Bank to the future: Finding the right path to digital transformation


Digital banking can give a boost to your bank’s bottom line. When transactions are completed on a mobile app instead of in a branch, they can be dramatically cheaper. You can also generate more revenue from customers who manage their money with a smartphone, tablet, or PC. But not all banks are prepared for a full digital transformation. We’ve identified three options for banks looking to start the transition. Which is best for your bank?

Front end only

This is the simplest approach, focusing on the primary ways a customer interacts with a bank (website, app, etc). Largely a cosmetic fix, the bank designs an appealing mobile app and web interface but keeps the organization’s workflows, culture and back-end infrastructure intact. It’s a solid stop on the road of transformation, but for most banks, it won’t be the destination.

Wrap and digitize

Here, you fix the front end and go one step further, gradually replacing legacy infrastructure with digital technology, integrating the middle and back offices along the way. The biggest drawback that banks find in this approach is that it’s a long process. Still, this is a great option for banks that need to take a more gradual approach.

Go digital native

Some banks choose to go all in. They create a digital native bank that uses a fully digital customer interface and back end. This strategy can deliver significant cost savings as well as the ability for the bank to adapt quickly when change comes. Going digital native isn’t for everyone, though. Each bank has a different set of core capabilities, and you might not be prepared yet for a full digital transformation.

So how do you choose?

It’s important to review your long-term organizational strategy. Only then can you decide which digital transformation strategy is just right for your bank. A good first step is to consider questions like:

  • What do we want to be known for?
  • Which consumer segments are we targeting?
  • What are our core capabilities and how can a digital strategy strengthen them?

Then get started

You don’t need to have a bulletproof, exhaustive plan before you get started. Even if the experiment isn’t successful, you’ll learn valuable lessons that you can apply to your second attempt. The important thing is that you get started.

How PwC can help

Our teams in asset and wealth management, banking and capital markets, and insurance are helping our clients tackle the biggest issues facing the financial services industry. With professionals across tax, assurance and advisory practices, we can help you find ways to thrive even in a period of uncertainty. Whether you're preparing for regulatory changes, putting FinTech/InsurTech to work, or rethinking your human capital strategy, we work together with you to deliver value to your business.

For more information on how PwC can help with your bank’s digital transformation, reach out to one of our leaders below or explore our digital services.

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Scott Evoy

Financial Services Advisory Digital Leader, PwC US

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