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ConnectedWorld: ‘Responsible, relevant, and thriving in banking’

By Ben Robinson 3 Aug 2016

Introducing our new #ConnectedWorld blog series in which we showcase great examples of leadership and collaboration that are driving positive change in our industry.

In our quest for a more connected world there is nothing more satisfying than being able to share the inspiring thoughts of industry change agents such as Garvan Callan of Bank of Ireland. Here, in an article for CBR Online, Garvan Callan explains how by working closely together, collaborating and breaking down silos, banks and fintechs can learn from each other, put customers at the heart of their operations, and maximise business opportunity.

When banks truly put customers at the heart of their operations, great things become possible. Callan puts it like this: "For me it's actually quite simple. Bank of Ireland is a 233-year-old institution which holds its responsibility to the community in which we work, in the highest regard. This demands being in the vanguard of connectivity, entrepreneurship and therefore fintech."

The exciting thing about this strategy is that it's not 'just' the answer to banking sector woes – which is huge – but if we live by these principles in all we do, then we could literally change the world.

The following is an excerpt from the article 'Responsible, relevant, and thriving in banking' in CBR Online. The full article is available here.

"Today, and for the foreseeable future, if we want to be taken seriously by the customer, and more importantly compete and win their business and loyalty, banking needs to be all about the digital experience, mobile and personalised through insights. Quoted at Sunday Business Post's Banking & Financial Services summit in Dublin in April, research shows that 80% of millennials want to manage all their money in one place. Given that they all have smartphones, that means managing money from their mobile. Banks have got to take note, but more importantly respond.

At Bank of Ireland we put significant emphasis and value on keeping close to customers, alongside the wider community, learning from them, what they are doing, their wants and most importantly their needs. In 2013, pre-empting emergent trends, we commissioned a nationwide study of 25,000 people to learn more deeply about their lives, how they bank and what they want. Each week we continue to conduct interviews with over 1000 customers, ensuring we keep track of trends and the changes we are implementing, remaining relevant and responsive. We listen, we articulate the learnings and then apply those learnings to our products and services.

For example, people can't always come into a branch, so we developed a video-conferencing service. On New Year's Eve 2015 we sold our first mortgage via this video-conferencing. This is what people want, and expect, so we're providing it. The couple live in Sydney, Australia, are about to move back to Ireland and buy a house in Ireland. Within 45 minutes of starting the conference, the mortgage was applied for and the customers knew what would come next - from 10,000 miles away, in an inverse time zone but it was comfortable and reassuring. Today the service is so popular - albeit with more local customers - we can't get the advisers trained fast enough."

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