Embrace change, take risks, and disrupt yourself

Hosted by top 5 banking and fintech influencer, Jim Marous, Banking Transformed highlights the challenges facing the banking industry. Featuring some of the top minds in business, this podcast explores how financial institutions can prepare for the future of banking.

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How Banking Can Thrive in a Post-Pandemic Reality

The pandemic disrupted the entire planet, changing consumer behavior, altering business and government assumptions, and dramatically impacting business plans. The future is still unclear, but the opportunities (and risks) are immense.

What lies ahead will define winners and losers. From adoption of new technologies to a redefined future of work, and new innovation culture, digital banking transformation will require a paradigm shift in leadership thinking and a new level of agility.

Our guest is Paolo Sironi, Global Research Leader for Banking and Finance at the IBM Institute for Business Value. We discuss how financial institutions will need to explore a new normal, which may require continual reinvention of business models and solutions.

This Episode of Banking Transformed is Sponsored by Microsoft:

See how Microsoft can help to unlock new opportunities at speed through innovative business models, deliver differentiated customer experiences across channels, products and services, and redefine new ways of working.

More at Microsoft.com/financialservices

Jim Marous:
Hello and welcome to Banking Transformed. I'm your host, Jim Marous, owner and CEO of the Digital Banking Report, and co-publisher of the Financial Brand. The pandemic disrupted the entire planet, changing consumer behavior, altering business and governmental assumptions, and dramatically impacting business plants. The future is still unclear but the opportunities and risks are immense. What lies ahead will define winners and losers; from the adoption of new technologies to a redefined future work in new innovative culture. Digital banking transformation will require paradigm shifts in leadership thinking, and a new level of agility.

Jim Marous:
Our guest today is Paolo Sironi, global research leader for banking and finance at the IBM Institute for Business Value. We discussed how finance institutions will need to explore new normal, which may require continual reinvention of business models and solutions. Welcome to the show today, Paolo. It's been forever since we saw each other, I think it was in Finland at an event where, we were like two ships passing the night. I think I was leaving as you were coming in. We're going to different places afterwards. So how have you been?

Paolo Sironi:
I'm fine, thanks Jim. And I also see your records [inaudible 00:01:32] and I envy you so much. I actually admire you. So another set of inspirations from you to me.

Jim Marous:
Well thank you. Before we dive into the meat of our discussion today, could you share a little bit about yourself and the work you do for the IBM Institute for Business Value for the people in our audience who may not already know who you are?

Paolo Sironi:
Okay so, let me tell you where I come from and what I do for IBM. Because my life before IBM is like the journey of Dante Alighieri into Divine Comedy. If you had the chance of reading this Italian masterpiece of the 1500. So basically Dante started in hell, I started in the hell of banking as a risk manager. That's where I saw all the possible things that we laugh about but, are the financial system. And in 2008 I decided to build FinTech, a startup that was focusing on digital management. And that's like entering purgatory. Because, you make so many mistakes, you really have to suffer. Everybody thinks that entrepreneurship is just fun, it is not. It is a big effort and a lot of pain.

Paolo Sironi:
And then I sold that to IBM, my small company 2013, that's when I got into IBM, and I accessed this heaven of exponential technologies and artificial intelligence. But something I always kept on the radar and I learned with my fellow colleagues is the importance of remaining anchored to the needs of the human beings, the so called homo sapiens, which permeates all of my work in IBM, as well as my literature. And so what do I do for IBM? I've been traveling a lot, you've been seeing me everywhere, and I saw you everywhere before the pandemic was just crazy, maybe too much.

Paolo Sironi:
But I've learned that we can divide the world into three macro areas, without wanting to forget any one, Jim. Let's say that the US is where digital technology was born. I know that the Chinese in particular are becoming very competitive. But let's say digital was born in the US. Europe is where the regulation is typically born, and it is important because Europeans need to harmonize the Capital Markets Union and the European Union itself. But also it is important to remind you that, the final consumer needs to be protected. But the winner of the FinTech revolution lives in Asia, in particular China and India, because that is where the business models are born.

Paolo Sironi:
So my role in IBM is to understand the differences among the strategies and the business models, knowing that you cannot explore them all the same way from one jurisdiction to the other. Understand how exponential technology can help these business models to scale, know that technologies are not all at the same level of maturity, but keeping everything within a regulatory framework to make sure that we don't just look for change, but also progress. So we don't forget what we really wanted to do, with purpose in front of the final consumer.

Jim Marous:
So it's interesting, we are very fortunate in that, we have jobs that push us to understand how financial institutions work in different places. And right before COVID as my listeners know, I went to Shenzhen, China, and saw WeBank and saw Alibaba and all this, and you just see an amazing change in the way banking is done there. But there's also the geopolitical differences that make some of that possible. But still, to be able to have the job, researching how organizations are actually transforming the banking experience is exciting. And probably, no time has been more exciting than now.

Jim Marous:
So, the Institute for Business Value in cooperation with the actual economics recently interviewed 3000 CEOs from over 50 countries and 26 Industries. For his most recent chief executive loss report. Many financial institutions were included in this research study that sought to determine the priorities challenges, key lessons, essential truths for winning the future. So what were the concerns your research found within the financial institution segment?

Paolo Sironi:
Jim, at the Institute for business value is the Thought Leadership Center of IBM and every year we publish among the many research that we generate in this year study. This year was effectively larger than average, the 21st CEO study since we started this journey, and we interviewed 3000 CEOs looking at what they think is happening in their business on the society, in the pandemic, and pandemic quarter. So we did that at the end of 2020, and published it at the beginning of 2021. Out of these 3000, almost 300 are CEOs of banking and financial market institutions.

Paolo Sironi:
Now talking to them about which are their key concerns, a few things became evident in these conversations. First of all, that the majority was truly concerned about market and macroeconomic conditions. They all realize they knew that the vaccination would have improved the economic outlook, and that the post pandemic situation because of social distancing, like the economies would open up, but nobody knew how much damage the pandemic built inside the economy that banks would have to deal with in the years to come.

Paolo Sironi:
So particularly in Europe and the US, Canada, more than in Asia, this was a key concern for the CEOs. So the rising uncertainty. I would say that, on the top of their concern, also technology, is there a concern in the sense that they will realize that it is important that to transform it using technology, but they know how difficult it is to go through this technological transformation. But if I can say not that insight that we discover the interviews so many skills worthwhile, that I would say that the regulation that typically is high on the agenda was a bit less relevant as a concern in Europe and in North America, I guess, because they're already heavily regulated markets.

Paolo Sironi:
And really, the market and macroeconomic conditions were a big concern. But in Asia, we saw that the regulation was more data than anywhere else within the banking cash market community. We can think about what happened in November last year with the Chinese regulators flexing their muscles to basically start transforming the way and financial 10 center JDC the other big players in the Middle Kingdom are operating. So I guess that there is a consensus that there will be more to come in broader Asia and regulation, but only normal, I would say that the rising uncertainty on market and macroeconomic conditions are the key concern of CEOs for the next two years.

Jim Marous:
So given those concerns, and given what the financial institutions were looking at the CEOs were looking at it as being the biggest priorities overall, what priorities do the financial institutions have? Right now, if they proceed out of the pandemic? What do you see as being the major issues that they are prioritizing as they move toward the new normal?

Paolo Sironi:
That is a very good question, because we actually thought, okay, you have these concerns. So what? Where do you start from addressing these concerns? And in talking to so many CEOs worthwhile there, what emerged is that building ecosystems of partners is the first priority among the few or the many that you can consider, but truly, more than any other industry, and in particular, wholesale, more than retail banking, focused on the building of ecosystem of partners. And why is that because you need to become more adaptive and transform faster, and uncertainty is very high, and therefore only learning how to trust the ecosystem of partners you work with.

Paolo Sironi:
And do that systematically. These CEOs realized that they could face the market and macroeconomic uncertainties that they were forced to live in the post pandemic world. And that is really confirming the shift that we're all seeing in terms of connecting to the banking plant from a variety of different opportunities in order to streamline not only internal operations like automated intelligent workflows, but also what is created in front of the customers. To be capable of transforming and changing as clients change their expectations, market conditions can modify the new competition, enter the market, so on and so forth.

Paolo Sironi:
So I would say the ecosystem of partners is identified as the top priority to face and resolve the problem of market and macro uncertainty.

Jim Marous:
So you talked about the partnerships and we talked about this quite a bit in the show that there's very few organizations, if any, that can make this alone using partners and solution providers and all that really provides the ability to get speed of markets, to get some agility, to get some innovation in the thing. But, when you really look into foundation of change, it really falls on the shoulders of leaders. So given the priorities and concerns that were found among the finance institutions, how does leadership, and did you find that leadership needs to change to meet the challenges and address the looming priorities?

Paolo Sironi:
Well, I think that the important change accounts from the top, especially when you work for an established institution. Now, among these thousands of CEOs that we interviewed some with more care and with more times. So we've been sitting for more than one hour, for example, with Piyus Gupta the CEO of DBS bank in Singapore. And we asked this question to Piyus Gupta. And what they responded is that if you can embrace agile setups and experiments, then you become adaptive and nimble.

Paolo Sironi:
And I'm quoting for this year's study that everybody can download from the ibm.com/ibv web pages. So then it is really important to build a different mindset, a mindset that favors the attempt. So to make it happen, you need to try. And sometimes you're going to make mistakes. As I said before, in the purgatory of start ups, I really had to make many mistakes myself, but it's important because it enables you to learn and it enables you to clarify to yourself, which is your path for what. Clearly failing doesn't mean that disrupting the business in itself.

Paolo Sironi:
It means that you work within a regulated environment, you work within a secure environment. So the way you use technology to make sure that you can try and test that is the business critical element. That because it enables you to do this step. All in all the banks are transforming from traditional business architecture to cloud-base or ABIC cloud architectures. And the main difference in this transformation is that before they had to focus mainly on cost optimization, but now, and tomorrow, they need to focus on speed.

Paolo Sironi:
So it is so important that they understand that because only by learning how to build a secure business architecture and that the cloud that facilitates an operating model, that genetic speed that they can tackle all of those uncertainties coming from market factors or macroeconomic conditions. And therefore they can collaborate with an ecosystem of partners made of big players, as well as a panel player for FinTech companies in order to box out from the current confined that low margin environment.

Jim Marous:
So from your personal perspective, is leadership ready to embrace all this changes taking place. You know, you mentioned a lot of things there. You mentioned having to reset the back office. You mentioned the need to look at the cloud technology. You've mentioned digital transformation overall. Those are all really big concepts. And in most organizations, especially what I'm going to call the mid asset range organizations as well, smaller organizations you're dealing with legacy leadership that's been in place probably for 30 or had been at their financial institution or in banking 30 to 40 years. How did those people really reset the clock or relearn what needs to be learned to really become a digital financial institution?

Paolo Sironi:
Well, I've been in discussions with CEOs and board of banks as well as if you like as successful as FinTechs. There's something that I used to tell the audience through the years, you know, that I am course of Breaking Banks Europe, and a good friend of Brett King. And I love Breaking Banks Europe is an amazing podcaster, but I'm also using that language in a provocative way. I used to tell the thousands of FinTech I've been meeting with that they cannot break a bank for the simple reason that banks had already broken.

Paolo Sironi:
Because they are divided into different silos and business units. All of these units continued piece of the client, the data they have, these articulated incentives that can be aggregated the idea and in the income statement and on the balance sheet of the bank. But there is no crazy view of the client in order to book south and create something new.

Paolo Sironi:
So now that is why I would say that it is important to look at the [inaudible 00:14:56] link on the services on the technical lab, and mostly to build the consistent and interpretable microservices, the key secret source to succeed that is to be able to bundle back. By bundling back all of this capability means that that the leaders of the institution needs to create those incentives inside the institution that favor this change. And this is where I remember reading the famous API mandate of Jeff Bezos. I don't know if you had the chance of reading it.

Paolo Sironi:
In 2018, I think he was called Stevie Yegge, an employee of Google that used to work for Amazon brought an internal memo that inadvertently was broadcasted outside. It was basically providing some criticism to some of the Google platform configurations. And it was saying that the Jeff Bezos shared that this memo with these employees years before saying that the only way to communicate within business units is through APIs, basically.

Paolo Sironi:
So interface system, what does it mean? It means that if you don't learn how to open up the borders within the organization to share basically the view of the client in a different way, you will not succeed when you try to do that outside. So it is as important as building a user experience for the client to build a different experience for the employees, which really enables them to understand what it means to cook innovation and to see clients and opportunities. And there are completely different light from the past of the traditional product driven bank.

Jim Marous:
You mentioned innovation. You and I often get into virtual conversations around the importance of innovative culture. This often is not prioritized in a legacy financial institution. How did the pandemic impact the importance of innovation in banking?

Paolo Sironi:
The pandemic was a tough time in the history of humankind. And it revealed the fact that we are surrounded by uncertainty. It brought uncertainty to the extreme. And you know, that fundamental uncertainties that they have of most of my literature, because it also explains the way we deal as human beings with digital and the financial problem. Now, using the pandemic as a lesson there for what banks and FinTech have to do going forward, then I think that there are three lessons learned that we have learned in the last year and a half.

Paolo Sironi:
And they're all around transparency, openness, and advice. Transparency is relevant because at the very beginning, we didn't know much, not that we know everything now, there's many things we didn't know. But being sincere about what we know and what we don't would create trust with the citizens, with the communities, because the behavior has to change in order to, you know, break out from the pandemic conundrum.

Paolo Sironi:
So those communities, those governments, those jurisdictions, they were more transparent about what they knew, what they did and then communicate that properly to the citizens are those that are most likely are emerging faster out of a pandemic conundrum. At the same time, banks are facing very uncertain market and macro conditions. And only being transparent with the communities is tough they can build the trust to propel new business models that box them out and enable them to differentiate by generating value effectively for the committees.

Paolo Sironi:
So transparency is the first element. The second lesson learnt is openness. We all know that I'm creating a new vaccine or finding a new cure is not easy and requires many tests and many approaches. Sometimes the doctors had to go through what if attempts to learn what was better or worse for the patient. Now sharing the data across the doctors, universities, the researching centers is a fundamental importance. Also IBM contributed providing computing power and capabilities to facilitate this collaboration element.

Paolo Sironi:
Now facing uncertainty, the CEO's of banks and financial markets realized that open banking, openness is the way for what, because only by being open and learning that openness is a status is not just the transition. They can become more adaptive and capable of creating new solutions very fast because the ecosystem, enriches at faster speed compared to a closed system.

Paolo Sironi:
And the third is the one of advice. We know that everyone has to do is deep in order to resolve the endemic problem. So governments, organizations had to continuous advising people in the first wave, the second wave about the importance of certain behavior. Now, advice is also emerging within the banking chatter as that element that aggregates the new business model of banks of the feasible banks, because it's the element that really generates value for society. Because it enables people to effectively self direct themselves on digital, by giving them the means and the capability to know what they are doing.

Paolo Sironi:
So transparency, openness, and the importance of advice, trusted advice versus the client are the three lessons learned from the pandemic that are going to drive in already driving the way well-informed banks are positioning innovation on the FinTech ecosystem.

Jim Marous:
So this may be a related question, but as you look forward in the next few years, from your perspective, what do you think will separate the winners from the [inaudible 00:20:28] and the losers in the marketplace? Because not everyone's going to get it obviously, but what's going be the major element that's going to separate the leaders from the followers?

Paolo Sironi:
There's a few things that I would say Silicon Valley in general did not understand about FinTech. One of these is that FinTech and banks did not understand the essence of platform economies which, is where I'm heavily researching and position my literature going forward. But before diving into the customer platforms, there's something most important that goes around platforms. Platforms Excel in outcome economies. So it is important to understand how you move from output economies to outcome economies.

Paolo Sironi:
What is the difference? Think about BMW. BMW wants to sell one million cars next year of the new series seven that's outputs economy. Okay. So how many cars to sell. But BMW organizing car sharing to let one million Berlin commuters go to the office in the morning is outcome economy. It changes everything. It changes the experience. It changes how clients pay for that capability to go to work. So it's truly transformative.

Paolo Sironi:
What is the equivalent in banking with a simple example, just pick up a bank UBS, just to say one. UBS wants to sell one billion assets under management of a monetary fund next year to the customers that's output economies. So it's marketing, it is product driven. Outcome economy means UBS wants to enable the clients to achieve their personal, their business and their financial goals to improve their financial wellness. That is outcome economy, because the way clients are going to pay for that in the experience they have with their banker advisor is very different compared to the world where products were the center of the definition.

Paolo Sironi:
So this shift from outputs to outcomes was misunderstood by benefit tax that consider themselves like a digital marketplace of products whose margins are going to be squeezed further and further, and had a hard time in understanding that instead they didn't have to plug digital on top of existing output oriented business models. They had to understand the outcome economy, how to re-bundle on a platform that has declined at the center, therefore transformed the relationships on digital.

Jim Marous:
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Jim Marous:
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Jim Marous:
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Jim Marous:
Welcome back to bank of transform. So I'm joined today by Paolo Sironi Global Research leader for banking and finance at the IBM Institute for Business Value. We're discussing the new research done by his organization. What is essential to survive in a post pandemic world. And the last question we asked was about what's gonna make the difference between the winners and losers. So off that question, I'm going to ask you, okay, so if you're a smaller mid-size organizations, is there an ability to play catch up? Is there an ability to actually transform to the degree that you've been talking to?

Paolo Sironi:
One of the famous quotes of Bill Gates is that we don't need banks, we need banking. Now, he was only partially right. And we know these days that he's been wrong, you know the few unfortunate elements because we may still need bankers. And the reason why we need bankers is because there is what I call it, pull and push gap in the economy. Like most of banking are offered to clients because of the difficulty in understanding the banking or the financial problem. But technology is that the chronology of the demand, right?

Paolo Sironi:
So it's basically good for people that are self-directed. So now the contact with the clients is fundamental. The big banks might have lost that contact. They can replicate that on digital, but they can go only that far. So local banks can basically become community platforms. Put it this way, they used to be part of a community because banks are working in a rural area were like agriculture oriented banks, right.

Paolo Sironi:
But they really never inserted themselves into that ecosystem to help that ecosystem do and perform a better. Now with contextual banking, they can remove the frictions out of those ecosystems orchestrating platforms that enable them to make those communities more effective and more competitive also in the worst stage. Because once you organize that the farmers in India example, you can export to that model for the farmers of North Dakota, if there are farmers up there.

Paolo Sironi:
So it is very transportable, but it starts from the connection with the community, understanding those ecosystems and knowing what they need. And second, that there is another shift in banking, which is what I call conscious banking. That is the emergence of advice, planning as the element that bundles back, all of the banking products into something which is not a product anymore, but it's an engagement is really a service. Now hearing again, being the trusted advisor requires a lot of proximity with the client.

Paolo Sironi:
So I do believe that a mix of human and technology well understood by these smaller banks will enable them to not just survive that, but become more competitive at facing the strength of the large players and keep a higher variety in the banking ecosystem. Nothing against with the big banks are too big to fail, but I do believe that diversity is value. So the variety in the bank and ecosystem in terms of this catchers and offers is also something that we need to look at carefully and favor because it will benefit the communities in the very end.

Jim Marous:
So you've been referencing the contextual unconscious banking, which is really the foundation of your new book that's come out in the fall, right?

Paolo Sironi:
Yes. The title is Banks and FinTech and Platform Economies, Contextual and Conscious Banking. And it's published by Wiley.

Jim Marous:
Can you share a little bit about the focus of that book and why you believe the future of banking is really going to be around platform?

Paolo Sironi:
So the research unit of the European Central Bank, let me start from here, published a very interesting paper last year. Almost one year after I, myself, presented in the press room of this my fourth book, Financial Market Transparency, and shared the Mexico World [inaudible 00:28:36]. So the researchers of the European central bank say that it is information and communication that provide market power to financial institutions.

Paolo Sironi:
Now, information is core, core banking. You can think of payments and the adverse selection, finding the best client for the most convenient rates or understanding the compliance of the client to price credit risk accordingly. Communication is that is interface them is the advisory element is so a lot of the FinTechs started focusing themselves as well as the basically is the last mile. Now, what happens is that the information typically consumes most of the costs in a financial institution is the traditional monolithic business architecture.

Paolo Sironi:
And that consumes so much capability that is difficult for banks to focus on communication interface, where basically they need to excel in the user experience and engagement with the client. Now, how do they make money and generated value for the clients? Understanding the tension between information and communication, which is a technical taction tension and the business tension. Well information is to leverage [a judge 00:29:52] the ecosystems using banking as a service type of platform.

Paolo Sironi:
Which is the evolution of open banking into open finances to way more. That means being capable of decomposing the virus capabilities and using them to eliminate friction in non-bank and ecosystem. So providing them to others, they may need them because they are advanced. And that is basically bringing banks towards a contextual banking type of strategy. So the bank becomes invisible, but generates value, different ecosystems about it using the frictions.

Paolo Sironi:
On the side of communication, instead, we can see the creation of banking as a platform type of architectures, where the banks wants to onboard like certainly innovation to recreate the visible relationship with the client. And that's where conscious banking emerges. It is conscious because it is visible because the value of conscious banking in the advisor relationship is to enable people to be capable of self-direct themselves. That is a value that needs to be remunerated as you cannot remunerate it inside the products anymore. It needs to be clear in front of the client that the value comes from that relationship.

Paolo Sironi:
So you see the tension between information and communication I position in the new book in what I call the banking at invention quadrant by sliding on the information intensity, quotioned banks will open up to the ecosystem. So we'll embrace open banking. We look at ABIC cloud that type of our architecture. So basically they build trust on the utilization of data and insights.

Paolo Sironi:
When sliding on the axis of communication quotient, they will basically learn how to move from a data driven bank to the data, enable client configuration, basically building intelligent communication with the client where data is used to make sure that the client knows what to do with digital. Because otherwise we have a good app, but the client cannot consume more complex solutions and services they need for their financial life on digital.

Paolo Sironi:
And the combination of two generates contextual banking and conscious banking. And where do you see this? Well in Asia, in particular, you see a lot of contextual banking. You have those platforms that you can think of DBS bank marketplaces. You can think of SBI you only need one super app. And you think about what happens in China or Bank of Baroda for the farmers.

Paolo Sironi:
Conscious banking, you sit more in the Western world like Europe and US. I just give you an example, which is UBS. The shift from output to outcomes we said is out of products into the financial wellness of people, basically the planning exercise. Out of information, into communication. Now UBS is the largest bank Switzerland. However, the [inaudible 00:32:48] took UBS out of the banking index in 2020 July, 2020 saying that UBS is not the bank anymore is an asset manager. Because most of their revenues come from communication, not from information.

Paolo Sironi:
So then you see these two strategies, which are underpinned by banking as a service and banking as a platform type of infrastructures will enable banks to stay relevant, either contextualizing interjection ecosystems with confessional banking, or being visible in front of their client as trusted advisors and major bankers by playing and helping clients resolve their problems on the financial wellness equation. And that is called conscious banking.

Jim Marous:
Well, what's interesting because you're really talking about, and we've talked about it on the show before a real change in the way that value is transferred in the way that financial institutions make money in the way that consumers provide their information and insight, as well as their personal data, but also in how they're willing to pay for things.

Jim Marous:
I mean, you think about, I use the example of Amazon who would have thought that on an Amazon platform, you'd pay $125 here just for the right to be part of Amazon prime, where the value really is provided on an ongoing basis in the way that they know you understand you and reward you. It's a different way of banking. I see this with Acacia bank with the young adult platform they have, and also NBD Emirates sorry, Emirates NBD, where they have LIV.

Jim Marous:
Another platform that really the financial underpinnings of that is not coming from the products is coming from the partnerships and the open banking consortium. So finally, what do you see on the horizon from a digital transformation perspective within financial institutions? What do you think consumers will expect and what will financial institutions be able to deliver in the future?

Paolo Sironi:
What you say is very true and very relevant. That's why I spent a lot of time researching into the biological macro foundations of finance to understand how to re-anchor the process of transformation in order to address the most compelling request, the needs of the clients which are not necessarily those that we keep on hearing about the social media. Now it's difficult to say what clients expect because sometimes they don't know what they can have with innovation, but there's one thing that clients want, which has been indicated by many researches made by academia, as well as regulators.

Paolo Sironi:
I can just mention the one of the Italian Market Regulator Consob three years ago. Investigating how and why individuals make financial decisions for the personal life. Customers expect trust. Trust is the essence of banking, which is made of two things, security and transparency on what they do. And we've de-touched a little bit from these principles in the last 50 years. Security stayed there compared to other industries banks need to do more but they are the most secured the compared to the three others, but trust and needs to be recuperated.

Paolo Sironi:
And trust was evident at the height of the global financial crisis as the missing element. Now, why does this matter? Because only transparency generates trust the facing uncertainty when you have to make accounting decisions. So knowing how much have to pay for and how much the other one is remunerated. Only transparency enables to make change progress. We cannot just look at change. We want to look at progress and in everything we do, you can just think about what IBM does in terms of artificial intelligence, transparency, robustness, and applicability are the core of everything beyond the value of the algorithm, because only with that, we can generate trust to build progress and not only change.

Jim Marous:
So it's interesting as we discussed all this, and we look at the changes in the research you'd done at IBM. It's interesting it's what we're really seeing is, is a new way to describe value transfer. We also see that during the pandemic consumers became aware of what they wanted and how to get it and different organizations outside of financial services have certainly raised the bar.

Jim Marous:
We saw in our research that in the digital bank report that every financial institution ranked themselves lower than they did before the pandemic with regard to data analytics maturity, innovation maturity, digital transformation maturity, and it was because the marketplace changed so quickly and it was very hard for the financial institutions to keep up. And what's interesting is that in your discussion with me today, it is very apparent that speed simplicity, transparency, and the ability to rethink the business model from the inside out, not from the outside, not changing the way something looks on a phone, but really changing the way you do things is needed.

Jim Marous:
So this was a major transformation financial services. And I think your CEO survey really pointed out number one, the logical fears, but also the hopefulness that we can take the opportunities that a pandemic provides to continue to move as fast as we did during the last 12 months, 12 to 15 months. Paolo I really appreciate you being on this show today. It's a very interesting topic. Your research is always good. For people that aren't aware. Number one, how do they get ahold of you or how they follow you?

Paolo Sironi:
They could do two things. They can follow my professional work on ibm.com/ibv, where they can see the research, the charts of this year's study or the new research that I'm preparing for after the summer breaker around how the operational model agility on ABIC cloud can generate financial performance for the financial institutions and really working on that old times. So hold the breath.

Paolo Sironi:
But they can also follow me on the LinkedIn, where I have most of the conversations to place, please take a look at what I do, my literature, reach out and hold the breath also for many book, Bank and FinTech on Platform Economies, Contextual and Conscious Banking, which is with Wiley in October, more or less.

Jim Marous:
That's great. And for those who don't know, this is not, Paolo's first book, he has other books out there. You can look at it all. But really it's important for those in the audience that really are trying to learn. Obviously, you're listening to a podcast to try and learn more.

Jim Marous:
It's important to listen to Paolo, it's important to listen to Breaking Banks Europe. It gives you a different perspective than Breaking Banks US. It's different types of guests, different conversations, a lot of different hosts, not just one or two different hosts. There's an array of great hosts and all of them are people that you should follow in the industry.

Jim Marous:
Paolo thank you very much for being with us today.

Paolo Sironi:
Thank you. I'm flattered I really enjoyed.

Jim Marous:
Thanks for listening to Banking Transformed. Just announced as communicator award of excellence winner for outstanding branded series by the academy of interactive and visual arts. If you enjoyed today's interview, please be sure to follow the show and your favorite podcast app. And we would love a review of the show.

Jim Marous:
Also be sure to catch my recent articles on the financial brand and check out our new research where we are doing on digital transformation, retail banking innovation, the digital consumer experience and financial marketing for the digital banking report.

Jim Marous:
This has been a production of Evergreen Podcast, a special thank you to our producer, Leah Longbrake, audio engineer, Sean Rule-Hoffman, and video producer Will Pritts. I'm your host Jim Marous until next time, keep learning and be willing to disrupt yourself.

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