The bank of the future: an ecosystem of services

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FinTech and BigTech disruptions, combined with developments such as open banking are creating exciting opportunities as well as daunting threats.

Across the globe, banks are in transition. The pace of change is accelerating as the competitive landscape intensifies. How should banks prepare for rapid change today and throughout the coming years?

Now, more than ever, a digital, opti-channel, ecosystem model must be considered.

Based on new operating models that enable the rapid evolution of services, digital banks can realize opportunities created by the confluence of customer centricity with new data sources and technology disruption. The digital banking culture is future focused through continuous testing and learning, facilitated by next-generation technology platforms.

Three-layer digital banking model

To remain competitive, banks must offer superior customer experience and responsiveness while remaining compliant with ever-changing regulations. An agile, simple architecture enables flexibility and the means to shrink operating costs.

Capgemini recommends a three-layer banking model:

  1. A simplified core with minimum functionality―cut down to a basic ledger
  2. An agile layer with non- or limited-differentiating digital functions such as customer management, and omni-channel support across all touchpoints, security, integration, and analytics. This layer includes capabilities removed from the core, such as product management and onboarding, and it can flexibly add capacity to configure, price, quote, and bill dynamically.
  3. A flexible outer shell of differentiating plug-and-play third parties that can quickly be added or dismissed to meet changing customer expectations. This shell allows banks to start up new business models based on FinTech collaboration and expand to non-banking-related business models that add value for customers.

The time is right

We believe sufficiently mature solutions are available today that, when combined with a strategic BusDevOps strategy, enable a future-proof, highly responsive ecosystem. Banks that transition to the new ecosystem and digital model empower themselves to:

  • Enable a true opti-channel experience, which is an omni-channel experience optimized for individual customer preferences across all touchpoints. Opti-channel banks work to determine the ideal channel each customer prefers for specific activities—and based on customer analytics can predict what is optimal for everyone. However, an opti-channel platform will be required to scale, adapt, and deliver personalized digital experiences to consumers and bank staff while re-using components across channels.
  • Maximize speed to value and buy, not build applications and infrastructure to leverage emerging cloud services quickly. Build only when necessary to create bank-owned
  • Adopt a DevOps practice in which operations and development engineers work together throughout the entire service lifecycle, from design through development to production support to enable automated application lifecycle management and frequent, rapid deployment of new business functions.
  • Manage a federation of services with a broad ecosystem of partners, as business boundaries disappear. Retain plug-and-play services to adapt to changing needs.

How to get started

Based on market insights and Capgemini’s strategic partnerships, we have designed an end-to-end architecture that offers a mature digital bank ecosystem that enables plug-and-play services from third-party providers. Our solution provides real-time omni-channel experiences, seamless switching between channels during a customer journey, and optimal customer experience for each use―opti-channel.

The experience is delivered through mechanisms inherent within the Capgemini platform:

  • A common authentication service across all channels to consistently recognize each customer and quickly swap between channels
  • Real-time, event-based information distribution, with data aligned around the individual ID (globally unique identifier/GUID) so that preference data and context can be used to personalize the experience
  • Access to a shared customer database to hold preferences and history close to the experience via a leading omni-channel digital banking platform and its re-usable widget framework
  • Use of a universal integration service to ensure each action is handled the same way, the same data is retrieved independent of channel, and APIs can be re-used
  • Enablement of a comprehensive customer service experience that can pull data from the shared API layer or leverage platform widgets to create a mashup for customer service representatives
  • Use of a collection of integrated online marketing and web analytics products, integrated with all the above, to develop real-time, context-based messaging targeted to the individual user, managing the bridge between unknown customers and marketing messaging to known customers integrated into their personalized banking experience.

Because this architecture is based on a federated, real-time model, it readily embraces third-party ecosystem service providers and can accommodate opti-channel experiences that span a number of platforms and services.

Ecosystem management

Strong ecosystem management is required to implement and evolve this model and to continuously add value for partners, both in the flexible outer shell and the agile digital layer.

Recently, a major European bank (and Capgemini client) did just that when it not only transitioned from traditional banking services to a digital platform but also was designed so that 100% of its operations and customer interactions could be carried out using a mobile phone. Customers can:

  • Pay with their bank card or mobile phone
  • Send money by SMS
  • Temporarily deactivate their card, and reactivate it if it is retrieved
  • Check their balance in real time
  • Interact 24/7 with an AI-based virtual advisor

The bank offers: an account, bank card, authorized overdraft, free complementary insurance package, and a savings account remunerated at 1% interest. Moreover, plans are in the works to gradually add services such as personal loans or mortgages. Each new feature will be proven, measured and improved based on customer feedback. The virtual advisor will eventually perform tasks at the request of customers, such as making transfers or savings deposits.


Capgemini’s digital, opti-channel, ecosystem model and architecture offers a variety of advantages:

  • Leading Customer Experience: E2E world-class transformation capability―from strategy and innovation through to operations
    • Personalized opti-channel experience
    • Simplified, configurable product offerings
    • Ability to embrace ecosystems and open banking
  • Simplified and Agile Architecture: Experienced, consortium-led with proven success in launching a bank as an
    ecosystem fit for the future

    • Improved time to market through rapid, continuous change
    • Ability to plug-and-play FinTech and third parties
    • Elastic and scalable services
  • Reduced Operational Costs: Proven, service-based pricing strategy that is continuously benchmarked
    • Variable cost structure aligned to revenue
    • Continuous improvement and optimization
    • Simplified and straight-through processes

Coming up…

Leading up to the September 18 launch of the World Retail Banking Report 2018, Capgemini will publish a variety of blogs that examine three central banking topics: Customer Experience and Business Models, Technology and Operations, and Product Management. Stay tuned for insights and practical advice about digital transformation and the new normal for retail banking. Or, learn more about Capgemini banking solutions by visiting:

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