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Digital Banking Will Require New Listening Skills

by Rodger Dunn, Chief Operating Officer at Sasfin Bank Beyond Business Banking

I have read much about the acceleration of digital since the pandemic started with analysts claiming the fast-tracking of many industries by as much as three to five years. Locally we see media space is given daily to new digital banks and their traditional competitors racing to add, adapt or pivot.

South African banking has stood proud and respected in a global context. That’s vitally important for younger bankers to understand because they have an instrumental role to play in our next phase – agility. Technology plans to usurp the tried and tested channels of physical branches, tellers and managers. 

The buzzword ‘NextGen’ pays attention to new consumers and new voices, but do we really listen to the suggestions coming through, in a sector that has been historically dominated and built upon decades of loyalty and experience? Some intelligent corporate brands have started introducing ‘Millennial Councils’ – research panels and think tanks to provide a portal for frank perspectives and much-needed insights, mainlined to the C-suite. 

In the next generation of banking, we must not be short-sighted to assume the creators and leaders of current banking systems should be the same innovators within digital banking. That will need to emerge from the new rising stars moving into the banking solar system and the digital account holders who share their views so readily on social channels. The world of digital CX, UX, and UI are imperative to remain relevant, evolve, service and maintain pace. Digital banking will be built more upon ground-up listening and less on top-down telling. 

Our robust industry has withstood many tests over the last few decades. But fresh blood, ideas, honesty and connection to digitally native customers is required. For those of you in banking under the age of 30, you have so much more to offer our industry than you may even realise. 

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