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The Future of Banking: Beyond Products, Towards Experiences

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The financial industry is undergoing a significant transformation. Banks are evolving from mere repositories of money and providers of loans and investments into facilitators of our financial journeys and personal assistants in financial well-being. This shift marks the beginning of an era characterized by embedded banking and deproductization.

Traditionally, banking has focused on facilitating transactions, managing money, and mitigating risks. Our interactions with banks typically occur when we need to deposit or withdraw money, apply for a loan, or manage investments. Unfortunately, these interactions often feel disconnected from our everyday lives and objectives.

Embedded banking represents a paradigm shift in our engagement with banks. With this model, banking activities become seamlessly integrated into our daily routines, often without explicit engagement. For example, Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services embed financing options directly into the online shopping experience, blurring the lines between commerce and banking and allowing consumers to access credit invisibly during the checkout process.

Deproductization, another emerging trend, involves banks shifting focus from offering multiple standalone products, such as current accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and investment portfolios, to delivering tailored services that address individual needs and goals. In this model, traditional products are hidden from the end customer and become components of a comprehensive service package, with banks managing funds optimally based on the customer’s risk tolerance, ethical values, goals, and preferences.

In this new paradigm, banks act as trusted advisors, offering solutions that optimize financial health rather than promoting discrete products. For example, instead of merely offering a savings account, a bank might automatically allocate funds towards a customer’s savings goals, invest excess cash in diversified portfolios, and provide spending insights to foster informed financial decisions.

At the heart of embedded banking and deproductization is a commitment to enhancing financial wellness. By integrating banking services into our daily lives and focusing on holistic experiences, banks are better equipped to support customers in achieving their financial aspirations—whether saving for a vacation, purchasing a home, or planning for retirement.

This evolution is further propelled by hyper-personalization, driven by exponential advances in artificial intelligence (AI). Banks can now deliver highly personalized recommendations and solutions tailored to individual financial situations, leveraging vast amounts of data to do so.

Furthermore, driven by regulatory demands, banks are becoming guardians not only of their customers' financial health but also of global financial flows. Hyper-personalization enhances customer identification, allowing banks to promptly block suspicious transactions or request additional identity verification, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, in cases of abnormal behavior. This reduces the risks of fraud and identity theft. Banks are also better positioned to detect and prevent illicit financial activities, such as money laundering or sanction evasion. However, this increased responsibility makes banks prime targets for sophisticated attacks by international criminal organizations, necessitating advanced internal security measures.

The ongoing Fintech revolution has only just begun, with much progress still to be made in fully unfolding these trends.

For more insights, visit my blog at https://bankloch.blogspot.com/

 

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