Financial institution corner

BNP Paribas

Interview with Philippe POIROT (Director Digital Development, transformation and quality – Groupe BPCE)

1. What are the biggest challenges facing retail banks today ?

The early 2010s were marked by significant changes in our customers’ behavior, characterized by a greater willingness to use digital channels in their dealings with their bank. This is one of the challenges facing Groupe BPCE today: the ability to offer our customers the best possible user experience and the highest quality of service whatever the relationship channel our customers prefer. A large number of initiatives have been taken in this respect. We pay particular attention to customer relations via mobile devices as well as their relationship with advisors contributing their expertise in the area of high value added solutions. Groupe BPCE is also responding to another challenge: the need to develop new revenue models by taking advantage simultaneously of customers’ new behavior patterns and opportunities created by the regulations, notably by the Payment Services Directive (PSD2).

2. What needs to be done to meet these challenges and succeed in the future ?

We live in a world where inputs from technology combined with the search for the optimum customer experience help to develop new winning business models. The speed with which these new models can be implemented is a constant. In order to bring about these changes, our banks are transforming themselves in order to become more agile in our way of working and to take full advantage of the possibilities offered by new technology and data processing. They also want to build close working relationships with new partners with a view to offering new customer experiences through all the different relationship channels.

3. How is momentum in the fintech space impacting retail banking ?

A large number of FinTech companies are developing their activities in the banking industry, notably in the area of payments, savings and financing solutions. They are offering new types of customer experience that are frequently simple, informative and capable of taking advantage of data to offer new services that anticipate customer needs or provide them with a better understanding of their finances. We are taking these new types of experience and adapting them to our own customer relations and, in certain cases, working in partnership with these FinTech companies.

4. Are banks most likely to collaborate with, or compete with FinTechs in the years to come ?

Faced with this new environment, we think that banking institutions and FinTech companies will inevitably cooperate and work together in the years to come, and that they will do this for several reasons. Banks have acquired banking expertise, boast large numbers of customers and, above all, have won their trust. The FinTech companies have got a head start in terms of agility, speed of execution and in the creation of new customer experiences liable to generate new value. Collaboration between Banks and FinTech companies, when relevant, should enable us to create new value in our dealings with our customers.

5. What will the bank of the future look like, in your opinion ?

The future of each bank will be dictated by its ability to accompany its customers and to offer them a relationship and a range of products and services aligned as closely as possible with their expectations. The banks’ working environment will be much more open in terms of competition, where the digital dimension will be increasingly present and where human relations will make all the difference as far as advisory services and reassurance in customer choices are concerned.