Everything is changing, except one thing

06-12-16 10:06 | Digital banking | The Digital Hub

We haven’t experienced this magnitude of change in Europe in 150 years. Today, speed is king and everything is instantaneous, putting increasing demands on us and creating a new competitive landscape. As Head of Business Innovation in Transaction Banking, I’m in the midst of this confusing, yet liberating, turmoil. The only thing that has not, and will not, change is putting the customer first.

In order to better understand our customers’ needs, Business Innovation actively par-ticipates in the fintech space as thought leaders, mentors and drivers of innovation fo-rums, innovation weeks and crowdsourcing initiatives. We scrutinize market trends and share our knowledge and findings with customers and stakeholders, supporting both our own and our customers’ digital development.

When working with our corporate customers, we must ensure that our solutions and services are not only relevant for them, but also for their customers. We are no longer talking about B2B but B4B. By being relevant, we earn the loyalty of customers. Only then can we become true partners by supporting their change journey, jointly building networks and partnerships to ensure customer solutions are of the highest quality. That’s what this is all about: making the lives of all our customers easier through digital experiences that suit their needs.

I’m proud to say that we’re on the right path. In our innovation work in Transaction Banking, we aim for diversity in our team, in our partnerships with fintechs and others. We’re exploring technologies such as block chain, robotics and open API.

Within two to three years, the typical Nordic citizen will be connected to six devices, not including tablets and mobile phones. Moreover, BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, predicts that there will be more than 24 billion IoT (Internet of Things) devices on Earth by 2020, or about four devices per person. Nearly USD 6 trillion is expected to be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years, opening up many opportunities, but also some challenges, such as security. Will someone be able to hack into your fridge and gain access to your entire network (and behavioural patterns)?

What does this mean for us as a bank and for our customers? The response from dia-logues we’ve had with fintechs, partners and our corporate customers since last sum-mer is liberating. There is clearly an openness for exploring, confirming that we are focusing on the right things – being relevant for our customers.

/Sophia Wikander, head of Business Innovation in Transaction Banking at Nordea. 
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