At the same time, rising interest rates mean the era of cheap money is over. Start-up funding is getting harder to come by as investors and VCs become a lot more cautious with their cash.
Given that context, you might assume the finance sector in general would be putting tech on the back burner, and concentrating on the basics instead. But as a recent report from Deloitte points out, innovation remains an urgent priority – especially for retail banks.
What’s more, it’s these long-standing, well-established banks that are best placed to weather any coming storm, which means the next big leaps – in tech and elsewhere – are more likely to come from familiar faces than newly minted fintechs. And they’re being driven by customer demand.
As the report puts it (and it’s worth quoting in full) retail bank customers are “clamoring for a superior cross-channel experience and hands-on guidance during challenging times. These heightened demands will require banks to go beyond a product lens and create customer experiences that are data-driven, consistent across channels, and complete with personalized advice. In the long term, banks should develop inventive new applications for ESG, embedded finance, and digital assets. These efforts should prioritize empowering customers with initiatives targeting racial equity, decarbonization, and data security.”
This presents a challenge not only for banks’ product and proposition teams, but for their creative leads and partners. On the one hand, they’ve got to protect and leverage their existing brands, because it’s their very familiarity that will appeal, in times of turbulence. On the other, they’ve got to bring those brands to life in new ways, translate them into and across new channels, and use them to present new products.