The reality is that fintech startups and challenger banks are threatening to make a major dent in the banking industry as a result of the emergence of digital technology. As an endless stream of new advanced digital products are being launched, consumers are constantly exposed to the latest technologies with their mobile phones, cars, and home appliances. It's only natural that they demand for their bank to reinvent and stay relevant. Banks, on the other hand, are facing higher cost basis to address higher levels of risk management, governance and regulatory compliance requirements. Luis Felipe Rivera, Chief Operating Officer of Pilatus Bank, believes that banks must adapt new strategies to accelerate digital adoption, which will ultimately create new value and disrupt market competition.
Undergoing a digital transformation can be challenging for any financial institution, but leveraging technologies to adapt their channels, operations and products is necessary in order to stay ahead of challenger banks and other fintech competitors. In fact, customers are demanding for banks to reinvent themselves and the worst thing they can do is to do nothing at all. Rivera of Pilatus Bank explains, "Some incumbent banks operate as though security comes at the expense of convenience for clients. This argument is not entirely true. Although, the legacy systems and lack of innovation by the incumbent banks are certainly holding them back from providing convenience whilst protecting their clients' interests, some banks are venturing out of their comfort zone by partnering with or acquiring fintech companies. However, there are very few incumbent banks that have truly captured customers' imaginations whilst providing quality service." Rivera of Pilatus Bank recognizes that in an effort to satisfy customer demand and to improve customer service, banks have responded by developing mobile banking apps and online banking platforms. Unfortunately, these platforms are often lacking in efficiency and ease of use as they are geared towards offloading data entry and operational work on the customer, which in turn forces customers to return to the few branches that haven't yet been closed down. Unfortunately, most branches are no longer equipped to provide an adequate service, and this has certainly created a large service gap in the market.
The Pilatus Bank COO believes that whereas most customers today prefer to do their everyday banking online or on their mobile phone as opposed to visiting a branch, the latest trend of automation and artificial intelligence, such as robo-advisory, are further complicating the banking experience for customers. He states, "Until banks recognize that customers still appreciate human interaction in order to feel connected and secure, they will continue to struggle to stay relevant." Luis Felipe Rivera believes that Pilatus Bank through its relationship-based business model coupled with innovative technology can fill the current service gap. One of the fundamental principles of Pilatus Bank is that technology should serve as a means to simplify operations and improve customer service, but it should not overshadow the importance of human interaction.