Who has not been surprised by seeing their bank offer mobile phone packages for the first time? We observe that banking services are more and more distinct from the traditional standard banking models, unveiling mobile deals, offering phone packages, mobile-banking etc. So, what’s the link between these services and the strategy that can be understood behind? The first link that can be identified is digital convergence.
We live in a digital era where smartphones rule. These intelligent devices offer consumers instant and convenient access to information, services, shopping, banking and payments. So, it’s quite logical to see banknotes and coins usage decrease.
Credit card, then online payment, to chip cards allowing contactless payment. Nowadays, smartphone payment is the new trend provided by services like Orange cash or Apple Pay.
The reality is that the perception of a change in banking services is a western trend. In France, for instance, a firm like Orange is perceived to be exclusively a phone provider, which is not the case on the African continent.
Africa has quickly caught up the development, without using phone and cards but using smartphones directly and Orange cash. In Africa, Orange provides services to pay with smartphones. That’s why on this continent, where the population doesn’t have access to traditional banking infrastructures, Orange is viewed as a bank and not as a phone provider.
A second link between the different banking services is the data. Banks are providing services that allows to gather consumer data. Not only data on payments, but on car, on house, on phone, and so on. Since a decade, the digital improvements are allowing us to store more and more data at a price which is always decreasing.
This is called Big Data. The logical consequence of Big Data is Business Intelligence: the study of these huge amounts of data, leading to new knowledge, used to take the best strategic decisions.
Finally, data will be presented as knowledge about consumer’s habits and life, in real time: family situation (husband/wife, children, weddings or divorce), employment status (advancement, lay-off), holidays (destinations and hobbies), and meteorological conditions. So, data will be the power. That’s why a social network like Facebook is so praised by the business and banks haven’t missed to take their advantage in this new environment.
François, Consultant, Leyton France