From EBRD’s forum: Innovations to be introduced after a dialogue with customers

From EBRD’s forum: Innovations to be introduced after a dialogue with customers

The banking sector has never undergone transformation on such a massive scale as the one that is taking place now. The process has become particularly noticeable in the past years for three major reasons: changing customer behaviour models, regulatory requirements and potential new players such as Fintech companies. This what Andrea Diamanti, Head of CEE Corporate and Investment Banking, UniCredit, said. He was a moderator of a panel on innovations in banking during EBRD’s Annual Meeting.

He pointed out to the fact that one of the advantages of banks in this fast-changing environment is the large customer base, established relations and trust. On the other hand, Fintech companies benefit from the rate at which they turn ideas into a product.

Now is the time for the well-established banking business to face the challenge related to new technologies and turn digitalisation into an opportunity rather than a threat”, Diamanti said. He believes that the introduction of new technologies is nothing new. However, the increasing number of competitors shifts the business focus and attention towards innovations. “It is important to introduce innovations by holding a dialogue with customers”, Diamanti added.

He quoted data according to which more than 70% of Americans under 35 and more than 60% between the ages of 35 and 55 would buy a product from a technology company. “This is a trend which may develop in Europe too”, Diamanti said.

According to him banks should not consider Fintech companies as a threat. On the contrary, they should work together in order to provide better services to customers. He believes that innovations applied to the banking business should appeal to customers.

Banking is a business designed for people. This is all the more important for innovations”, the Head of CEE Corporate and Investment Banking, UniCredit said.

Facilitating processes is a key factor to innovations. It is important that customers are offered quick and quality services which they need”, added Giovanni Lucini, Head of CEE CIB Strategy, Innovation and Commercial Planning at UniCredit, who also took part in the panel.

In his opinion, innovations themselves are not important. What is important is to have the right innovations.  He is convinced that the nature of banking has changed considerably.

Banking doesn’t come down only to services any more. It is rather a consulting business. We have to provide customers with services which increasingly cross the boundaries of a single country”, Lucini said.

Conca Selim, an expert of the Turkish DenizBank fully agreed with Lucini. According to her, a business transformation is successful if the transformation is effected from the inside to the outside.

Innovations should be corporate culture in any business organisation which wants to consider itself digital”, the expert explained. She firmly believes that a business can be regarded as innovative only if customers consider it as such.

About UniCredit:

UniCredit is a successful Pan-European commercial bank with a simple structure which provides a unique network in Western, Central and Eastern Europe to its considerable client base consisting of 25 million clients.

UniCredit offers local expertise and international coverage. It assists clients on a global scale, providing them with an unparalleled access to the leading banks of its 14 main markets as well as to those of another 18 countries all over the world. The European banking network of UniCredit covers Italy, Germany, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey.

About the Corporate and Investment Banking of UniCredit

The corporate and investment banking of UniCredit services 1500 multinational corporate clients and key financial institutions. It assists the Group’s corporate banking units, providing services to 600 000 clients from the corporate and public sector. Its international network covers 16 countries worldwide, providing access to a network of 4000 correspondent banks in 175 countries.

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