Web 2.0: A Quantum Leap for Wholesale Banking

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23 July 2008


New York, NY, USA July 23, 2008

Although they have been slow coming out of the gates, banks will recognize the need for change and will completely alter their online experiences over the next three years. Web 2.0 will redefine the small business online banking and cash management space.

The Internet is in a state of perpetual transition. The ever-evolving nature of this channel has banks careening in all directions to keep up with new technology, shifting business models, and customer demands and requirements. Change is not something that comes easily to most financial institutions, but the market is too competitive to allow banks to rest on their innovation laurels, and customer demands are forcing banks to shift gears and refocus their priorities. In a new report, , Celent examines and analyzes how Web 2.0 is reinventing the wholesale online banking experience.

While many banks recognize the steps they need to take, few have emerged as standouts for change. However, Celent believes that a dramatic shift will take place at most banks over the next three years. Although a handful of early mover banks are starting to show signs of next-generation offerings, it will take a good 12–18 months before we begin to see cutting-edge business banking sites complete with Web 2.0 elements. There are several reasons for this delay: banks are having difficulty deciding on an AJAX framework; they will need to go through rigorous security evaluations of new technologies; IT budgets are constrained; and new software releases from vendors won’t start to appear until late 2008. Regardless of the delays, Web 2.0 will revolutionize the current landscape. Solutions will finally begin to emphasize the customer experience, usability, and navigation while allowing customers to take care of their core banking requirements.

"Although small business banking and corporate cash management applications provide a slew of features and functionality, they look and feel out of date, aren’t easy enough to use, and can’t stand up to what the customer would really like," says Jacob Jegher, senior analyst with Celent's Banking group and author of the report.

"Some banks will unfortunately keep things status quo, while others have already begun to recognize the need for significant change and innovation with the ultimate goal of enhancing the user experience and the customer relationship."

The report begins by exploring the applicability of rich Internet applications (RIAs) to the dashboard and other business banking functions such as information reporting and payments. It then explores how social networking can be applied to small business and corporate online banking using online communities and blogs. Finally, the report provides insight as to why banks have been slow to catch on to Web 2.0 in the wholesale space.

This 32-page report contains nine figures and one table. A table of contents is available online.

Members of Celent's Wholesale Banking research service can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left. Non-members should contact for more information.