digital thoughts 2019: Expeditions into the digital world – technologies, ongoing change, leadership

On May 23, ec4u will present innovations and trends for the customer experience and innovative applications for marketing, sales and service together with customers, experts and opinion formers and address the challenges of digital leadership in the midst of (agile) transformation:

  • How, for example, AI and other innovations can support marketing, sales and service both on the customer side and internally. 
  • How executives can deal with digital change in order to grow with their company. 
  • What communication, organization and culture in agile transformation can and must look like to provide a stable foundation for your business.

LEARN MORE HERE

“It’s greatly inspiring giving a real keynote in an innovative virtual conference like Digital Thoughts 2019”

Jochen Werne

EIC2019 Keynote: HUMAN. DIGITAL. CULTURE – Disruption or just Progress? Impacts of Artificial Intelligence on Business and Society

Looking greatly forward to give a keynote on the impacts of AI on business and society and to discuss with some of the 800 thought leaders, leading vendors, analysts, visionaries and executives at the highly recognised Kuppinger Cole European Identity & Cloud Conference 2019.

Jochen Werne

FIND OUT MORE

The place where the Digital Transformation is happening. The European Identity & Cloud Conference, held from May 14-17, 2019, offers a mixture of best practice discussions, visionary presentations, and networking opportunities with a future-oriented community. More than 800 thought leaders, leading vendors, analysts, visionaries, executives, and end-users get together in Munich to be inspired by a list of world-class speakers.

With five parallel tracks, more than 200 international speakers and experts, many Best Practice presentations and 120 hours of relevant content, EIC 2019 provides you with a comprehensive overview of future trends in Internet security as well as practical information about current projects.

Every year the agenda focuses on the latest and most relevant Information Security and Digital Identity topics to offer you the foundation to design the right digital identity and security strategies for your business. Hear about emerging trends in order to be prepared to meet and exceed present and future business, identity and security challenges.

Academy for Leadership: Adventure with plan

Article published in the Advance Magazine 01/2018 

https://advance-online.de/zeitungen/advance-01-18/story/

Translated by DeepL

 

2012 Expedition “Cerberus”, day 3.

A workplace to fear.  The wind whips the sailing yacht of the Global Offshore Sailing Team through the English Channel.  The heating goes on strike, everything on board is clammy and ice-cold.  Five men take turns on watch, the maximum rest period is three hours.  Götz Gredé had been forewarned, had packed heaps of warm things and his father’s lined hunting boots.  When he needs them, the rubber crumbles in his fingers.  They were probably too old and simply dried up, the good pieces.  For the guard on deck, Götz now has to slip into thin sneakers.  He freezes like never before in his life, thinking only of escape.  “In the next harbour I leave the ship.  You don’t mind, do you?” he asks Jochen Werne.  “Yes,” the expedition leader replies.  Götz is speechless. Then he learns something for life.

1991: Gorch Fock.

Give up or hold out?  Jochen Werne never asked himself this question.  The wiry mid-forty grows with his tasks, that’s always been the case.  He grew up in a village near Waldshut, directly on the Swiss border.  At the station kiosk, where others stock up on grain, he buys the “Herald Tribune”.  The view over the edge of the plate awakens the wanderlust.  He is particularly fascinated by seafaring.  He reports to the navy.  There he belongs to the best, can choose his command.  And he chooses one of the hardest jobs there is: the sail training ship “Gorch Fock”.  89 metres long, dream ship on the outside, life reduced to a minimum on the inside: 30 men on 30 square metres.  Privacy only exists on the mast at a height of 40 metres.  Werne has to sleep in the 1.75 metre long bunk.  Werne measures 1.79 metres.  “Turning around is not possible,” he says.  “I never lay in a coffin, but I didn’t have much more room.”  So it goes twice around the world.

What the navigator likes: sailing, camaraderie.  What’s not: the bureaucracy and the inertia of the system.  After two years duty on the “Gorch Fock” he decides against the officer career and studies business administration.  Even today, Werne criticizes rigid, inefficient structures that do not fit into an ever faster society: “The bigger the company, the easier it is for me to hide behind bureaucratic processes.  Do it on a ship!”

It turns out that shipping not only demands good leadership, it also provides strategic approaches when it comes to coping with disruption.  “The Apollo 11 space capsule had 12,300 transistors, 3 billion fit on the processor of the Apple iPad Air 2.”  Werne is enthusiastic about the exponential growth of digital technologies.  “We live in the most prosperous time ever,” he says.  His confidence has little to do with his belief in technology; it is based on a deeper insight: “We are all biased.  Fears from childhood block our view of the positive.”

2017 London, Chatham House.

Take digitization, for example: “Of course many jobs will be lost,” says Werne, “but many will also be created.  Nobody knows yet how big the gap between them will be.  Is digitalization the biggest upheaval in human history?  “That’s only what 30-year-olds say,” says Werne and laughs.  It’s not a matter of worrying.  After all, people are still the driving force behind technology.  That also gives them the freedom to make their own decisions.  For example, about what happens to that part of the population whose jobs are disappearing.  Do we need a basic income?  “Perhaps.  But above all we need a plan,” says Werne.

Such plans are being discussed at Chatham House, for example, one of the world’s most important think tanks based in London.  Jochen Werne discusses security, politics and society with the other members there.  He also talks about the future of work: “We need contingency plans, otherwise high unemployment threatens and people lose their prospects,” he says.  Above all, however, fear must be combated.  It is important to illustrate the benefits of new technologies for people.  Werne uses YouTube videos, for example, which show how Parkinson’s patients learn to control their trembling with the help of an implanted chip.  Or a development of the world’s largest wine producer. At Gallo in California, all vines were equipped with sensors.  They measure the moisture in the soil.  This data is enriched with weather data from NASA satellites.  “On this basis, Gallo was able to save 25 percent water during irrigation from one day to the next,” says Werne.

I FIRMLY BELIEVE IN MANKIND AND MORE IN ITS CREATIVE POWER THAN IN ITS DESTRUCTIVE POWER.

2003 Munich, Bankhaus August Lenz.

To see the future as a great adventure, this view of the world also brings momentum into professional life.  After studying business administration, Jochen Werne worked at an Internet start-up, then became an analyst at Bankers Trust Alex.  Brown International and in Global Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank.  In 2001, he joined Accenture as a CRM specialist.  His latest client there is the Mediolanum Group, an Italian financial services provider.  In 2001 it took over the Munich bank August Lenz.  Werne has been working for the “most personal private bank” since 2003, according to the promise in the slogan. As Director of Marketing, Business Development, Treasury & Payment Services, he drives the bank’s digitization.  He also deliberately seeks cooperation with up-and-coming Fintechs and develops services for which the bank has already received several awards.  “Innovation must start with top management,” he says.  His strategy: “Bring the right people together, then make it easy.  Werne borrows a nice term for this from Erich Fromm: “spontaneous activity”. “Spontane is important, it brings in creativity,” he says.  The concept “9 to 5” is dead, in new working environments it is exactly about making it as easy as possible for employees to come up with ideas.  Hierarchies are indispensable, says Werne.  Not only when sailing.  But he does restrict: “If the hierarchy stands, you also have to delegate and trust.  I’ve never seen anyone fail to accept a task assigned to them.”

2012 Expedition “Cerberus”, day 3.

Which brings us back to the freezing Götz Credé.  “He was completely perplexed because I didn’t want to just let him leave the boat,” recalls Werne.  In the conversation he draws a clear line: “We are in an uncomfortable situation, not in a struggle for survival.  Then he outlines a possible future for his colleague: “If you give up, you’ll always find plenty of reasons to justify yourself.  People will agree with you.  But that’s not the point.  It’s about admitting to yourself: “I can’t do that.”  When the next similar situation comes, you will behave like that again.  And in the end you walk stooped through life.”  Götz Credé stays and is the first one to sign up for the next tour.  Jochen Werne says: “The strongest drive comes from within.  Life is always about answering three questions: “What do I want?”, “What does it cost me?” and “Am I willing to pay the price?

Werne recommends all those who don’t feel comfortable at work to answer these questions for themselves.  He focuses on personality and freedom in the search for talent: “You can no longer reach the target group with the classic job description,” he says.  It is more important to appear authentic and to enable employees to shape their own work.  Only in this way can a company be successfully managed, because: “The well-being and woe always depends on the people”.

AS SOON AS THE HIERARCHY IS SET, ONE MUST ALSO BE ABLE TO DELEGATE AND TRUST.

2017 Prologue.

Jochen Werne likes to digress when he talks.  Always in an honest effort to leave the visitor in the dark about nothing.  The world is complicated.  Jochen Werne thinks deeper than many others.  The visitor experiences a doer with brains, an adventurer with a plan.  Oh what, with many plans.  Sovereign in appearance, blessed with the ability to get enthusiastic about one thing and carry others along.  The most beautiful example: In 1999 Jochen Werne founded the international Global Offshore Sailing Team (gost.org) to combine two passions: sailing on the high seas and international understanding.  30 to 40 members from different nations belong to the crew in changing line-ups.  “There are no national differences at sea, especially in extreme situations,” says Werne.  And these are the result in the following years, from the fight against storm and ice in Spitsbergen to the machine breakdown in the English Channel. The machine is repaired by the expedition leader himself, although he actually has no idea about the matter.  He thinks, analyses, finally finds the blocked cooling circuit and cleans it.  There was simply no one else there who could have done it better.  The banker, future thinker and expedition leader Jochen Werne trusts himself quite naturally.  In the end, we have the impression that with self-confidence, experience and a thirst for adventure, the future can not only be mastered, but well shaped.

Antarctica 2018: “Mankind can do a lot!

One of the expeditions led by Jochen Werne led to the Arctic ice in 2016.  The GOST team sailed to the pack ice border in the footsteps of researchers like Roald Amundsen, Fridtjof Nansen and Ernest Shackleton.  It commemorated the seamen who fought in the battles for Arctic convoys with supplies for Russia in the Second World War between 1941 and 1943.  In the name of Norway and Canada, the expedition participants handed over wreaths of the sea in memory of the fallen.  At the same time, the expedition was to raise awareness of the effects of climate change on the Arctic.  The expedition team was supported by King Harald of Norway, the Canadian government and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In February 2018, Jochen Werne set course for Antarctica.  “This is a completely different story again,” he says.  The average temperature on the coldest continent is minus 30 degrees, and the ice layer is on average 2.1 kilometres thick.  The “Antarctic Blanc” expedition primarily serves the environment.  The “Antarctic Treaty” has been in force since 1961, an agreement between 30 countries that have committed themselves to refrain from using Antarctica for military purposes and to exchange their research results openly.  In 1998, the “Environmental Protocol” was also signed, which is considered the toughest environmental protection agreement in the world.  Werne is optimistic: “It shows that we as humanity can achieve a lot, regardless of what opinions we hold.

The importance that the GOST expeditions now enjoy was already apparent in advance.  Support came from the Queen of England, the Vienna Hofburg and the office of the German Federal President.  The heads of state of the Czech Republic and Finland sent personal letters, Belgium, Bulgaria, Sweden and Switzerland were also on board.  Jochen Werne manages this with months of dedication and the motto: “If you want to achieve something – always start at the top”.

The expeditions on the web:

Global Offshore Sailing Team: www.gost.org

Arctic Expedition 2016: www.arcticoceanraptor.com

Antarctic Expedition 2018: www.antarcticblanc.com

Bankhaus August Lenz: www.banklenz.de

Communicating the Environment to Save the Planet

A Journey into Eco-Communication

“It has been a great pleasure and honour that author Maurizio Abbati has mentioned Expedition Antarctic Blanc in his new book as a successful example how public awareness for important environmental topics can be raised.”

Jochen Werne, Expedition Leader

This book, based on authoritative sources and reports, links environmental communication to different fields of competence: environment, sustainability, journalism, mass media, architecture, design, art, green and circular economy, public administration, big event management and legal language. The manual offers a new, scientifically based perspective, and adopts a theoretical-practical approach, providing readers with qualified best practices, case studies and 22 exclusive interviews with professionals. A fluent style of writing leads the readers through specific details, enriching their knowledge without being boring. As such it is an excellent preparatory and interdisciplinary academic tool intended for university students, scholars, professionals, and anyone who would like to know more on the matter.

Yacht Club de Monaco – Pre-Expedition Press Conference
  • Various case-studies and best practices help the reader to increase his Eco-awareness, making him involved in the main topic: Eco-communication
  • Interviews stimulate curiosity and allow the reader to investigate Eco-communication issues from different points of view
  • Numerous social and web links make the manual an original “platform” constantly open to dialogue
  • Various case-studies and best practices help the reader to increase his Eco-awareness, making him involved in the main topic: Eco-communication
  • Interviews stimulate curiosity and allow the reader to investigate Eco-communication issues from different points of view
  • Numerous social and web links make the manual an original “platform” constantly open to dialogue

Business, AI, Politics and Society – An inspiring evening with the WJ Hamburg

It has been a great pleasure not only to give a speech at the plenary meeting for the Wirtschaftsjunioren Hamburg, but also to discuss in-depth the impact of AI on our society with a highly engaged auditorium.

Together with the Wirtschaftsjunioren / (c) WJ Hamburg

After the meeting the Wirtschaftsjunioren summarised the evening on Facebook as follows:

“At yesterday’s plenary meeting of the Education Committee, we combined the exciting topic of artificial intelligence with the beautiful (junior) life. Our keynote speaker Jochen Werne, Director Business Development & Marketing at Bankhaus Lenz, lecturer and author, gave a vivid presentation on the opportunities, dangers and challenges of AI for companies and society. How does it feel to pass on your activated smartphone to the person sitting next to you? What does a folded leaf have to do with the moon and AI?

Jochen Werne / (c) WJ Hamburg


We had SALT AND PEPPER as a guest for the further practical testing of AI. In a VR environment, we were able to build future production facilities using the BoxPlan product. The innovative Startup Smunch, the online canteen for happy teams, provided us with very real, delicious food. In the lounge-like atmosphere of the Ruby Hans Workspaces we found a great setting for stimulating conversations and networking.

We would like to thank all guests and cooperation partners for a successful junior evening: Private Family Banker, Exclusive Agent Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY, SALT AND PEPPER technology and management consulting, software development, Smunch.co
And remember, on 26.05.2019 is the European election, Step Up For Europe (see group photo 😉 )”

Wirtschaftsjunioren Hamburg – Engagement for Europe / (c) WJ Hamburg
Prof. Dr. Peter Scholz (HSBA) & Sven O. Müller (7orcas) / (c) WJ Hamburg

Thank you very much to the Wirtschaftsjunioren Hamburg and Alexander Köhne for the highly appreciated invitation.

“Google, how’s my portfolio performing and what to do now?” AI in the financial sector – the next big thing?

Original published in German in the Handelsblatt KI-Summit “KI-Business Guide”. Translation performed by DeepL.com

“Google, how are my stocks doing and what to do?” AI in the financial sector – the next big thing? by Jochen Werne, Bankhaus August Lenz

AI is making its way into every industry, but banks, insurance companies and FinTechs in particular are seeing a renaissance for their data-based business models in disruptive times. Jochen Werne, director and head of the innovation team at Munich-based private bank Bankhaus August Lenz, explains the role that the human factor will play in banking and consulting in the future.

Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA) have long seen artificial intelligence as the technology of the future. Banks and insurance companies also see the potential in machine and deep learning approaches to be a relevant player in the future in an increasingly technology-driven market environment. After “FinTech”, “Blockchain” and “Crypto-currencies”, “AI” is the new buzzword of the industry. From the AI-optimized chatbot to highly complex, self-learning, investment algorithms – the omnipresence of the term suggests that the integration of Artificial Intelligence into one’s own business model seems to be virtually necessary for survival. But is that really the case, where do we stand and which factors cannot be replaced by technology?

What becomes possible in times of exponential technologies is de facto nothing less than a revolution. The financial industry holds a vast amount of valuable and already processed data. Not only do they reflect our daily and extremely private life, from buying tickets for the subway via apps to the preference of our garments – but they reflect also the payment flows of entire companies and industries, and therefor our entire economy. Maturing AI systems not only make it easier to prepare and process this data, they also make it much cheaper, faster and more targeted. AI will not only enable banks to make their services more customer centric, it will also transform most areas of the financial industry – from asset management to business operations and money laundering prevention to marketing.

Data protection has top priority

Every major technological leap has historically been accompanied by a positive and an abusively usable development. TIME magazine recently published an article by Apple CEO Tim Cook entitled “It’s time for action on privacy. We all deserve control over our digital life”. Every electronic transaction generates customer-specific data. These structured data sets, which have been collected for many years, are now becoming the most valuable raw material. It’s important to create meaningful use-cases especially when it comes to the enrichment of existing structured data sets with external, possibly unstructured data. However, this is exactly where the risk lies. If sensitive data falls into the wrong hands and is deliberately misused, cyber attacks can cause considerable damage to individuals and groups. Trust is and remains therefore one of the most important assets of a credit institution or financial service provider. Consequently, the protection of customer data in a digital banking world has absolute priority today more than ever before. When using AI technology, it is therefore essential to use private and sensitive data in the interests of the customer. And this is where not only IT and cyber security departments of banks come into play, but also politics: their primary task must be to find meaningful solutions for handling the effects of the use of AI on society, the economy and thus on our lifes and the work of tomorrow. And this without endangering the competitiveness of our own country. The fact that this topic is taken seriously is evident not only in national initiatives such as the German Platform for Artificial Intelligence “Lernende Systeme”, but also, for example, in the European Artificial Intelligence shoulder-to-shoulder approach, which is being pushed forward at full speed by France and Germany.

The ideal model for private customer business: Connection of AI and human-based advise

In order to advance the acceptance of AI in the financial sector, it is important that existing digital tools are even better adapted to customer needs. The successful symbiosis between people and digital technology is indispensable. With the help of online financial forums, banking apps, vlogs and digital industry comparisons, private individuals can now achieve basically the same level of knowledge as financial professionals, but what is usually lacking is the successful filtering of the “information overload” and the consideration of the behavioral finance problem.

A realistic model for the successful transformation of the financial sector is therefore quite simple: streamline business models and processes, use data efficiently and always place the needs of customers at the centre of all activities. Taking advantage from technological progress always comes with successful deployment scenarios. Consequently, the technological revolution associated with the use of AI systems can only succeed if it is accepted by society – meaning, by us humans.

Germany’s platform for artificial intelligence “Lernende Systeme”

It’s greatly inspiring and an honour being part of this unique platform which is concentrating knowledge and illustrating perspectives in the field of artificial intelligence and self learning systems

The Plattform Lernende Systeme brings together expertise from science, industry and society for fostering Germany‘s position as an international technology leader. It understands itself as a forum for exchange and cooperation.

Click here for more insight views:https://www.plattform-lernende-systeme.de/home-en.html

Designing self-learning systems for the benefit of society is the goal pursued by the Plattform Lernende Systeme which was launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in 2017 at the suggestion of acatech. The members of the platform are organized into Working Groups and a Steering Committee which consolidate the current state of knowledge about self-learning systems and Artificial Intelligence. They point out developments in industry and society, analyse the skills which will be needed in the future and use real application scenarios to demonstrate the benefit of self-learning systems. A Managing Office at acatech coordinates the work of the platform.

Concept and aims of the platform

Self-learning systems are increasingly becoming a driving force behind digitalisation in business and society. They are based on Artificial Intelligence technologies and methods that are currently developing at a rapid pace in terms of performance. Self-learning systems are machines, robots and software systems that learn from data and use it to autonomously complete tasks that have been described in an abstract fashion – all without specific programming for each step.

Self-learning systems are becoming increasingly commonplace supporting people in their work and everyday lives. For example, they can be used to develop autonomous traffic systems, improve medical diagnostics and assist emergency services in disaster zones. They can help improve quality of life in many different respects, but are also fundamentally changing how humans and machines interact.

Self-learning systems have immense economic potential. As digitalisation takes hold, they are already helping companies in certain sectors to create entirely new business models based on data usage and are radically changing conventional value creation chains. This is opening up opportunities for new businesses, but can also represent a threat to established market leaders should they fail to react quickly enough.

Developing and introducing self-learning systems calls for special core skills, which need to be carefully nurtured to secure Germany’s pioneering role in this field. Using self-learning systems also raises numerous social, legal, ethical and security questions – with regard to data protection and liability, but also responsibility and transparency. To tackle these issues, we need to engage in broad-based dialogues as early as possible.

Plattform Lernende Systeme brings together leading experts in self-learning systems and Artificial Intelligence from science, industry, politics and civic organisations. In specialised focus groups, they discuss the opportunities, challenges and parameters for developing self-learning systems and using them responsibly. They derive scenarios, recommendations, design options and road maps from the results.

Handelsblatt AI Summit: Revolutionary technology & the impact on our society

AI thought leaders met on the 21st and 22nd at the #HBAISummit not only to discuss the latest developments in machine and deep learning programming but especially real use-cases, trends in the start-up scene, the role of Germany and Europe in the AI race and the impact of AI on our society. Read more here

It has been a great pleasure discussing and being inspired by a highly engaged auditorium during two sessions:

AI in Finance

Fireside Chat: Es geht immer Meer

Platform Banking: Changing Perspectives for New Players in the Digital Ecosystem

Author: Jochen Werne – Original published by Bankenforen Leipzig in Bankenforen-Themendossier – 12 March 2019 – Translated by DeepL

There is no lack of buzzwording when it comes to trends in the financial sector: Disruption, FinTech, block chain, crypto. Currently, another term is climbing the zenith of a media hype – platform banking. And not without good reason. “Platform Banking” was voted “Financial Word of the Year” in 2018. Behind this lies the call for banking institutions to open up to third-party providers. Banks and savings banks should not only offer their own services on open platforms, but should also integrate third-party offers and services. Consistently thought through to the end, banks will thus become more intermediaries for all possible services and less providers of their own financial services. The legally necessary prerequisites for such an approach in the strictly regulated financial market have already been set in motion by the adoption of the Payment Services Directive PSD2. Will platform banking become a new hope for the industry, or another risk component in the attempt to lose fewer customers to new technology competitors?


The hype surrounding the topic is understandable: Eight of the ten world’s most valuable companies – Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Co. – have a platform in their business model. And even more striking: Only one of these companies was already among the top 10 worldwide in 2008. This growth potential, which is the result of the platform expansion, is of course intended by many industries to benefit themselves. The world of finance is also changing rapidly. In recent years, a variety of innovative developments have taken place in the areas of payment transactions and payments. The arrival of third party providers and fintechs has changed the market sustainably and comprehensively.
According to a recent whitepaper by Deloitte Consulting, banks will also have to consider a platform strategy in the future: In the future, the customer base will also be able to access products and services from third-party providers in addition to the existing offering. The long-term goal behind this is well known – to retain existing customers, acquire new ones and increase margins.

Platform as recipe for success?

In general, a platform can be seen as a place where supply and demand meet. Economists call such a market – not a new discovery. Due to the digitization of all areas of business and life, geographical boundaries of the marketplaces belong to the past. The result: an almost unlimited number of supply and demand meet on a digital platform – and competition is known to stimulate business. In these business models, the so-called “network effect” ensures that with each new provider on a platform, the incentive for demanders and customers also increases. And in general the more demanders there are on the platform, the more lucrative it becomes for the suppliers. Both sides save enormous search and time efforts and transaction costs are reduced. In short, reflects this the recipe for success behind industry giants such as Amazon, AirBnB, Uber and Co. Nevertheless, there are existing fundamental reservations. The desire of many bank managers to grab a straw in order to grasp a component of hope in a difficult market environment seems understandable. However, blind action is fatal in this situation. Banks must not forget what the emergence of competition in the form of FinTechs has already revealed: frightening weaknesses with regard to their own modern hardware and software solutions, organisation and innovative corporate culture. The fact is that the challenge facing change management is proving to be enormous. And this already now, without having given space to the idea of creating a single platform. The current wave of closing down banking or partnership-based Robo Advisor solutions shows how quickly these carriers of hope can become problems. The commission model behind this, which is always transparent and low priced, is hardly profitable for the banking infrastructure and marginalises the added value that an institution is able to provide for its customers.

The complexity of the changes on all levels, starting with the completely changed, technological possibilities and their effects on the transformation of long-established business models, over the resulting new economic situation of the enterprises are enormous. The difference to the past decades lies in the temporal component. If companies today do not react directly to market changes, they open the way for competitors to their own customers. And this faster than ever before. In such disruptive times, all those involved want an “efficient” change process. However, active, well-considered and vital change management is often criminally neglected. For this one opens door and gate to blind actionism.

The business model of a financial platform is complex, the regulatory framework is strict and the willingness of customers to switch is only slightly visible. For this reason, this business model has so far been too uninteresting for Internet groups. And now, of all things, the banks, often perceived as conservative and unmodern, are to be transformed into digital platforms that can compete with Amazon & Co?

Enormous change management challenge

Banks need a forward-looking and sustainable strategy. That is beyond question. At the latest since the massive “democratization” of the Internet at the end of the 1990s, our lives have been shaped by leaps in technology. In short, the world feels like it is turning faster than ever before. What does this mean for the banks of the 21st century? Anyone who does not understand this exponential dynamic of technical possibilities or does not take them sufficiently into account in his business model can quickly lose touch – with the customers of today and tomorrow. Open banking is both an opportunity and a technological challenge for the banking industry. The European Payment Service Directive 2 – or PSD2 for short – has inevitably made opening up to third parties the focus of the digital strategy.

At the technical level, this is primarily associated with the use of programming interfaces, so-called APIs, which enable both internal and external cost-effective and fast access to data, as well as functions of software applications. What provides the end customer with a cross-product customer experience, means for banks to strategically cooperate with external partners. For FinTechs, cooperation is also advantageous. It creates fast access to customers and their data, as well as to the necessary financial and structural prerequisites.

Anticipating these developments requires a good eye for tomorrow’s customers. After all, customer data is a success driver for future business models. A few years ago, FinTechs began to “poach” their digital offerings among the customer base of traditional institutes. All of this culminated in Robo-Advisors, standardized, computer-controlled asset managers with low fees. It was therefore time for the banks to set sail anew. The plan was to enter into symbioses with FinTechs or “buy” their products directly into their own portfolios. For many large banks, it has become good form to enter into cooperation with small, independent and innovative financial service providers. This is also clearly demonstrated by the current situation of FinTechs. Mergers and co-operation are nothing else than a proof for the fact that the search for sustainable business models is not easy with a fixed idea to solve, not even with the platform strategy. Nevertheless, neither the previous business models nor the product possibilities seem to be mature.

Don’t forget the human factor

The personal relationship, the touchpoint between customer and consultant in the real world, has been increasingly reduced by the acceptance of digital banking. Nevertheless, even if a digital experience is a good thing for a modern bank, consumers continue to appreciate human contact points – especially in economically or politically turbulent times.

The challenge lies in providing the right balance between the digital experience and the traditional, trust based, personal customer relationship.

Jochen Werne


This is precisely the added value that banks can really deliver in this environment today. And this without having to rely on the healing promises of platform banking. Be a guide in the digital jungle and protect customers from ill-considered gut decisions. In addition, it is important to include the customer’s background, apart from monetary issues, in the decision-making process. This usually requires a counterpart. Not a digital one, but a human one. A person of heart and soul who generates trust and can provide a place for personal encounter. Today, it is the customer alone who determines where this is located and what it should look like. The same goes for when this meeting takes place. The modern customer expects the best possible service regardless of space and time, not only in view of the phenomenon of digital gadgets.

At a time of fast pace and constant digital transformation, it is ultimately the Bank’s task to invoke traditional values, ensure humanity and meet the need to be an institution that the client trusts. Perhaps even beyond monetary concerns.

Jochen Werne

Handelsblatt KI-Summit – Thoughtleaders in AI meet in Munich

It’s a great pleasure having the chance to meet international experts and supporting the Summit as Speaker on AI in Finance and with an evening fireside chat about leadership, transformation and the sea.

HANDELSBLATT KI-SUMMIT

DETAILS & LINK TO THE SUMMIT
Fireside Chat in der Future Lounge about Leadership in times of transformation

KI-INsights Businessguide

Read interviews and articles from experts in the KI-Businessguide published by the Handelsblatt for the Summit and free to download on this website

It was a pleasure supporting the publication with reflection on AI developments in the Financial Industry called: “Google, how are my stocks doing and what to do?” AI in the financial sector – the next big thing?
AI in Finance Session in the Handelsblatt KI-SUMMIT
AI in Finance Session in the Handelsblatt KI-SUMMIT