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

French government invites Expedition Antarctic Blanc

Initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron, it’s a great honour having received an invitation from the French Ministère de la Transition écologique et solidaire to hand over the French expedition flag to Mme Sophie-Dorothée Duron, Conseillère Biodiversité Eau Mer in the Cabinet du Ministre

On 1 April 2019 at 4 p.m., Mme Sophie-Dorothée Duron, Conseillère Biodiversité Eau Mer will welcome a delegation from the international expedition Antarctic Blanc, which was successfully carried out with French assistance. The delegation will present the expedition flag, which represented France in Antarctica, as a symbol of remembrance.

French President Emmanuel MACRON personally underlined in his letter of support to the Expedition how important the preservation of our planet’s ecosystem is and how valuable therefore the creation of awareness in the society by the initiative.

Letter from the Elysée Palace supporting Expedition Antarctic Blanc

STORMS AND ICEBERGS

Expedition Antarctic Blanc pursued historical, social and environmental goals. The 12 expedition offshore participants of the initiative, supported by the United Nations and 19 states, crossed on a 20m sailing yacht twice in 12 days, under the toughest conditions, one of the most dangerous sea routes in the world – the Drake Passage, covering 1129 nautical miles (over 2,000km). The journey was marked by the passage of several storm systems in the Antarctic and off Cape Horn, which delayed the return by several days. Winds with up to 50kn, waves up to 8m high and temperatures around freezing point demanded top physical performances from the expedition participants.

INTERNATIONAL COMMEMORATION CEREMONY. Sailing on Historic Routes. The expedition commemorated the researchers, explorers and sailors whose ships had to master the challenging peculiarities of reaching an unknown part of the world. The international team held a commemoration ceremony on the historically significant Antarctic volcanic Deception Island. In the name of all supporting states and the United Nations, a wreath of local ice was symbolically formed and laid down in order to pay international tribute to the achievements in the exploration of this unique continent. The supporting nations are among the signatories of the politically unique Antarctic Treaty of 23 June 1961. Heads of state and government organizations of the 19 nations have expressed their support for this unique, privately initiated expeditions in letters to the leader of the expedition, Jochen Werne, in particular for the execution of the ceremonial act of commemoration.

FRANCE AND THE ANTARCTIC TREATY. France joined the Antarctic Treaty on 23 June 1961 and, with its signature, also acknowledged that “in the interest of all mankind, Antarctica is used exclusively for peaceful purposes and should not become the scene or object of international discord”. France also underlined its commitment to the preservation of this ecosystem as a “nature reserve dedicated to peace and science”.

UNEP CLEAN SEAS INITIATIVE. The main focus of the expedition was to sensitize the international public for the preservation of the unique Antarctic ecosystem and to support the UN initiative Clean Seas to combat plastic waste in the oceans. With Expedition Antarctic Blanc, this important United Nations Environmental Program project is now finding acceptance on all continents of our planet.

CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE ECOSYSTEM. In addition, the expedition supported the University of Connecticut and Northeastern University’s research project on plankton metabarcoding by collecting plankton samples, which could provide a fundamental contribution to obtaining rapid responses to the ecosystem’s response to climate change.

WHALES IN THE ANTARCTIC. With the observation of 18 different whales and the detailed documentation of their position and behaviour, the expedition also contributed to the establishment of the global whale observation platform ‘Happy Wales’. The platform is intended to provide science with in-depth insights into the behaviour and development of the largest mammals on our planet.

CHILD AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT. To promote international children and youth projects, several live broadcasts were held from sea and Antarctica with children of the sailing school of the Yacht Club de Monaco. On their return, the team visited the Cedena Yacht School Puerto Williams, Chile, which is open to children from all walks of life in the southernmost region of our planet, and through sport encourages them to develop their own goals and character traits that are conducive to their personal development. In addition to a donation from the expedition team, the foundation stone was laid for an international exchange and the children were introduced to Antarctica and its significance.

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION. The visit to Paris marks the fifth important reception for Expedition Antarctic Blanc after the reception by Prince Albert II in Monaco, the ambassador of the poles of the Netherlands, Carola van Reijnsoever, in The Hague, the President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen in Vienna and the Private Secretary to Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark Henning Fode.

PRESS INVITATION

  • Following the flag handover on 1 April 2019 at 4 p.m. in Paris, the expedition leader Jochen Werne and Chief Liasion Officer to France Olivier Blanchard will be available to the press for questions and interviews, pictures and filming.
  • On request, the delegation can also attend press events in Paris on this day.
    Accreditation is requested. Please send an e-mail to ExpeditionLeader@AntarcticBlanc.com for this purpose.

Expedition participants – Offshore Team

Jochen Werne Expedition Leader

Marco Schröter Chief Safety Officer

Oliver Picht Navigator & Chief Documentation Officer

Linden Blue Chief Communication Officer

Bernd Görgner Chief Medical Officer

Benon Janos Environmental Initiatives Coordinator

Wolfgang Händel Chief Logistics Officer

Hans Axtner Master of Ceremony

Michael Melnick Chief Sciences Coordinator

David Gamba Chief Observer

Wolf Kloss Skipper and Expedition Yacht Owner

Karl Papenfuss Mate

Comment on the initiator of the expedition – The Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST)

Expedition “Antarctic Blanc” is the continuation of the polar initiative launched in 2016 with comparable objectives under the name “Arctic Ocean Raptor”, but in the Spitsbergen sea area and up to the Arctic pack ice limit. An additional and important aspect was the commemoration of the seafarers of all nations, who fulfilled their seafaring duties during the maritime operations in the Arctic under the mostly merciless weather conditions and partly also lost their lives. In the name of the Norwegian King Harald V and the Canadian government, a wreath was handed over to the lake; further international support for this expedition came from Belgium, Germany, Great Britain and Italy. Founded in 1999 by Jochen Werne and Guido Zoeller, the Global Offshore Sailing Team is once again committed to maritime history and environmental issues with this particularly challenging expedition and its People’s Diplomacy campaign.

Press contact:

Jochen Werne

Expedition Leader

Mail: ExpeditionLeader@AntarcticBlanc.com

Austrian President will welcome Antarctic Expedition in Vienna

PRESS RELEASE
January 2019

(translated from German original by DeepL.com)

AUSTRIAN PRESIDENT WILL WELCOME ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION IN VIENNA

On 22 January 2019 at 11 a.m., Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen will welcome a delegation from the international expedition Antarctic Blanc, which was successfully carried out with Austrian assistance. The delegation will present the expedition flag, which represented Austria in Antarctica, as a symbol of remembrance.

POLAR RESEARCH IN AUSTRIA

Austria has a long tradition in polar research, which began with the Austro-Hungarian polar expedition in the 1870s. A milestone in Austrian polar research were the contributions to the International Geophysical Year 1957/58, which formed the basis for a polar focus at the University of Innsbruck. As a result, several renowned scientists carried out research in both the Arctic and Antarctic as part of the programme. After all, the International Polar Year 2007/08 was a great success for Austrian polar research. It strengthened national and international cooperation and led to the foundation of the Austrian Polar Research Institute in 2012.

STORMS AND ICEBERGS

Expedition Antarctic Blanc pursued historical, social and environmental goals. The 12 expedition offshore participants of the initiative, supported by the United Nations and 19 states, crossed on a 20m sailing yacht twice in 12 days, under the toughest conditions, one of the most dangerous sea routes in the world – the Drake Passage, covering 1129 nautical miles (over 2,000km). The journey was marked by the passage of several storm systems in the Antarctic and off Cape Horn, which delayed the return by several days. Winds with up to 50kn, waves up to 8m high and temperatures around freezing point demanded top physical performances from the expedition participants.

INTERNATIONAL COMMEMORATION CEREMONY. Sailing on Historic Routes. The expedition commemorated the researchers, explorers and sailors whose ships had to master the challenging peculiarities of reaching an unknown part of the world. The international team held a commemoration ceremony on the historically significant Antarctic volcanic Deception Island. In the name of all supporting states and the United Nations, a wreath of local ice was symbolically formed and laid down in order to pay international tribute to the achievements in the exploration of this unique continent. The supporting nations are among the signatories of the politically unique Antarctic Treaty of 23 June 1961. Heads of state and government organizations of the 19 nations have expressed their support for this unique, privately initiated expeditions in letters to the leader of the expedition, Jochen Werne, in particular for the execution of the ceremonial act of commemoration.

AUSTRIA AND THE ANTARCTIC TREATY. Austria joined the Antarctic Treaty on 25 August 1987 and, with its signature, also acknowledged that “in the interest of all mankind, Antarctica is used exclusively for peaceful purposes and should not become the scene or object of international discord”. Austria also underlined its commitment to the preservation of this ecosystem as a “nature reserve dedicated to peace and science”.

UNEP CLEAN SEAS INITIATIVE. The main focus of the expedition was to sensitize the international public for the preservation of the unique Antarctic ecosystem and to support the UN initiative Clean Seas to combat plastic waste in the oceans. With Expedition Antarctic Blanc, this important United Nations Environmental Program project is now finding acceptance on all continents of our planet.

CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE ECOSYSTEM. In addition, the expedition supported the University of Connecticut and Northeastern University’s research project on plankton metabarcoding by collecting plankton samples, which could provide a fundamental contribution to obtaining rapid responses to the ecosystem’s response to climate change.

WHALES IN THE ANTARCTIC. With the observation of 18 different whales and the detailed documentation of their position and behaviour, the expedition also contributed to the establishment of the global whale observation platform ‘Happy Wales’. The platform is intended to provide science with in-depth insights into the behaviour and development of the largest mammals on our planet.

CHILD AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT. To promote international children and youth projects, several live broadcasts were held from sea and Antarctica with children of the sailing school of the Yacht Club de Monaco. On their return, the team visited the Cedena Yacht School Puerto Williams, Chile, which is open to children from all walks of life in the southernmost region of our planet, and through sport encourages them to develop their own goals and character traits that are conducive to their personal development. In addition to a donation from the expedition team, the foundation stone was laid for an international exchange and the children were introduced to Antarctica and its significance.

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION. The visit to the Hofburg marks the third important reception for Expedition Antarctic Blanc after the reception by Prince Albert II in Monaco and the ambassador of the poles of the Netherlands, Carola van Reijnsoever, in The Hague. Further visits to Copenhagen, Paris and Madrid are planned shortly.

PRESS INVITATION

  • Following the flag handover on 22 January 2018 at 11 a.m. in the Hofburg, the expedition participants Jochen Werne and Dr. Wolfgang Händel, Liasion Officers Götz Credé and Andris Adam, as well as the founding director of the Austrian Polar Research Institute Prof. Dr. Andreas Richter and Christin Latk from the Expedition Support Team in the Academy for Leadership will be available to the press for questions and interviews, pictures and filming.
  • On request, the delegation can also attend press events in Vienna on this day.
    Accreditation is requested. Please send an e-mail to ExpeditionLeader@AntarcticBlanc.com for this purpose.

Expedition participants – Offshore Team

Jochen Werne Expedition Leader

Marco Schröter Chief Safety Officer

Oliver Picht Navigator & Chief Documentation Officer

Linden Blue Chief Communication Officer

Bernd Görgner Chief Medical Officer

Benon Janos Environmental Initiatives Coordinator

Wolfgang Händel Chief Logistics Officer

Hans Axtner Master of Ceremony

Michael Melnick Chief Sciences Coordinator

David Gamba Chief Observer

Wolf Kloss Skipper and Expedition Yacht Owner

Karl Papenfuss Mate

Comment on the initiator of the expedition – The Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST)

Expedition “Antarctic Blanc” is the continuation of the polar initiative launched in 2016 with comparable objectives under the name “Arctic Ocean Raptor”, but in the Spitsbergen sea area and up to the Arctic pack ice limit. An additional and important aspect was the commemoration of the seafarers of all nations, who fulfilled their seafaring duties during the maritime operations in the Arctic under the mostly merciless weather conditions and partly also lost their lives. In the name of the Norwegian King Harald V and the Canadian government, a wreath was handed over to the lake; further international support for this expedition came from Belgium, Germany, Great Britain and Italy. Founded in 1999 by Jochen Werne and Guido Zoeller, the Global Offshore Sailing Team is once again committed to maritime history and environmental issues with this particularly challenging expedition and its People’s Diplomacy campaign.

Press contact:

Jochen Werne

Expedition Leader

Mail: ExpeditionLeader@AntarcticBlanc.com

Mobile & WhatsApp: +491752315879

Further links:

Website Expedition Antarctic Blanc: www.AntarcticBlanc.com

Government correspondence: http://antarcticblanc.com/about/honorary-supporters

Twitter: @AntarcticBlanc

Instagram: @AntarcticBlanc

Facebook: @AntarcticBlanc

VIDEO.  Official expedition trailer: https://youtu.be/Lx5tM6aiqxA

Austrian Polar Research Institute: http://www.polarresearch.at

UNEP Clean Seas Initiative: http://antarcticblanc.com/environmental-research/un-environment-initiative-cleanseas

Antarctic Treaty & Environmental Protection: http://antarcticblanc.com/environmental-research/the-protocol-on-environmental-protection-to-the-antarctic-treaty

Federal Environment Agency: http://antarcticblanc.com/environmental-research/official-expedition-meeting-with-the-german-environmental-agency-umweltbundesamt

Global Offshore Sailing Team: http://antarcticblanc.com/about/global-offshore-sailing-team

International Maritime Museum Hamburg: www.IMMHH.de

German Society for Maritime and Naval History e.V.: www.marinegeschichte.de

Yacht Club de Monaco: www.YCM.mc

Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club: www.RCPYC.org.uk

Picture credits: Picture 1 & 2 © Expedition Antarctic Blanc / Picture 3 © Dr. Oliver Picht / Picture 4 © Cedena / Picture 5 © Axel BASTELLO / Palais Princier

The bank is perceived as a brand

Original Source in German: published on Oct 5, 2018 – “Die Bank wird als Marke wahrgenommen” Translation by DeepL Pro

Author: Angelika Breinich-Schilly interviewed Jochen Werne, Director Marketing, Business Development, Treasury & Payment Services at Bankhaus August Lenz.

Banks need to do a lot to keep pace in an increasingly digital world. In an interview with Springer Professional, Jochen Werne from Bankhaus August Lenz talks about the challenges they have to face and the right strategies.

(c) Bankhaus August Lenz

Springer Professional: Mr. Werne, what do you see as the most important driver of change in banks that is being invoked everywhere? Is it just the ongoing digitalization or do you see other reasons that require a strategic change process of the institutes?


Jochen Werne: The industry is undergoing what is probably a historic upheaval. We live in times of exponential technologies and in addition to the cost-side necessity of digitizing a large part of the processes of the institutes, the rapid change in customer expectations associated with technology, poses great challenges to an industry which is not known for being greatly agile. This disruption will eclipse many things and later perhaps be judged as revolutionary as the invention of the steam engine. In recent weeks, this has hardly made anything as clear as the rise of the online payment processor Wirecard. Wirecard was not only able to outperform Commerzbank in the DAX in September. Founded in 1999, the company has already overtaken Deutsche Bank in terms of market capitalization. In addition to the ongoing digitalization, there are also other current challenges: The low interest rate phase, which has now already lasted for a long time, is putting massive pressure on the margins of traditional houses. Political crises, trade disputes, currency problems such as in Turkey and Brexit naturally also have a direct effect on the classic business models of banks: In the future, they will have to adapt more than ever and increasingly prove their agility.
The exponential leaps in technology and ever shorter product cycles are forcing the global economy as a whole to change and adapt to changing circumstances more than ever before. Kodak is a good example. For the sake of simplification, the company has often been accused of not being far-sighted, but it has failed because of a culture that has allowed little change. Two letters are currently electrifying the economy: AI. After decades of disinterest, artificial intelligence is suddenly once again regarded as the decisive guarantor of a company’s future viability. The immediate integration of AI into one’s own business model seems indispensable, even vital for survival. Without smart software, you’d think you were dedicated to meaninglessness.
Similar to Facebook, the financial industry holds very valuable data. The preparation and processing of this data will not only become easier with maturing AI systems, but also much faster, cheaper and more targeted. It is nevertheless private and sensitive data. In order to make this resource usable in conjunction with external data, the industry must at the same time ensure its long-term security. Data may only be used in the sense of the customer, the human being – an objective that certainly has to apply to all AI-based approaches. Artificial intelligence offers an enormous range of opportunities for companies to be closer to their customers. But it also has its limits and here we are not only talking about technical limits, but also about limits that arise when the customer’s mindset does not go hand in hand with what is technically possible. Technology will only prevail if people accept it. Too radical a step, without consideration for all three areas Human, Digital and Culture, is always counterproductive.

Springer Professional: You describe that many decision-makers in the banks are well aware of the necessary changes in the business model. At the same time, however, top management often does not seem to set a concrete course and have corresponding visions. Why do you think that is?

Jochen Werne: Digitization, technological advances and the acceleration of product cycles are forcing executives to reposition their businesses. The question is no longer whether and why companies should change and introduce a more flexible organizational form, but only: How quickly and sustainably can they do it? The need for successful Change Management is not new and digitization was not an unforeseeable event. What is new, however, is the sum of the technical innovations, the possibilities offered by the technological leaps and the resulting need for extremely high implementation speeds. This circumstance has far-reaching effects on the entire management of the company. This often leads to different change processes overlaying each other, individual change processes being interrupted, modified or restarted and the organization being in a state of continuous change. And this also applies to the manager.

Springer Professional: In order to become a driver of innovation as a bank, it is necessary to anticipate not only upcoming technological but also social changes, some of which still vary greatly from region to region. One example is the payment behaviour of customers, which looks different in Germany than in other European countries or even in Asia. Many financial service providers now have think tanks or innovation labs to take on this task. But does some good ideas go up in smoke due to poorly thought-out change management?

Jochen Werne: Every new innovative offering must be easy for the customer to understand, intuitive to use and as a bank, absolutely trustworthy in terms of data security. The customer relies on the security of the communication channels as well as the careful handling of his private data. The challenge is to ensure data protection while at the same time providing the highest possible level of customer convenience. The resources of traditional banks offer enormous advantages here. An established bank is perceived as a brand by its clients, who at best associate it with important values such as trustworthiness, competence, industry knowledge and personal service. This trust is enormously important to us and should definitely be used.

Springer Professional: Companies in other industries sometimes find it easier to cope with change processes because they are not subject to additional strict regulations, as is the case with banks. Nevertheless, financial service providers such as Wirecard have succeeded in clearly differentiating themselves from traditional banks with their business model. Recently, the share value of this Fintech has even overtaken Deutsche Bank, the industry leader, as the most valuable institution. What can the industry learn from this?

Jochen Werne: Laws and guidelines have a strong influence on the competitive situation. MIFID II and PSD II are prime examples of this. In the second case, industry experts predicted that the mere opening of the banking infrastructure to third parties would lead to a major shift in competition.
This is a big advantage for FinTechs, but also the FinTech industry, which is already in the process of market consolidation, has to make considerable investments and adjustments, even if the new regulations now also open up new market opportunities. Non-adaptable service providers without sustainable and a viable business models will be driven out of the market, as will banks whose offerings do not meet the needs of customers in a digital world.
The example shows not only the usefulness of cooperation, but also its necessity. The advantages of banks, such as routine handling of regulatory issues or cross-selling opportunities due to the existing customer base, will continue to exist even after the market consolidation of the FinTech industry and the introduction of new technological standards.

Springer Professional: In order to be a driver of innovation, a bank does not necessarily have to handle all tasks alone. Where and when do cooperations with Fintechs make sense from your point of view?

Jochen Werne: What some have, others lack. Banks have a solid customer base, greater financial resources and, most importantly, a banking licence and the necessary know-how to deal with the relevant regulatory authorities. In addition, traditional financial institutions with many years of market experience, expertise in customer business and their trust can score points. Fintechs, on the other hand, have business models that are geared precisely to bringing innovative, customer-centric digital tools to market in a short space of time. Strategic alliances make sense, because ultimately everyone benefits – especially the customers. Not only the young generation today has very high demands on innovative mobile banking, but all age groups have discovered the new mobile possibilities in a very short time. Personal access to customers, which has persisted despite all the financial crises to date, is a sign that banks have preserved their most important asset – the trust of their customers. In an increasingly transparent and open financial world, however, the extent to which the customer’s loyalty to his bank will remain, is open.