At a time when the pandemic forced businesses and individuals to move almost completely online, the corporate banking industry met the expectations of consumers by developing innovative digital banking solutions.
To ensure this new path forward is beneficial not only for the banking industry but also for overall customer experience, new regulations are being introduced to improve upon opportunities for the development of these new financial services. Within the EU, initiatives included new standards for digital identification, digital payments, as well as electronic verification in order to advance a single digital market, one of which was the Payments Services Directive 2 (PSD2).
This week, The Aspen Trust Group introduces the trend of corporate digital bank and digital currencies as well as the benefits of adopting innovative digital banking solutions to drive your business forward.
The Emergence of Digital Banking Solutions
Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the oldest bank in the world, was founded in 1472 and for nearly 500 years, the banking industry has been largely unchanged. It was not until 1966 that the first debit card was introduced by Barclays (UK). Since then, a number of milestones have led to the rise of digital banking.
1994 became the year that internet banking was launched by Stanford Federal Credit Union for all customers and in 2001, Bank of America reported over 3 million customers using online banking platforms.
Fast forward to 2007 when the first iPhone was released, although it would not be until 2011 that the first smartphone banking app was introduced by First Direct. Innovative digital banking solutions may seem slow to catch on, but in an industry that has remained virtually the same since its start, digitalization of financial services is reaching a period of precedent growth and speed and in the midst of a global pandemic that halted many traditional avenues of business, the social media platform Facebook initiated Novi, a banking platform utilizing cryptocurrency.
In fact, digital banking is not completely a new concept and many changes in the framework of banking are changing each year. With the increased popularity of the internet and social media platforms plus the development of new digital technologies, many global banks incorporated financial services through their banking platform that could be done over the internet. Mobile banking was also released as part of these initiatives to cater to the interests and preferences of technology-reliant customers.
In 2008, 33% of Cypriot residents used the internet for online banking needs, a percentage that has quickly risen from 6% in 2006. Moreover, in 2017, 66% of Cypriots were using electronic payments. While the percentage of mobile payment users was still quite low, at 8%.
However, many banks were seeing profitable gains by undertaking large measures to capitalize on the opportunity of innovative digital banking solutions. As initial costs were larger, lower cost-to-income, overall increase of return equity, and higher operational capacity motivated Cypriot banks to stay ahead of the digitalization trend and transform their financial services online.
Other fintech companies and biotech companies have also enter into the market as financial brands ready to fill the digital gap and improve digital technologies missing from customer experience in traditional banking platforms.
How Does Digital Banking Differ from Traditional Banking?
Digital global banks are banking platforms in which the transaction of customers can be done completely over the internet. Unlike traditional banking which requires a physical locale or branch, customers can access accounts through a desktop or mobile device rather than visiting a physical banking location in-person. There are no over-the-counter transactions or waiting in lines, removing human interaction and paperwork.
Business Advantages When Using Innovative Digital Banking Solutions
Several key areas distinguish the innovative digital banking solutions of this new method of banking systems from traditional-only banks:
- Staying competitive and streamline with most businesses that are now almost all online, allowing for hassle-free retention of existing customers and the acquisition of new ones;
- Removing the necessity of human interaction for financial services, such as transfers, e-statements, and mobile deposits which do not require in-person engagement, and thus significantly improving customer experiences and overall financial performance;
- Eliminating the rates associated with in-person banking services with digital banking platforms that utilize the latest in innovative digital banking solutions for customers at a fraction of the cost or even free, especially beneficial for small business owners hoping to optimize their finances;
- Improving efficiency measures for individuals and businesses seeking solutions for better time and energy management practices by removing the process of journeying to a physical branch of the bank;
- Cutting the expenses for banks and credit unions as less is needed to cover rent and utilities, operation expenses, equipment, security, and employee salaries, which can be transferred down to the customers;
- Providing the conveniences of real-time transfers through a few short, and instant, clicks as well as logging all transactions in a quick and accessible manner so that individuals and businesses can stay on top of monitoring activity and balances;
- Investing in more rewarding products and services instead of maintaining a physical location, providing better customer service and 25/7 banking services to each unique customer.
Blockchain, Digital Banking, and a Transforming Cyprus Corporate Landscape
As business opportunities in Cyprus continue to expand across multiple industries, innovative digital banking solutions are finding the hallmarks of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as inspirations for making significant in-roads to bolster growth and provide unprecedented financial services to corporate banking clients.
In the medical field, blockchain and cryptocurrency is increasing efficiency between doctors and institutions and their patients. Aretaeio Hospital in Nicosia has launched a new program that allows for a patient to have total control of their medical data powered by blockchain-based laboratory testing services. The program is a collaboration between a blockchain ecosystem and a medical data management platform that connects doctors, patients, and hospital administration while maintaining full compliance with healthcare standards and secure, immutable records.
Blockchain technology is also changing the dynamics and partnerships found in real estate, logistics, food, and pharmaceutical industries with implications for innovative digital banking solutions for these fields. As corporations focus on adapting to blockchain technologies and cross-border digital interactions, online banking platforms and investment in technology and resources become more crucial. Already some banks such as the Bank of Cyprus have shifted their sights to going digital in an effort to meet the demands of the estimated 3 billion people that will be using digital banking by 2021.
For corporations, digital banking is not just about responding to preferences and facilitating easier transactions with consumers, but also applying strategic practices for improving business operations and saving on daily costs, time, and energy. Moving forward, corporations will need to focus on the perspective of consumers when it comes to building financial services and business relationships as well as practical corporate financial restructuring goals that are enriched by adopting innovative digital banking solutions throughout company management and transactions.
The experts at The Aspen Trust Group are ready to assist any corporation unsure how to incorporate digital banking services into their operations. We can advise your company on the best approach to innovative digital banking solutions that are right for your business model and financial goals. Consult with our financial service professionals and be at the forefront of the digital banking trend, enjoying better performance and customer service for you and your customers.