Tuesday, September 15, 2009
As the typhoon raged over us here at Sibos last night, I couldn’t help but think of the new storm that is brewing over the western banks as we speak. The reason I thought this was that ironically the cause of this storm is here in Asia.
As an active player in the Asian market, we have been cautiously optimistic to see our Asian customers and prospects reiterating the confidence and opportunity they see ahead. These banks have embraced agility, they understand that customer service is king and devote time and energy into customer loyalty.
It is not, of course, that Western banks are ignorant of these principles. However, it is clear from discussions over the past few months, reflected strongly in the output of the first day of Sibos, that cost cutting rules the Western agenda and all else takes a very low priority.
This is a dangerous position to take that will breed opportunity for those banks that are prepared to make investments in technology to improve customer service, such as is being seen in Asia.
So my thoughts on the first day of Sibos are that Western banks need to quickly understand that cost cutting in the payments area must be balanced with revenue-generating customer-centric agility. For the up-and-coming Asian challengers, victory will also lie in embracing agility to outflank their competitors. Yes, it’s the same message but approached from two completely different angles.
So batten down the hatches, the competitive storm is coming.
Chief Product Officer