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How a bank and telecom convergence may be the recipe for a sustainable future

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Digital payments have gone up by 85% in the last 5 years.

A trend expected to reach the Caribbean sooner than later.


For years now, telecom operators and retail banks have been finding innovative ways to serve the needs of today's increasingly digital consumers. An article in the Irish Times recently reported that customer transactions done via digital channels have swollen by almost 85% over the past five years. This trend is bound to materialize much sooner than later in the Caribbean region as Caribbean banking, bound by legacy systems and regulations, moves to catch up with global Banking. Delivering this level of efficiency and convenience means much more than just delivering more sophisticated digital services. In this article, we'll take a look at what's driving the convergence and what it means for banks going forward.


The Driving Forces Behind the Convergence


There are several forces behind the convergence of telecom operators and retail banks. First and foremost is the ever-changing landscape of technology. Advances in digital capabilities and the rapid increase in mobile devices have given rise to numerous FinTech solutions that are providing consumers and businesses alike with innovative ways to manage their money(transactions). At the same time, traditional financial institutions face increased pressure to compete on price and convenience while having to contend with the growing burden of compliance and regulation. Telecom operators and banks can join forces to implement technology frameworks that alleviate the burden.


“In response to these trends, some banks have already begun partnering with telecom operators. This trend is likely to continue as more banks seek to provide their customers with the convenient, affordable, and user-friendly mobile experiences they demand.



The Benefits of Convergence for Banks


Banks must increase and deepen digital relationships. Banks that embrace convergence can benefit in a number of ways. Telecom operators have a vast customer base and broader client appeal, especially in younger segments. Due to their stronger and more mature marketing skills, they have a longer track record in crafting bundled products and services. Banks could tap into this information which will give them access to new markets and help them reach new customers who might not otherwise consider using their services.


In addition, by partnering with telecom operators, banks will be able to take advantage of their existing infrastructure and resources. This will allow them to roll out new services and products more quickly and efficiently than they could on their own. Bundled and digitally integrated offers, raise consumer appetite, help reduce churn and improve customer satisfaction

What Banks Need to do to Stay Competitive


As the competition from other Fintech options intensifies, it's going to become increasingly important for banks to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. They'll need to develop unique products and service offerings that meet the needs of their customers and set them apart from the competition. Banks must focus on providing an excellent customer experience that keeps customers engaged using their digital channels. Finally, they'll need to make sure they stay up-to-date on the latest technological advances so they can continue to offer cutting-edge products and services that meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.


Conclusion


Telecom operators and retail banks have been converging for years now, and as remaining barriers vanish and extrinsic factors push further convergence, banks are going to see increasing competition from other Fintech solutions that will aggressively enter into financial services—especially in transactional lines of business. To stay competitive in this changing landscape, banks need to focus on offering unique products and services, providing an excellent customer experience, and keeping up with all the latest technological advances.


Ref.: ADL

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