Cutting costs within Financial Services

What do you do when you want to pay for a product?

  1. Use your digital wallet?
  2. Use your smartwatch?
  3. Dig into your wallet for your debit or credit card?

Financial services is changing; with the aggressive entry of Fintech, incumbents are being challenged to keep up.

As customers, we are no longer loyal to one company and are surrounded with more choice but also craving convenience. Need a loan for your business? You no longer just have to look to a bank; peer to peer lending has also taken off giving us, as customers, choices we didn’t have before. Products within this sector are more diversified and, frankly, confusing.

As leaders within financial services, companies have to align themselves to customer needs but also keep investing in the new waves of automation, AI, IoT to name a few, resulting in permanent changes to financial services business models. A hefty investment!

According to Oracle, an increased time spent explaining a whole host of products at the front office at customer touch points, is leading to an increase in time for service, thereby reducing efficiency.

Companies within this space have had it hard over the last few years, having to throw money at increasing their regulation and compliance budgets. Amongst other factors, this has led to squeezed margins.

Whilst most businesses have tried to focus on reducing their costs in a ‘quick win’ mentality of cutting heads and divesting products, this isn’t sustainable.

Products need to be increasingly tailored to customer needs, especially given the new entrants into this space, but this costs money. Automation of processes is also a significant investment in IT and is only as good as the processes being automated, which can lead to superficial enhancement.

So what can a company do? It can shift its focus onto what it can do with less, and face the challenge of ‘productivity’.

There is a wide perception that, as functions, we know what our staff are doing, but do we? What does this translate to on a day-to-day, hour-by-hour basis? PwC found only 27% of survey respondents were tracking employees by task on an hourly basis, and ‘finance, risk and compliance’ over the front office secured productivity benefits.

We know that change can be uncomfortable and challenging, but as business leaders we need to have a better understanding of the challenges faced by our workforce. What can we do to help? What processes can we streamline? At Managementors, we pride ourselves on sustainable performance improvement, something we can accomplish by answering these questions.