With all the hype around it, you could be forgiven for believing that blockchain is just another fad. Especially, since at a fundamental level, blockchains are glorified databases. However, pigeonholing this technology would be an underestimation of the disruptive potential it offers. I believe that it is poised to revolutionise business and commerce the way the World Wide Web did in the first decade of the 21st century.
Rebuild customer confidence! That’s the clarion call from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to banks in its recently released Report on ‘Making Banks Work Harder for You.’
On the face of it, the FCA’s (Financial Conduct Authority) focus on regulating the market whilst simultaneously promoting competition and innovation may seem like a Catch-22 situation for financial services businesses.
Reducing store staff to decrease costs might be the instinctive response of many retailers in the light of the recent directive to introduce the national living wage. However; this could be counterproductive says Dan Murphy from management consultancy, Kurt Salmon; in a recent RetailWeek article.
With over 600 branch closures annually, banks risk being distanced further and further away from their customers. As the banking industry continues to further shrink the branch network footprint, banks should make the most of digital and mobile channels. This will enable them to extend their reach and relationship with customers who hardly ever visit the branch office.
Charlie Munger responded to a question on macroeconomics at Berkshire Hathaway’s 2016 AGM saying, "Microeconomics is what we do, and macroeconomics is what we put up with." Brexit happened just a few weeks after – a macroeconomic reality that we all have to accept and move forward on. In this issue of iMpetus, we look at the impact of Brexit from a technology perspective.
‘May you live in interesting times,’ this expression could be representative of the UK following the outcome of the EU referendum. It was made famous by Robert Kennedy in a speech in 1966 when he elaborated on it by saying, “Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history.
Our retail trend for May is not a new or innovative idea. Rather, it is an evolution of the oldest and most common retail focus – thinking more like the customer. Except that today, multi-channel customer engagement requires different thinking. It necessitates strategies to gather customer insight based upon their random purchasing patterns. These consumers demand a seamless shopping experience, proving difficult to pigeon-hole into traditional demographic buying groups.
The recent instruction by the Competition and Markets Authority to banks on capping unarranged overdraft fees should come as no surprise. According to the banking regulator this will improve competition in the sector, whilst ensuring that customers get a better deal. Further, the BBC highlights that banks must operate transparently to create customer stickiness and demonstrate how they compare to others.
Transactional banking is no longer the cornerstone that marks a customer’s banking experience. Irrespective of whether the customer touchpoint is in a branch location, internet banking or mobile banking through a phone or tablet, customer experience is crucial to improving loyalty and driving revenue generating opportunity. Transactional experiences are no longer viable on their own to hold an effective, long term customer relationship.