23 Dec SMAC and Disruption in the Pakistani banking industry
SMAC is an acronym we love because it is not a convenient acronym designed by consultants to push services, rather its an acronym born from the desire to encapsulate the scenario disrupting major industries. SMAC stands for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud; interlinked technologies that define the parameters within which all enterprise disruption is taking place. Nowhere is this disruption more evident than in Banking and banks in Pakistan that ignore the current disruption as business as usual will lose out to banks that embrace SMAC as central to their IT roadmap.
Banks in Pakistan are facing unprecedented disruption and dynamism. Challenges to traditional bank spread levels are impacting profitability. Niche nimble competitors are emerging as threats with specific services which until recently were the purview of full service banks. Payments especially are an area where great innovation is possible but where telecoms are increasingly becoming rivals. Expected consolidation among smaller bank will further create unpredictable competitors.
Meanwhile banks are entering an era of more regulation not less.
Seismic shifts in consumer behavior enabled by digital trends are redefining how banks and their customers interact. The digital era not only allows banks without a sizable branch presence to talk with an equal footing to potential customers, they allow agile innovative banks to steal the most profitable customers. Meanwhile social strategies allow banks with lower marketing budgets to target consumers effectively and powerfully at critical points of the acquisition journey.
Reliance on government-based securities has dulled strategic planning for alternative scenarios among most banks. With over 80% of the population still unbanked and potential of Islamic banking nowhere close to being fulfilled innovation within this dynamism can still yield tremendous opportunity.
In this time of unprecedented change we find banks are evolving their business models to cope. We feel a customer centric strategy enabled by SMAC as opposed to a product centric strategy is key. But simplifying the consumer experience and responding agilely to consumer trends require a bank to undergo mission critical transformation. Shifting roles, new processes based on global nest practices localized to perfection and new banking technologies addressing the physical and the digital make this transformation extremely complex. It is a multi-year process that touches every operational aspect of the bank and we urge banks to find the right technology partners for the journey. There is no room for failure. Banks in this age of disruption and opportunity must get this transformation right to get a competitive advantage over their competitors and win in the future.
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