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Outdated bank tech undermines corporate-bank relationship

The inability of banks to keep up with the digital standards of consumer platforms such as Amazon or Uber is damaging the relationship between banks and their corporate clients, according to a report from Greenwich Associates. Research by the company found that US executives are frustrated by cumbersome and often manual documentation and compliance requirements.

Corporate executives frustrated

The report, Banking in the Era of Consumerized Digital Expectations, identifies a disconnect between the rising expectations of corporate executives and the frequently 'clunky' customer experience delivered by commercial banks. While the consumer online experience in the past decade has improved exponentially, with sleeker, faster and safe online commerce sites available globally on mobile, the commercial banking online or mobile platforms have not kept pace with the capabilities, functionality or design of consumer sites. Greenwich Associates' Chris McDonnell said: “Frustrated corporate executives are all asking the same question: Why can’t all this back and forth be automated?”

'Unpredented' development underway

Two factors are behind the increasing dissatisfaction of US corporate banking clients, according to the report. They are:

  1. stricter know your customer (KYC) requirements and other post-crisis mandates, which have increased documentation and compliance demands; and
  2. in the years since the crisis, banks have been operating in a lean-margin environment that often precluded major tech investments.

According to Greenwich Associates, banks recognise these challenges and are taking steps to invest significantly in their digital platforms. McDonnell added: “The magnitude of development currently underway is unprecedented. We expect banks will have to do more than provide tech fixes for administrative processes as they scramble to keep up with accelerating expectations surrounding a differentiated digital customer experience.”

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