The Covid-19 pandemic has forced organisations from all over the world to embrace digital transformations in order to keep serving their customers, with banks and financial institutions no different.
Vikas Srivastava is the Chief Revenue Officer at Integral, joining the company in 2010. Prior to joining Integral, Vikas spent ten years at Citigroup in New York in numerous senior management positions, leaving as its global head of e-commerce for the fixed income division. In this role, he was responsible for building and distributing electronic execution products and services across all fixed income and foreign exchange businesses, and managed Citigroup investments in multi-dealer platforms. Prior to working at Citi, Vikas was the head of currency trading and risk management at Barclays Global Investors (now BlackRock) in San Francisco.
Here Vikas discusses the digital transformations happening in banks as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Digital transformation is happening across every sector, and banks, in particular, are beginning to recognise a digital framework that allows their services to be accessed from anywhere will be key going forward.
For banks of all sizes, implementing a digital-first infrastructure is top of mind as the latest Covid lockdowns underscore a lasting remote environment. As businesses and individuals continue to adapt to working from home, digital advancements have penetrated areas that previously have remained reluctant to technological change.
As we approach the end of 2020 banks are looking at how the digital push will begin to shape their evolution. Already, in other areas banks have seen individuals seeking out new digital capabilities, such as mobile deposits instead of visiting a branch in-person or sending money abroad to family members via online banking portals. The push for banks to implement modern payment technology infrastructure is upon us. Whether banks opt to build out their own updated technology frameworks or work with a technology provider to do that work at scale for a lower cost, their customers will increasingly assume that their banking partners are undergoing this alteration to meet their changing needs.
Goldman Sachs has just debuted a new application programming interface (API) that allows users to integrate Goldman’s services with their own products, to help facilitate cross-border payments. The software allows clients’ programmers to build on top of the bank’s platform, providing that customisable layer that customers are increasingly asking for.
While Goldman, as a banking giant in its own right, is making moves to facilitate better cross-border payment infrastructure for clients, many players will likely turn to trusted providers in order to leverage scalable technology to continue on with digital transformation. A 2020 Innovation in Retail Banking report found that 73% of banks believe identifying the right partner is a roadblock to achieving their business goals. Likewise, 75% of those surveyed noted that digital banking transformation was their top priority moving into 2021. For small and mid-sized banks, updating payment infrastructure could be a costly endeavour to undertake during the current volatile market climate. Instead, leveraging a provider helps to minimise cost while still capitalising on the ability to offer clients modern technology solutions that fit their digital needs.
For many banks, legacy payment infrastructure has not been updated as consistently as other areas of the business that often take circumstantial precedence, such as regulatory reporting tech or client onboarding solutions. However, as more clients demand a digital-first banking partner, the more important it becomes for banks to prioritise their payments infrastructure and partner with the correct providers to make the infrastructure needs a reality.
While many unknowns loom on the horizon, it’s clear that digital transformation, and specifically payments technology with flexible FX infrastructure, is a top priority for banks. In today’s world where technology is accessible everywhere we go, it’s no wonder that the changing nature of the consumer is shaping how banks and the sell-side not only cater to their customers but also how they organise their back-office infrastructure.