These days the name of the game is quick-to-market, more so in retail banking. That was the recommendation of Lito Villanueva, executive vice president and chief innovation & inclusion officer with Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC Bank).
Speaking to FutureCIO on the topic of Open Banking and Open API, Villanueva spoke about the strategies taken by RCBC to create products and programmes that engaged its evolving customers – an increasingly mobile-centric persona that has emerged in recent years.
3 transformational pillars
He cited profit optimization, data generation and cost reduction as three areas that are important to any bank.
“Leveraging mobile allows you to access more customers. Technologies like AI and data mining can help you to better understand your customers – less and less second-guessing on what they want. By removing siloed operations, you are able to optimize your resources and reduce costs (wastage),” said Villanueva.
One hurdle towards this transformation involves a mindset change. “You need to eliminate the traditional legacy thinking and embrace disruption,” he advised.
Engaging thru emotions
For Villanueva, customer-centricity is and should be at the core of any business. But it is more than just being able to engage the customer. It is about creating an emotional connection.
He was quick to point out that success hinges on the ability of customers to adopt your product offerings. He quipped that banks are struggling to keep pace with technology, the disruption it enables, and the influence of customers in a bank’s future success or failure.
“It's about testing the product and iterating along the way. There is no such thing as a perfect product. It depends on how open you are listening to the sentiments of your consumers, adjusting to their needs and how flexible you are for them to be able to adapt to your products,” he elaborated.
These days banking services it is more of a demand-driven proposition rather than supply-driven one. “The challenge becomes how do you develop products in line with the market,” queried Villanueva.
In this exclusive interview with FutureCIO, Villanueva discusses the business and operational challenges that the Philippine banking industry as well as the Bangkok Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) in terms of bringing the industry into the digital age.
The business case of Fin-biosis
For Villanueva, partnerships are an essential part of the transformation journey. He is also a firm believer in the sustainability of such relationships.
He sees Fintechs as financial enablers with their technology and new ways of thinking. Traditional banks for their part have depth reach and resources.
He referred to this as financial symbiosis (fin-biosis), where you combine the strengths of Fintechs and that of traditional financial institutions.