Digital Banking- Technology BenchmarkAnalysis of apps & platforms.

The digital banking space is evolving at a rapid pace in the current decade. As per Forbes report on banking trends almost 78% of Americans opt for banking through mobile apps or websites rather than traditional in-person visits to a bank branch banking. Customer expectations have increased with severe competition among the banking fraternity. They are looking for a seamless, secure, and user-friendly experiences across various digital platforms that they use daily.
Technological intervention has led to innovative solutions such as Internet banking, mobile wallets, and mobile digital banking. However, this evolution comes with more focus on the need for continuous improvement and optimization. The rapid adoption of digital banking solutions has led financial institutions to constantly seek ways to optimize and securitize their technology infrastructure and remain ahead in the competitive landscape.
Hence banks are now considering technology benchmarking of their digital banking platforms, allowing them a way to measure their performance of these platforms against industry best practices and identify new growth opportunities. Comparing and further innovating the digital banking platform performance, processes, and outcomes against industry best practices and customer expectations is essential. For this they need to assess aspects such as current IT applications and services—internet and mobile banking applications, mobile wallet services innovation, remittance system efficiency, security protocols, and overall customer experiences.

How to leverage Technology Benchmarking?

The banking industry is seeing an influx of disruptive technologies redefining customer expectations and experiences. From seamless mobile wallet integrations to swift and secure remittance services, customers now demand convenient, user-friendly, and technologically advanced solutions.
Adapting to the evolving landscape must involve understanding the changing regulatory requirements by being updated continuously. Compliance and security are of high importance in the digital banking space, to meet the statutory and prevent or mitigate risks as and when they arise.
The methodology followed for technology benchmarking of digital banking platforms can start with analysis of the existing technology landscape with a focus on the following:

Check existing Technology Stack for its Scalability and optimum Performance: 

comprehensive digital banking benchmark analysis for technology stack can measure its capability to scale and performance to meet not only the current but the near future business demands. The objective is to ensure the platforms can seamlessly handle increasing loads and efficiently cater to growing user bases.

Service-oriented Architecture (SoA):

The structural backbone of any architecture can be scrutinized for its alignment with service-oriented principles. The digital banking benchmark analysis for technology helps in the identification of opportunities for improving flexibility and streamlining processes.

Database Design: 

One needs to evaluate the efficiency of the database design in critical conditions and its capabilities to scale for the future as part of the technology benchmark analysis. As the operations grow in volumes, seamless data management can be assured by optimizing database structures. One can assess some of the key aspects like indexing strategies, query optimization, archive database, partitioning of tables, and database design revamp suitable for microservices. We can judge the database’s responsiveness, reliability, and overall performance by focusing on these components.

Security and Compliance:

Security & compliance is of paramount importance, and it involves some rigorous assessment parameters. We need to evaluate the technological measures are in place to safeguard sensitive customer data and ensure compliance with the applicable regulations and industry standards. The important aspects to check are encryption protocols, authentication methods, fraud detection, and the platform’s adherence to compliance requirements such as GDPR, PCI DSS, and other regulations.
The benchmark assessment for security aspects involves the evaluation of the vulnerabilities or risks of the applications with severity classification for each vulnerability. This analysis is to examine the security aspects and pinpoint potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited in the form of attacks, breaches, or unauthorized access attempts.

Innovation and Future-readiness: 

For aspects like innovation and future readiness of the platform requires evaluating the digital banking platforms’ capacity. Benchmarking evaluation for this dimension involves enhancements in user experience, ease in integration of emerging technologies (e.g., AI, blockchain) and the ability to meet the changing customer needs and expectations.

Competitor Analysis: 

Before embarking on this analysis, understanding of the competition, their offerings, their technology stack , feature gap analysis, platform offerings, and performance. By comparing these factors, one can get valuable insights that can help us fine-tune our strategies and differentiate the platform from others.

Customer Support and Engagement: 

A well-oiled digital banking platform prioritizes customer support and engagement. Here we analyse & assess the efficiency and responsiveness of customer support systems, including the availability of multiple support channels, response times, issue resolution rates, and personalization. On the personalization front, specific features like spend analysis (which helps customers track and manage their expenses) and associated service recommendations creates and improves customer stickiness.

In Brief:

The digital banking industry is constantly evolving and is characterized by disruption. To keep pace with these changes, financial institutions need to implement the best practices for the technology benchmarking of digital banking platforms & apps. This allows them to transcend conventional boundaries, innovate, and achieve excellence in digital banking.
Financial institutions must use digital banking benchmark analysis to understand and plan technology enhancements of their digital banking platforms and apps to create solutions that exceed their current customer expectations. They also must be resilient, secure, scalable and adaptable to future disruptions. This approach ensures that the platforms are future-proof and the banks can continue to provide best in class service to their customers.
Blog written by A. Kiran Kumar Naik, USSG, Blore
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