Getting the kids of today to bank with us tomorrow

16-12-20 16:04 | Digital banking | The Digital Hub

“Mum, is Facebook a sort of country?”
“No, of course not,” comes my spontaneous response. But then I started thinking about how she came up with that question – of course she sees it like that, like a country of all countries. We talked about the difference between a virtual country and a real one. I then sat down to breakfast with my phone, and with a few clicks had ordered my husband’s Christmas present. A few more clicks and I’d paid for it. A Christmas present created by some driven entrepreneurs from Värmland, who had put their concept into manufacturing in Taiwan through crowdfunding, and who now sell their product globally. 

Our son only wants one thing for Christmas – a computer. Going to a store to look at a computer is out of the question. To find out whether the computer meets his requirements (and, I might add, the kid has pretty exacting requirements), he conducts thorough research online. He chats directly with the stores and asks his questions. Even though he writes “like a kid”, he always receives clear, proper answers. And, if he doesn't get an answer quickly, he chooses a different store.

Kids share their online experiences with friends, filming themselves on YouTube and – unaffectedly and transparently. They “like”, socialise online – gaming, sharing, laughing. They were born into the digital world and for them it's as real as the physical one. I wasn’t born into it – I was introduced into it, and can reflect on and understand the major change we are undergoing, because I knew what it was like before. They don't reflect on it – they’ve never experienced anything else.

How will their generation use banks when they grow up, when they reach adulthood, when they buy their first home? They do everything online themselves, retrieve, compare and analyse information. Of course I have to help them to think critically about sources, and as a parent I still have to keep an eye on the content they are viewing. However, I don’t interfere with their connected behaviour.

Building the future bank is a difficult balancing act – satisfying people who, like me, were introduced into digitalisation, people who are suspicious of it, and the digital natives, like my children. New customer behaviour is emerging more strongly than ever – impatience, empowerment, demanding relevance, integration and connectedness rule.

To be relevant in future, companies must adapt their entire business to the altered customer needs and digital transformation. This involves transforming and changing overarching business models, leadership, employeeship, communication, distribution methods, channel strategy, IT structures – yes, the lot.

I’m proud to work for a bank that has decided to embrace the future, which is focusing on becoming truly digital and which is transforming its entire business. Everything needed to become a bank that is easy to deal with, relevant and expert, and is where you are – one my kids will want to bank with. We are on the right track, is what I think when my family and I, each with our devices, are curled up and connected on the sofa, with the entire world in our living room. 

/ Kristina Frid, Head of Branch Region West at Nordea in Sweden.

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