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Thinking Digital: Learning from a New Wave of Banks

Digital Transformation – Traditional banks must look toward the future of banking and consider how their employees play a role in shaping their mission.

As personalised mobile banking and other digital services become a top priority over traditional services, banks must begin to look internally at their organisational culture to meet the changing needs of their modern consumers. (It all starts with your talent!)

The people want personalised mobile banking. Let’s give it to them!

  • 15% of consumers are now mobile dominant, up sharply from 10% just a year ago
  • 75% of UK consumers view online banking availability as the most important quality their bank should offer
  • 87% of UK consumers with personal bank accounts believe banking services should be personalised to individual users

Banks need to start to think mobile-first, or else .

And, ‘Mobile-first’ doesn’t just mean offering your services on an app. It means embracing digital to create disruptive products.

Banks that fail to adapt to the digitalisation of financial services not only risk losing customers, but also the very talent that develops and embodies their services.

Demand for digital transformation talent: 

As European retail banks that pursue a full digital transformation can realize improvements in earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of over 40% in the next five years, it’s no wonder these banks are beginning to understand that “digital transformation is no less than a revolution”.

“Right now, banks are all about hiring digital transformation specialists,” says Paul Bennie, managing director of recruitment firm Bennie MacLean. “It’s really taken off and there’s a very limited talent pool of people with the necessary combination of business expertise and technical knowledge.”

This revolution could cost traditional retail banks, who are failing to redefine their organisation culture, their most innovative, tech-savvy talent.

As our whitepaper, “Employee Engagement: The Millennial Wave” puts it, today’s employees are working for “purpose, not pay check”. To win the war on talent, banks must start “offering the progressive and innovative environments that top candidates [and existing employees] expect”.

Ditching the brick and mortar bank

Digital-only banks, like Monzo and Starling, are structured around providing exemplary customer service through digital augmentation. These innovative services are right on trend with the growing demand for highly personalised, mobile financial services.

Not only do these banks share a knack for digital automation, they also all have a similar strategy – and it’s all about their people.

An organisational strategy shared by many of these small, new-wave banks is that having a diverse workplace spurs innovation and agile thinking. This helps them provide increasingly personalised banking services to their growing customer bases.

Monzo’s hypothesises:

“A diverse workforce gives you the best chance of attracting and retaining the top talent from the widest pool possible”.

Starlings ’ commitment:

Fostering an “open, fair, respectful, brave and upbeat” organisational culture.

These firms use their relatively flat organisational structure and diverse talent pool to encourage collaboration and fast execution of innovative ideas, from all different backgrounds.

The result: constant brand development.

As digital bank Revolut , bluntly, puts it, “No corporate bullshit. No politics. No red tape”.

Evidently, the banks excelling at digital augmentation are those excelling at creating an inclusive work environment where “everyone has a voice”.

It’s time for a cultural cleanse:

We recommend that traditional banks begin looking at these new-wave, digital banks as examples of work environments that fosters game-changing, creative thinking.

Traditional banks must look toward the future of banking and consider how their employees play a role in shaping their mission.

It’s time to adapt your organisational culture, or risk falling behind.

Want to learn how to adapt? Get in touch with us at,and together we can develop the culture your organisation needs!

Ana Salitan