Digital Transformation Checklist for Banks

The Financial Brand Forum is one of the most attended banking conferences in North America. It is a leading event globally, as it focuses on current and future trends in banking. This year’s conference, held in May, was attended by more than 2,000 banking professionals, in addition to more than 50 keynote speakers covering all aspects of the industry. I was honoured to be one of the many keynote speakers discussing trends and opportunities bankers can leverage as part of digital and branch transformation programs.

This year, digital transformation and AI dominated the conference topics, while fintech trends and their impact were merely mentioned, reflecting the current financial industry’s focus. Fintech is a part of every bankers’ strategy, but responding to this disruptor is already underway for most leading banks.

The Financial Brand Forum covered a wide range of supporting topics, from the rising power of women in banking and the importance of developing personas in marketing to story telling, the growing importance of UX, branch transformation programs and new marketing strategies and tactics. This conference had immense insights and inspirational stories that reflected an industry embracing change and the need to remain relevant. Many presenters reminded the audience that the banking industry remains in a catch-up mode while more disruptive changes are on the horizon.

In reviewing the many presentations, I have outlined a digital transformation checklist to help banks manage the complex, and at times, daunting task of remaining relevant and competitive. This checklist was developed by leveraging the insights from the conference and instilling more than thirty years experience of helping financial institutions navigate change management and avoid disruption.

Do you have the right charter?

  • Do you have the right business objectives and project scope?
  • Is the right team, with allocated support, and commitment of time assigned?
  • Have you identified the role of external partners, or experts, that will help accelerate and minimize the risk?
  • Do you have adequate funding to support the initiative?
  • Have you crafted and aligned a project charter endorsed and approved by the senior leadership team?

Have you defined your audience?

  • Do you have a clearly defined set of customer personas supported by their deep emotional banking needs and aspirations?
  • Have you identified which of these personas have the greatest potential for current and future growth?
  • Has the use of personas and their impact on the bank’s business been on-boarded across the organization?

Is your customer journey properly mapped?

  • Is each of the personas digital and physical journeys clearly mapped out with corresponding needs, criteria and implications?
  • Have you identified the key friction points the digital transformation will need to resolve in order to meet the needs of your given target persona and bank staff?
  • Have you defined the role of human interaction (bankers) versus technology (digital) and how can they support a seamless experience?
  • Are there gaps in the current customer experience?
  • What is the role of marketing and supporting tactics to engage and retain customer loyalty across the various types of customer journey?

Do you have an agile process to manage rapid change?

  • Do you have a clearly defined innovation pipeline along the persona needs and journey axes?
  • Have you established a well defined process with key milestones and critical dates?
  • Have you established scrum groups and agile processes as part of the digital transformation process?
  • Are well established metrics and ROI models in place to evaluate success?
  • What are the key research and insights tools put in place to validate various opportunities?

Have you established a transformation change ladder?

  • To support your innovation digital pipeline have you established a transformation ladder helping manage the introduction of new technologies, processes and customer experiences?
  • Have you established the key criteria and metrics allowing you to move to the next level of digital transformation while ensuring strong retention of your key persona?
  • Do you have a process in place to determine when you need to conduct a change in the digital transformation process?
  • Are proper on-boarding and communication tools and processes put in place as new team members join or leave the journey?

Have you factored in the bigger picture?

  • With the shift to mobile wallets and blockchain platforms have you included in your digital transformation process the exploration and review of new business models?
  • Have you identified your business bias inhibiting the ability to transform your banking business?
  • Do you have a strategy incorporated as part of your digital transformation strategy?
  • How are you benchmarking change and disruption and where are you gaining inspirations for change?

If you would like to watch my full presentation, click here!