Celent Banking Newsletter, February 2011

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23 February 2011
New York, NY, USA

Report Published by Celent

Analyst's Point of View
From Senior Analyst Zilvinas Bareisis

Celent's Banking team has kicked off 2011 with a bang. In addition to the flurry of new reports, we recently hosted an industry event in London. Management of multiple channels continues to be high on many of our clients' agendas, and so we decided to focus on the multichannel theme and call our event "The Branch Is Dead; Long Live the Branch."

Bart Narter, Senior Vice President of Celent's Banking Group, opened the event by introducing two distinguished guest speakers. In the "Branch Is Dead" corner was Mr. Steve Townend, CEO and cofounder of MoBank, an independent mobile money management app in the UK. He asserted that "Customers increasingly want and need to control their finances in ways that allow them to get on with their lives" and claimed that mobile is becoming an important financial management tool for many consumers. In the other corner was Mr. Anthony Thomson, cofounder and chairman of Metro Bank, the first UK High Street bank to be launched since Queen Victoria ascended to the throne. Given Metro Bank's core values of convenience, service, transparency, and engagement, branches are very much a cornerstone of its value proposition.

It was a hard act to follow, but Celent Senior Analyst Bob Meara and I accepted the challenge. Bob painted the vision of the branch of the future, describing it as a "journey, not a destination." While bank branch renewal programmes can take different shapes and forms, Bob has yet to find a bank that happily said, "We are done." I began with the assertion that UK banks can do more with their investment in the online channel and go beyond basic customer self-service. I shared with the audience some of the lessons from the other markets, such as how banks are reclaiming P2P payments. However, eWise payo, a UK-focused Online Banking ePayments solution, represents perhaps the biggest opportunity for UK banks to leverage their investment in online banking and Faster Payments infrastructure. Now is the right time for UK banks to make a decision whether they should adopt such a solution.

The event concluded with a mobile banking and payments panel featuring Celent analysts from around the world, including France, Japan, China, Korea, and the US. The panel not only affirmed the rising importance of mobile devices in financial services, but also demonstrated the diversity of development patterns around the world. And that is the value that Celent brings to its clients: global insight based on deep local expertise in multiple markets.

If you attended the event, we hope you enjoyed the presentations and networking opportunities. If not, we missed you, and hope to see you at our next event. Don't forget to check our website for the latest schedule.

Zilvinas Bareisis
Senior Analyst, London

Chart of the Month

From the Celent report Foreign Banks in China: Partnerships with Chinese Banks and Acquisitions Remain Key

Celent Published Reports

Research in Progress

  • Personal Financial Management: The Time is Now
  • Evaluating BPO Vendors
  • Branch Banking in a Multichannel World, Part II: The Many Faces of Change

Events

Mobile Financial Services 2011
Zilvinas Bareisis
Banking Group
March 15, 2011 - March 16, 2011
London, United Kingdom