But let’s be honest, there are only a small number of institutions that can claim such a position. It’s like a bicycle race where we have the leaders at the front of the pack, whilst just behind them are the peloton, a group that takes advantage of their position of remaining close as a group to the leader pack but would need to frantically make a break to catch the leaders (but unlikely to do so). In Transaction Banking, the peloton is filled with banks that have tried to make that sprint to join the lead pack, they have worked hard, spent hard, but have ultimately failed and are in the precarious situation of falling out of the peloton completely.
Which brings us to the current disruption point in the industry. There is a foundational shift in how banks will work in future. The large global transaction banks will continue in their leader pack, pushing innovation and continuing to drive forward, but that following group, the peloton, need to look again at their core strengths and how they can take advantage of their position and be the leaders in their markets. The local and regional proposition is what made them strong in the first place, and it is this that will once again help them prepare for the future.
Technology can certainly be a supporter of future growth, but it is doing the core business well and giving customers what they need that will make the bank great again.
Over the next 10 weeks I will be looking at 10 different aspects of Transaction Banking and what it means in that move from good to great. I’ll re-examine some of the strategies that have caused some of the pain that banks face today, and how they can be avoided in the future.
With new markets now open for business, small to medium enterprises are now the driving force of the customer base and with BRIC being replaced by MINT as the darling on the world, it is more important than ever that banks know what they want to be, and have the plans in place to get there. So no matter where you are in the race, it’s time to take a deep breath, look at your map, and find your path to becoming a leader.