In the first installment of Digital Financial’s Future of Finance insights series, veteran banker Robert Frederick draws upon 40 years’ experience at leading financial institutions across the Caribbean to craft a roadmap toward accelerated migration to digital banking in the heavily cash-dependent region.
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Challenge A major international bank operating in multiple markets was faced with tightening margins, flat-lining economic activity, and unsatisfactory productivity ratios. Each of the bank’s operations was standalone, with branches carrying out the majority of their own mid- and back-office functions. Regulation differs and is evolving in each of the bank’s markets, making it increasingly complex to stay up-to-date and ensure compliance.
Challenge A South Asian government was seeking to bolster formal financial inclusion and digital service offerings for small players. To that end, the state bank, in collaboration with two international development institutions, planned to launch a high-volume micropayments gateway, in the understanding that any such platform would have to adhere to the strict guidelines of governance, interoperability, and inclusion required by the donor partners.
Challenge A market-leading bank with multiple business lines—including deposits, secured and unsecured credit, payments, investments, and insurance—had siloed digital channels that created an uneven customer experience and a poor sales environment. The bank aimed to improve efficiency, increase sales, and hold onto its market share vs. both traditional rivals and emerging fintech challengers.
Challenge A country in southwest Asia wanted to improve access to financial services for both citizens and for a significant refugee population. Concerns about inclusion and efficiency, along with the important role of cross-border remittances, indicated that digital financial services would offer the best solution. To enable the roll-out of DFS, the country’s central bank—backed financially and technically by two international development institutions—required the creation of an appropriate regulatory framework.
Challenge An economically challenged nation was struggling to recover from significant natural disaster that caused severe hardship and loss of life. To drive growth and financial inclusion, the central bank, in partnership with a global development institution, sought to enable the launch of digital financial technology.
Challenge A major international bank, with operations in 22 countries, needed to significantly improve customer experience and increase efficiency in order to maintain good profitability in a challenging revenue environment.