close the Digital Banking 2016 event. Truly an inspiration and for sure a clear message, get everyone digitally fluent and disrupt from within or tomorrow may never come.

The Bank of America’s numbers she shared are staggering…

  • 20MM active mobile bank users
  • 297MM monthly mobile logins
  • 32% of deposits occur in financial centers
  • Mobile accounts for 25% of digital sales

A colleague of mine is fond of saying, everything is broken, it is a great time to be alive. Well maybe everything is not broken, but the opportunities for digital innovation are astounding. It truly is a great time to be innovative and to bring disruptive technology whichever side you are on.

Thank you American Banking and your team…