Revolutionising Customer Experience in Retail Banking:
A Case Study in Process and Operating Model Innovation

In the fast-evolving landscape of retail banking, customer experience has become a pivotal battleground. For decades, traditional banks operated within an established framework, often burdened by cumbersome processes and legacy systems. One such process – the creation of a current account – typically took an established retail financial services organisation a staggering 42 days. This sluggish pace left customers frustrated and vulnerable to the allure of more agile competitors.

The Disruption: A New Entrant Changes the Game

Enter a new entrant in the market, unencumbered by legacy systems and rigid processes. With a tech-savvy approach, this challenger bank revolutionised the account creation process, reducing it to a mere few hours. This not only attracted a wave of new customers but also started chipping away at the market share of traditional banks. The message was clear: speed and efficiency were no longer luxuries but expectations in modern banking.

The Wake-Up Call for Established Players

Faced with the stark reality of losing customers and market share, the established retail financial services organisation had to act swiftly. It was no longer feasible to rely on the old ways; a complete overhaul of the process and operating model was imperative. The goal was ambitious yet necessary: reduce the account creation time from 42 days to just 2 hours.

Redefining the Process: From 42 Days to 2 Hours

The journey to achieving this dramatic reduction in time involved several key steps:

  1. Process Mapping and Analysis: The first step was to map out the existing account creation process in meticulous detail. This involved identifying every step, from the initial customer inquiry to the final approval. Bottlenecks and redundancies were highlighted, providing a clear picture of areas needing improvement.

  2. Leveraging Technology: Advanced technology played a crucial role in this transformation. Automation was introduced to handle repetitive tasks, reducing human error and speeding up the process. Digital identity verification and e-signatures replaced manual verification, cutting down time significantly.

  3. Streamlining Compliance: Regulatory compliance is often a major cause of delays in banking processes. By working closely with regulatory bodies, the bank found ways to streamline compliance checks without compromising on security or legal standards. This involved integrating compliance into the digital workflow, ensuring checks were conducted in real-time.

  4. Employee Training and Change Management: For any process change to be effective, employee buy-in is essential. Comprehensive training programs were rolled out to ensure that staff were well-versed in the new processes and technologies. Change management initiatives helped ease the transition, fostering a culture of efficiency and customer-centricity.

  5. Customer-Centric Design: Throughout the redesign, the focus remained steadfastly on the customer. User-friendly interfaces and simplified forms ensured that customers could complete their part of the process swiftly. Feedback loops were established to continually refine and improve the customer experience.

The Result: A New Era of Efficiency

The results of these efforts were nothing short of transformative. The bank successfully reduced the account creation time from 42 days to just 2 hours. This remarkable achievement not only stemmed the tide of customers flocking to the new entrant but also fortified the bank’s position in the market.

Maintaining Market Share and Preventing New Entrants

By redeveloping their process and operating model, the bank managed to maintain its market share and prevent the new entrant from gaining a foothold. The swift account creation process became a key differentiator, showcasing the bank’s commitment to customer satisfaction and technological innovation. Customers appreciated the seamless experience, and the bank regained its competitive edge.

Conclusion: The Way Forward

The case of this retail financial services organisation underscores the importance of agility and innovation in today’s banking sector. As customer expectations continue to evolve, banks must be proactive in reengineering their processes to deliver faster, more efficient services. This case study serves as a testament to the power of embracing change, leveraging technology, and putting the customer at the heart of every decision.

In a world where time is of the essence, the ability to create a current account in just 2 hours is not just a win for the bank, but a victory for the customers who demand and deserve the best in service and convenience.


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