Banking: Why trends don’t matter any more

8th June 2021 |
9 min read

Banking is constantly evolving, along with the market and customers. Many companies and institutions try to predict trends and think about how this sector will look like in the near future. No one is planning for 3-5 years ahead, but rather for 3-5 months. Banks have to adjust to the new post-covid reality and keep up with rushing digitization Therefore, here’s a bold claim: Trends are meaningless. And in the modern banking world, it’s more true than you might think. In this article, we are going to show you why we say so.

Let’s cut right to the chase; there’s no point in keeping you in suspense:

The broadly understood financial world loves trends. Every year, we can read articles and forecasts on how the finance world will work in the coming months, what will shape customers’ behaviors, and what technical novelties are coming. 

However, trends themselves are not enough when you want to make a real difference. Granted, they create a scenery that allows you to find potential areas of improvement. Trends allow you to look for what others cannot see. But they are just your starting point. You ought to focus on opportunities and undiscovered possibilities. And when you find them, think about the ways to translate them into specific products and solutions

Mind you; devising new solutions takes accurate and quick actions and a dedicated team willing to build something significant. And this is what the venture building model is all about. But let’s don’t get ahead of ourselves.

At Innovatika, we help companies (banking ones as well) invent, launch, scale, and co-invest in profitable businesses by translating trends into business opportunities. We have vast experience in building successful online products and services that meet modern customers’ needs.

And today, you’re in for a treat! We want to show you the backstage of our work. We will show you our four-step process that leads to devising particular opportunities and solutions that your banking company can adopt into the offer and use them to win the market.

The fact is, we’re looking for real solutions, but the trends map allows us to narrow the search. The trends map is based on a thorough analysis of trends and initiatives taken recently by banks and start-ups, frequently boosted by capital funds and accelerators. When it comes to venture building, timing is crucial. If you don’t start by asking if someone is doing something similar, you can end up banging your head against an open door. So, what are we looking for when building a trends map?

  • The amount of received funding
  • The development path of analyzed start-ups
  • Future forecasts and perspectives, particularly shaped by socio-economic changes and customer needs

We also pay extra attention to the implementation of new technologies in solving critical problems from the banking perspective. If you take a look at our map, you will see what element are especially crucial in our analysis:

Trends include digitalization, customer relationship, sustainability, VAS, optimization.

We take a closer look at such aspects of the banking industry as:

  • Sustainability: Primarily when it comes to CSR (corporate social responsibility) and ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance)
  • Customer relations: Personalization, equity-centered design, price arbitrage, etc.
  • VAS: Value Added Services. You can read more about them in our article about The Future of the Banking Industry.
  • Digitization: Fintechs, antifraud, cybersecurity, etc.
  • Optimization: Open banking, process optimization, KYC (a verification procedure that stands for know your customer), etc.

After collecting and analyzing the available data, we interview several representatives of chosen financial organizations and experts associated with business and new technologies. This stage allows us to select fields and directions that are key from the business perspective. We ask ourselves a series of critical questions:

  1. Will this given trend continue to spread?
  2. What will happen if this trend intensifies?
  3. How will this trend change what our target audience buys or desires to buy?
  4. What is a range of investments in start-ups that cover this particular trend?
  5. Which trends match our strategic priorities?

The first step gives us a thorough understanding of the modern banking world, primarily trends and initiatives that seem to shape it. The next step is to try and translate the trends map into the opportunities map. Let’s talk business!

STEP 2: THE OPPORTUNITIES MAP

Shortly put, the opportunities map fills the gap between what is currently available on the market and products and services that customers will desire in the near future. In other words, it’s a way to get ahead of the market.

The opportunities map indicates key areas of challenges and not only for businesses operating in this sector but also for their users. Now, how can we decide which area is crucial? Simply by assessing the funding it gets. The more money is invested in a specific endeavor, the more important it is from the management’s perspective, and that’s what we’re looking for. After all, at the end of the day, every start-up is merely an investment.

On the other hand, the digitization driven by the COVID-19 pandemic is so rapid that it has created substantial gaps and flaws in diverse processes, especially those related to establishing and maintaining contact with customers. And bear in mind, their expectations regarding the quality of service provided are constantly growing. We believe that the best, most profitable opportunities arise in these gaps. Our role is to identify mentioned gaps and discover opportunities that they bring. And this is what the opportunities map is for. Take a look at how it currently looks:

Opportunities map for banking

We narrowed the list of trends to four crucial areas of the banking business:

  • Digitization
  • Value-Added Services
  • Customer relations
  • Process optimization

Having these four crucial business areas indicated and analyzed, we can go to the next step: Creating new product concepts.

STEP 3: NEW PRODUCT CONCEPTS AND INITIAL VERSIONS

Of course, these areas indicated on the opportunities map are no lonely islands. They overlap and are interconnected with each other. And points of contact between two or three areas are your best bet to look for vital opportunities that have what it takes to become game-changers.

In fact, we can already show you three such projects that have tremendous growth potential.

MC MANAGER

Imagine how hard it is to look for money transfers on your bank account when you have tens of clients every month! MC Manager is a multi-payment management tool that helps users achieve and keep their financial flow. Mc Manager is designed particularly for micro-enterprises and sole proprietors.

Mc Manager banking app

Key features:

  • Integration with other systems
  • Tracking and visualization of received payments
  • Information on the status of the payment
  • Automatic payment reminder
  • Messages with a link to pay
  • Importing customer data

Benefits for the user:

  • More effective payment management and facilitated use of the app thanks to automated payment reminders after the services are performed
  • Improved financial control in the user’s business (the user knows their financial situation on an ongoing basis)
  • The possibility to automate the use and data transfer through integration with other systems, e.g., banking and accounting
  • Easy management of all customers and their payment periods. The user has everything in one place in the mobile application.

HOME FLOW

Managing the household budget can be tricky. Of course, you can do it in Excel, but it’s time-consuming and inefficient. Our Home Flow app is definitely a better solution. It’s Innovatika’s financial app for people who run a household together. It’s an intuitive and straightforward budget management solution that enables you to keep payment terms and share responsibilities and costs.

Home Flow banking app

Key features:

  • Full integration with users’ bank accounts
  • Expenses tracking from diverse accounts
  • Division of expenses into categories
  • Tracking user’s family carbon footprint
  • Setting a budget and tracking financial goals
  • Insights and financial recommendations

Benefits for the user:

  • Household budget reinvented: Managing joint expenses becomes a pleasure, not a necessity
  • No need to keep discipline in controlling expenses
  • Time savings
  • A sense of fairness in the distribution of payments
  • Full transparency of household expenses
  • The ability to achieve budgetary goals and optimize expenses
  • A sense of control over expenses
  • The opportunity to build healthy financial habits

GRAND – SENIOR ASSISTANT 

This solution is tailor-made for the so-called sandwich generation, i.e., for people who have to take care of both their children and parents. As a result, these 30-40-year olds are frequently exhausted and overloaded. And when it comes to looking after parents, Grand is here to help. 

It’s a desktop and mobile app that offers remote care and support for seniors living alone. We designed this app with the special needs of elderly users in mind. Everything is easy to click and transparent. Users that tested our solution were extremely satisfied with the UX it offers.

Key features:

  • Making doctor’s appointments and prescriptions for medications
  • Ordering groceries with home delivery
  • Calling for technicians and other specialists
  • Notifications and alerts
  • The call-for-help feature (e.g., 112, 911)
  • Remote assistance in operating the device

Benefits for the user (both older people and caretakers):

  • Support for the older adult without involving a caretaker or leaving home
  • Adaptation to the needs of the elderly user (the possibility to use this app via a voice assistant or manual selection of options)
  • An easy way to fulfill daily needs
  • A sense of security in the event of emergencies or other problems

Do you want to learn more about the potential of these three ventures? We have the value proposition for corporate investors, income sources, and other elements of business models for these apps, as well as the points of synergy with the strategic processes within your organization. Drop us a line today, and we will gladly arrange a 30-minute meeting with our Head of Ventures.

STEP 4: THE DEVELOPMENT

What’s next? Quality venturing demands career entrepreneurs, domain experts, brilliant execution, and holistic support. It’s risky, but having done it repeatedly and with our structure, we know how to yield success for your corporation.

This is what we do. We help you discover opportunities worth pursuing and then–make the most of them. We help our clients build from scratch, develop, or grow a fully functional online solution that will help them thrive on the market. Here at Innovatika Venture Builder, we invent, launch, scale, and co-invest in profitable businesses. From market testing and product development to digital marketing, HR, sales, and legal, we do it all to get your independent, stand-alone business up and running.

Discover our six-step venture-building process, and let’s talk about how to co-create businesses that address the strategic priorities of your bank!

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Monika Gościniak Design strategy consultant
Mateusz Florczak Innovation Consultant,
Agata Dohojda Junior Business Consultant,
We make business relevant and grow in times of digital shift.

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