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Digital Agenda: what should the business focus on?

Banking and retail, which Accord Group specializes in, are traditionally at the forefront of digitalization. Processes in these areas often run in parallel and are indicative of other sectors of the economy. We are watching with interest the confrontation between neo- and traditional banking, we are following the transformations of retail due to the pressure of e-commerce.

What defines the digital agenda of banks and retail in the new reality?

  • Geographic coverage is no longer an advantage.

The success of Monobank is a vivid confirmation: since its opening it has issued more cards than all other banks combined over the same period. In turn, Ukrainian retailers note that last year the e-commerce market increased by 40% instead of 15%, as expected.

  • Development of cashless transactions.

In 2020, Ukraine moved into a state of cashless dominance: the share of relevant transactions with cards reached 55%. This was facilitated by quarantine with its restrictions and the development of a cashless infrastructure of traditional banks. In addition, the entry of technology corporations into the financial services market was reflected.

  • Changing client preferences.

Clients want fast and convenient services available omni-channel. Mobile banking in the US is used by 70% of the population, and this is an important signal for Ukrainian banks, among which there are only two real (in terms of coverage) mobile banks. The presence of an online store with a user-friendly interface that reflects the current assortment, downloads quickly on mobile devices and offers different forms of payment, can now be attributed to the level of retail hygienic functioning.

  • Offline becomes a privilege.

During the quarantine live communication, freedom of travel, personal consultation have acquired signs of privilege. Together with the focus of business on cost optimization, this forms a new norm – paying for offline and at the same time makes business responsible for creating a unique customer experience, which is most often associated with the emotional component of interaction with space.

  • Safe transformation or security transformation.

Digitalization processes are closely related to cybersecurity issues. The more powerful the digital infrastructure becomes, the more protection it needs. Neglecting cybersecurity is fraught with financial and reputational losses. In particular, this concerns the issues of providing a secure digital experience for employees.

Add to this the state of the labor market, the demographic crisis, the focus on cost reduction, low labor productivity in Ukraine and you have a digital agenda.

Digital consumer experience, when most processes (from choosing a bank to paying in a store) become personalized and digital. Omni-channel contact centers will help, which provide seamless interaction across all channels available for service and speed up the processing of calls. Given the proliferation of online services, it is worth looking at the capabilities of load balancers on web servers, whose task is to prevent the situation when the number of requests from clients exceeds the specified system performance. For banks, the consumer's digital experience is also related to the issues of remote identification, support for EDS, Bank ID and the introduction of remote conclusion of contracts with individuals, providing for the existence of secure communication channels between the bank and the individual at the infrastructure level for the transfer of confidential and biometric data. Personalization also requires learning about the consumers and their preferences, which creates the basis for the use of AI and BigData tools.

The digital experience of an employee, when the IT infrastructure provides opportunities for teamwork, operating company resources, including remotely.

Cybersecurity. In our opinion, cyberattacks will only increase, and the biggest challenge is that the availability of technical security tools does not guarantee effective cyber protection. The role of technology ends where human intelligence is needed to analyze the situation and streamlined processes to respond. Therefore, in order to minimize vulnerability, achieve end-to-end infrastructure transparency, and implement investigation and response functions, we recommend taking a closer look at the Security Operational Center model, which integrates technical tools and processes into a single ecosystem to help specialists maintain continuous control and organizations to acquire cyber resilience.

Cost optimization. Considering the economic situation, the interest of companies in cost optimization is understandable. However, how to combine the need to develop IT infrastructure with savings? For many, the solution is to use subscription or managed services. This is a modern and affordable alternative to the development of IT systems, which allows renting technical equipment and a team of professionals. This is how you can start the path to building a cybersecurity system or implementing an omni-channel strategy and not damage the financial position of the business.

Finally, I want to note that the consumer is becoming more and more demanding and he is not at all interested in what price you will provide him with speed and convenience. He chooses those who are ready to change today.

Let us know how we at Acord Group can support you along the way:

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