The digital transformation boom in Saudi Arabia and the GCC has led to a major change in the behavior and preferences of customers seeking banking and financial services.
Traditional banking is no longer relevant, and customers will seek banks and neobanks that deliver the following: convenience, accessibility, personalized service, and privacy. Digital and open banking solutions are at the heart of the digital banking transformation in Saudi Arabia.
But where can your bank start its digital transformation?
Here’s a simple list of steps that aid you in getting started on a clear and accelerated path to transforming your banking services:
1. Outline Your Objectives
What do you hope to get done? Do you want to adopt a "digital-first" mentality and improve systems and processes that are already in place? Do you want to use digital services to find and keep new customers and members? Is your goal to use digital assets to increase the amount of money you have in deposits or loans?
When you set your goals, keep in mind:
- What insights and data do you need?
- Transform current services? Or create disruptive and relevant banking services?
- Who will lead this transformation and who will be its supporting team?
Your outcome in this step is that you'll be able to make a simple, easy-to-share list of the most important goals for your digital transformation.
2. Assess your Competitors and your Digital Products
How often do you review the products of your competitors? Have you put your products in packages for people who use digital-first? Do you teach your customers and employees to use digital tools?
When comparing your products to those of your competitors, you should think about:
- How effective is your website?
- How do you educate your customers?
- How effective is your product packaging?
Your goal is to make a full report card on how your financial institution's digital services compare to those of traditional and nontraditional competitors.
3. Evaluate Processes in your Banks
Do your processes allow for opening a digital account? Is it a multichannel experience that can start online and be finished in a store or by phone? Do you have a way to keep an eye on how people rate your apps in the app store and on other social media sites?
Think about the following when deciding how to change your processes:
- Insight and data about user experience across all digital channels.
- In-branch customer service
- Feedback from customers via your digital channels and apps
- How can you optimize the available digital banking and finance services?
The goal is to create a comprehensive list of all the processes that will be involved in your transformation, taking into account your available time and funds.
4. Assess Culture and Adaptability
Change is challenging. Is your board of directors and leadership supportive of the change as you consider digital transformation? Is it being driven by them or by the people? How would you structure your transformation for a digitally optimized organization?
Consider the following factors when assessing your company's ability to evolve digitally:
- Whether your company's culture can adapt
- If your leadership backs the change,
- What would the organizational structure be?
You want to create an environment in which leaders are aligned, accountable, and action-oriented.
5. Talent and Recruiting Analysis
Finding highly skilled talent is hard in today’s digital economy because internal recruitment programs do not align with the talent market. Especially if it is being run by professionals that lack a certain degree of digital literacy.
Do you have digital experts in your branches and departments who can help staff or even customers and members who may not be as good with digital technology?
When analyzing your talent strategies, consider:
- Internal recruiting strategy
- Internal training programs
- The digital aptitude of your organization
- Available digital experts to consult when it comes to recruiting staff
You want a recruitment program to find and keep employees that fit with what your financial institution wants to get out of digital transformation.
6. Inventory Systems and Products
How often do you assess your products? Are there capabilities that you haven't taken advantage of? Do you plan your products every year in a way that fits with your budget and long-term goals?
When assessing your systems and products, focus on:
- How to make the most of what you have
- What do you want to introduce to enhance your digital capabilities?
Your goal is to have a detailed list of all the things you can do now and a plan for how to achieve your digital transformation goals.
7. Identify customer or member segments
Aggregating customer or member data is difficult.
Do you segment by demographics, lifecycle, or product mix? How will your digital services match customer segments and preferences?
When defining segmentation, consider:
- Profit, mix, and wallet share
- Services digital
- Customer data aggregation
The goal is to create a program that predicts which consumers will buy digital services.
8. Plan your marketing and communication
Do you have an internal and external digital transformation communications program? Have you identified decision-makers, those who want progress reports, and those who want to weigh in on team or department issues?
Are you inspiring change?
When planning communications, consider:
- Four attributes help define project roles: responsible; consulted; informed; accountable.
- Consumer-communication strategy
- Building momentum and enthusiasm
You have two goals: Create an internal communications plan that outlines who needs to know what and a marketing plan that outlines what consumers can expect from your bank.
Are your audit and compliance partners helping your digital transformation? Have you used their expertise to automate processes?
Risk assessments can include:
- Regulatory proceedings
- Partner/vendor evaluations
- Engaging risk and compliance
A comprehensive risk assessment will reveal digital transformation focus areas.
Are you pragmatic and communicating that to your stakeholders? Do you know that you can get the most out of digital transformation by taking a few strategic steps?
When planning your digital transformation,
- Identify quick-wins.
- Consider competing initiatives.
- Don't do everything at once.
You'll need a prioritized list of tactics to make incremental digital transformation progress.
Omnichannel Digital Banking Solutions
After creating a 10-step digital transformation framework, put it all together.
Navigating digital transformation in a bank can be hard because the disruption is continuous and new technologies are emerging every day - it's critical that the bank's leadership is completely bought in to ensure a sustainable and successful transformation.
Leadership needs to provide a clear vision and support a digital-first client-focused culture in the bank.
Your people are just as important as digital data, technology, and processes for a successful transformation. When you give everyone the same way to access and manage information, your employees can share ideas that help the whole business make better decisions.
Sitech helped banks in the Middle East and GCC develop their omnichannel digital banking infrastructure and ecosystem through our Backbase certified Managed Software Teams and Staff Augmentation solutions.
Contact us for a free consultation today