In other words, the bank will have to concentrate on specific, local niches. Does that mean that the age of the classic universal bank that offers everything under one roof is over?
No, I believe that the opposite is true. If you look at the tech giants, the trend seems to be to offer everything from a single source. Apple, Google and Amazon are constantly expanding their offering, which in turn expands their ecosystem. UBS has gone down this path, too. We want to make all bank-related services available to our clients in a single, digital ecosystem. With our UBS Safe2 service, for example, we have brought the safe deposit box into the digital world. As a result, UBS clients have copies of their IDs, insurance cards and vaccination cards close at hand in digital form at all times, including in emergencies.
Even so, the banks will still have to make some concessions. Which old traditions will they have to break with in order to be successful in the future?
Many processes still haven’t been digitized from end to end. If a new client opens an account using the app, no paper documents are involved. We would now like to introduce the same process for accounts opened at our branches, too.
Which trump cards do banks have up their sleeves in order to stay relevant in the future?
Banks continue to enjoy high levels of trust among the population. This is confirmed again and again in numerous surveys. A recent example is the survey by the opinion polling firm Populus on behalf of Visa. The 2,000 or so respondents to this survey said they would be less concerned about revealing their personal data to a bank than to the government. Banks are also well positioned when it comes to security issues.
In what areas?
Take UBS Security Check, for example. Its purpose is to help users increase their online security so that they can overcome their fears of the digital world.
You speak of security and trust as important features of a banking system. Won’t Generations Y and Z see things differently?
Security will be immensely important to these generations, too. It is also essential that the digital solutions are easy to use and convenient, however. To give an example: the UBS Access app is a simple, convenient and extremely secure method our clients can use to log into their e-banking and mobile banking accounts.
And what about trust? Isn’t digitization making us less dependent on this?
Simple products and services can be completely digitized, but our clients also have a large number of complex needs which cannot be met without personalized advice, even in the digital world. Consider such issues as financing home ownership, passing on one’s estate within the family and succession planning for businesses. These are all personal matters that are better to discuss in confidence rather than dealing with them with an app.