The future of work is already unfolding in banking. Leaders are creating a workforce with built-in flexibility and scalability for more agile ways of working.

In fact, bankers said that 16 percent of their workforce are already independent freelance workers and 29 percent expect their organization’s use of these workers to increase more than 51 percent over the next year. It’s a smart move. Agile workers represent a broad pool of sought-after skills, knowledge and experience that banks can access asneeded to compete as an agile, efficient on-demand organization.

It is also one aspect in banks shifting the workforce from an industrial “run the bank” mindset focused on executing tasks to a modern “change the bank” mindset focused on success in the ever more digital future.

The latter creates the innovative, collaborative, failfast-iterate-fast culture that makes modern bank models work. It is entrepreneurial, and becomes more automated, scalable and advisory (inside and out) overtime, which affects budgets and people.

For example, Société Générale’s “Digital for All’ program is designed to help conceive the bank of the future through customer relations, internal working methods and digital technology. It is gradually and securely rolling out latestgeneration office and collaborative tools to its teams, updating its infrastructure and network, and enabling communication without the barriers of location or traditional hierarchy, which can stifle workforce agility and frustrate tech-savvy workers.



According to Harvard Business Review, more than 85 percent of retail banking transactions in the US are digital.6 In business models like the Open Platform Player and Utility Provider, the human interaction totally disappears. While human contact is diminishing in terms of volume, the quality and importance of any human touch points will increase. This is especially true for Digital Relationship Managers and Digital Category Killers where human connection can play a vital role in building the brand and shaping the culture of the business.

Take robo adviser servicing start-up Betterment, a Digital Category Killer. It uses smart design to provide a friendly and intuitive way to guide customers to the right investment decisions. While machines do the math and complicated logic, Betterment’s design features—including questions to prompt the right actions and tax impact previews—offer the best potential options based on their customers’ behavior. Investors can then make choices to help achieve their long-term goals in a simple and engaging way.7 Betterment recently announced new service offerings that include access to human certified financial planners and licensed financial experts.8 The technology itself is impressive, but more importantly, it is built around a thorough understanding of human interactions, both with machines and with other humans.

Bankers are beginning to recognize the importance of adapting for unique human behavior to shape the quality of the customer journey and the effectiveness of technology solutions. Eighty-one percent of bankers agree that organizations that can truly tap into what motivates human behavior and design the customer experience accordingly will be the next industry leaders; 34 percent are planning to extensively use human behavior analysis and insight to guide customer experience design. The majority (80 percent) also agree that organizations will need to understand not just where people are today, but where they want to be, and then shape the technology to act as their guide.

That part is easier said than done. Despite an increase in the amount of customer data and insights available, 67 percent of bankers agree that their organization struggles to fully understand their customers’ needs and goals. Nearly 80 percent of bankers report a moderate to significant gap between what customers want versus what they need; 27 percent say they are pioneering actions to improve the “match” of what their customers say they need and what, by action, their customers actually need and receive. A good example is bank rewards programs. While the 2016 Accenture Loyalty and Rewards Benchmarking Study reveals that 91 percent of financial services executives believe members are satisfied with their loyalty programs; in another recent study of financial services customers, only 31 percent said their loyalty programs are “great.”

Perfecting that match makes designing technology capabilities to fit unique human behavior that much more advantageous— particularly in the face of modern, digital banking models, such as ecosystem platforms and channels not owned by banks. Platforms, for example, bring in customers who come from outside the sphere of the bank’s knowledge. Within such models, banks typically have only the financial transaction to impress consumers with whom they may never connect again. And, the amount of time that banks have to sway consumers grows shorter and shorter. Thus, design-centered thinking will need to be surgically precise. Interactions are hardwired into the technology. As design thinking changes, the bank’s technology must be agile. Imagine a customer walking up to an ATM with a blank screen simply waiting for the customer to dictate the interaction. It means that the bank must adapt its model, infrastructure, and workforce to ensure that every customer interaction is a low-friction, enjoyable experience that fits with the way customers want to interact, not how the bank wants them to interact.


What lies ahead for banks is, in many ways, a blank page. Major aspects of the future are waiting to be mapped out. For example, while Europe’s Payment Services Directive (PSD2) mandates that financial institutions give customers and third-party integrators programmatic access (typically API-based) to their data, it does not specify where the data should reside. Nor does it clarify how the security and authentication models will work.

As part of their rotation to winning-digital business models, banks must take the lead role in setting guideposts. They can build on the fact that customers still have a lot of confidence in the banking sector to protect their data and execute transactions in a safe and secure manner. In North America, for example, 86 percent of consumers trust their bank over all other institutions to securely manage their personal data.2 Just as the technology industry took the lead in shaping its own standards, banks cannot wait for regulators and governments to set the terms of competition. Sixty-six percent of bankers globally (82 percent in US) say government regulations have not kept up with the pace of technology advancement; 61 percent say that the industry’s regulatory environment is outdated and a barrier to growth. For example, legacy regulations in Japan limit a bank’s ownership in non-finance companies to 5–15 percent.3 Regulators in Japan consider fintechs to be technology firms, not financial firms—so while megabank Mitsubishi UFJ might want to take a portfolio approach to investing in fintech startups, regulations make that impossible. In response, Mitsubishi UFJ is building an in-house financial technology R&D division to deliver the innovation they need.

Bankers understand industry challenges— security, fraud, privacy, digital ethics, emerging technologies like blockchain and so forth— much better than regulators. First movers can move faster than regulators (and even pull regulators along) to pioneer uncharted banking terrain and influence customer behavior. They can help shape the new standards, processes, practices and crossindustry partnerships that will underpin innovative models. Those who are finding a place at or near the center of their new ecosystem look to gain freedom to innovate (53 percent), opportunity to develop standards that competitors will be expected to follow (52 percent) and expanded opportunities for trusted partnerships (52 percent). Those who are not risk being regulated out or being poorly positioned in a competitive landscape they did not have a role in creating.


These banks are fully integrated, top to bottom, inside and out. They use data insights to facilitate, manage and differentiate seamless, personalized and relevant customer experiences.

Importantly, they optimize physical and digital channels, turning them all into productive assets to offer financial and nonfinancial solutions, not products. In this regard, Digital Relationship Managers will take what Accenture calls the Everyday Bank model10 to new heights.

They will do so by delivering highly fluid, personalized and experiential Living Services that extend from banking to areas as divergent as housing, travel, health care and beyond. In so doing, they position Everyday Banks as dynamic, digital financial managers delivering individual relevance, not mass appeal.

Ping An, with approximately 90 million customers, aims to become China’s leading personal financial service provider by occupying a position at the center of a vast digital ecosystem. With an integrated platform, Ping An brings together traditional insurance, banking and investment services and nontraditional financial services in the areas of health, shopping, transportation, housing and entertainment. Its nontraditional lifestyle businesses serve as a channel for selling core financial products. In 2014, more than 11 million customers migrated from nontraditional finance products to one of Ping An’s core finance businesses.


Traditional banks can no longer just strive to be better at what they do. Within a few years, their current business model, which calls for them to provide a full range of banking services and channels by default, will no longer be sustainable. To thrive in the digital age, today’s banks will need to engage with customers in new ways and connect with broader business ecosystems to offer more than traditional banking products.

Based on our analyses and client experiences, we believe four business models are poised to reshape the industry. These models are now possible to pursue because of the maturity of the technologies that will enable them. They differ not only in the services they provide, but also their market focus, the manner in which they make money, and how they evaluate their performance (see Figure 2). Importantly, none of these models is mutually exclusive. A bank may pursue one model, or select aspects of each to deliver a truly differentiated service. Whether they are applied in isolation or in combination, we anticipate these business models will deliver the majority of banking revenues in just a few years.

Because transitioning to these new models is a multiyear journey, it’s critical that banks begin their migrations today. Those that wait will be left behind.


Access Bank has concluded the first season of the much talked about Womenpreneur Workshop by training Female Entrepreneurs in the Eastern region of the country.

In line with its commitment to empower women with the skills they need to thrive in the economy, Access Bank has concluded the first season of the much talked about Womenpreneur Workshop by training Female Entrepreneurs in the Eastern region of the country.

This edition which serves as the fifth and final edition of the first season was organised just before the 3rd Anniversary of the Bank’s W Initiative. The workshop, which held in Enugu’s capital city, serves as the final session for the first season of the series. Prior to the Enugu Workshop, the Bank had held the training in four other locations in the country namely; Lagos, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja and Kaduna and trained over 1,600 female entrepreneurs in the first season.

To successfully implement the workshop, Access Bank’s W Academy under the W Initiative, partnered with the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), Pan Atlantic University; the Entrepreneurship arm of Lagos Business School to organise and drive the training.

The Womenpreneur workshop is designed to address the lack of access to entrepreneurial skills, finance, networking, and management skills; which are the key barriers to women’s economic inclusion.

Speaking on the purpose of the workshop, group head, Inclusive Banking of Access Bank Plc, Ope Wemi-Jones said, “Since 2006, the Bank has continued in its commitment to drive women’s economic empowerment in the nation. The Womenpreneur Business Workshop is intended to educate and enlighten Nigerian women on the fundamentals in business which will eventually help them attain their full potentials and continue to drive economic activities in Africa”.

“So far, business women in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja and Kaduna have benefitted immensely from the workshop with over 1600 female entrepreneurs testifying to have increased their business network, improved their business model and are thriving through the economy with ease,” she added.

This first of its kind workshop is highly discounted and targeted at small and medium scaled women entrepreneurs.

Celebrating its 3rd Anniversary this year, Access Bank’s W Initiative has decided to commit to growing female SME’s in Nigeria  by organising the second season of the highly beneficial workshop. This much expected season is positioned to reach more budding female entrepreneurs thus fostering the growth of SME’s in Nigeria.

What is Cryptocurrency?

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a decentralised digital currency or money. The paper money we are used to is called “fiat” money. Before “fiat” mankind engaged in trade by barter. Sea shells (cowries), gold coins, oils, etc., were various forms of money that was used for exchange for goods and services in the past.

Paper money was originally created to solve the problem of carrying bulk gold coins about by merchants who move from place to place in the engagement of their businesses. Paper money was introduced as a promissory note backed by gold, which implied that for every dollar bill that was printed there was an equivalent amount of gold backing it. In 1971, President Richard Nixon suspended the backing of the dollar with gold. Hence, paper money failed to be a store of value, which is the true meaning of money.

In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto invented the first Cryptocurrency called the bitcoin.

Bitcoin is the currency of the Internet: a distributed, worldwide, decentralized digital money. Unlike traditional currencies such as dollars, bitcoins are issued and managed without any central authority whatsoever: there is no government, company, or bank in charge of Bitcoin. As such, it is more resistant to wild inflation and corrupt banks.

Africa Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey

Customer care With respondents citing customer care as the most important factor contributing to their satisfaction with their banks, our survey suggests that Africa’s retail banks will need to put additional focus on improving the quality of the interactions between employees and customers. Leaders at Africa’s banks will need to set the customer-centric culture from the top down in order to drive real improvements in customer care.

Of all the possible elements that influence customer satisfaction, survey respondents reported being most concerned about customer care. According to our survey, customers rank the friendliness of staff and their willingness to assist as a key contributor to their satisfaction. Equally important is the staff’s knowledge and understanding of the bank’s products and services.

On both accounts, banks seem to be striving to meet customer expectations. Almost 83 percent of customers said they were satisfied with staff’s attitude and an almost equal number voiced satisfaction with the staff’s product and service knowledge. However, it is worth noting that less than 10 percent said they were ‘extremely’ satisfied, suggesting that all banks have some room for further improvement.

Interestingly, the largest gaps between importance and satisfaction emerged in the area of complaint handling and resolution. Ninety-one percent of respondents said that the promptness of the attention given to their complaint was important, yet only 77 percent voiced any level of satisfaction in this area. Similarly, 90 percent said that the quality of the feedback on their complaints was important but just 75 percent said they were satisfied.

Satisfaction levels varied across the 18 markets in our survey. Banking customers in Zimbabwe were the most likely to be either very satisfied or extremely satisfied with staff’s attitude and willingness to assist. And they were the most likely to be highly satisfied with staff’s product knowledge. Customers in Tanzania, on the other hand, were the most likely to voice satisfaction with the speed at which complaints and enquiries are handled.

As banks strive to close the gap between expectation and satisfaction, technology will form part of the solution. Africa’s banks are increasingly leveraging Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to better capture, track and close customer complaints. Improved service provision through alternate channels – particularly mobile and internet – will also help improve the perception of customer care.

However, bank executives will also want to pay particular attention to their branch and call center staff. As we note on page 22 of this report, Africa’s banking customers demonstrate a clear preference for branch banking and a growing demand for call center services. Ensuring that these front-line employees understand the bank’s customer care values and demonstrate the desired level of customer focus will be critical.

So, too, will be the need to set the tone from the top. Indeed, our experience suggests that the most customer-centric global banks are those where the CEO takes ownership of the customer agenda and drives the development of a customer-centric culture with genuine and deliberate enthusiasm. Many leading global banks are also taking additional steps to ensure their employees strive for the highest quality customer service. Santander runs empathy training across its 14,000-strong customer-facing workforce; First Direct Bank goes as far as recruiting staff from the healthcare sector to find staff with proven customer service capabilities.1 Ultimately, delivering an excellent customer service experience requires leadership from the top and for banks to take a more holistic approach to the customer journey, paying close attention to how customer complaints are captured and resolved. African banks that succeed at this should enjoy improved customer satisfaction in the future.