How to build a digital bank in three steps

A proven approach to building a digital bank

In the constantly evolving world of financial services, speed is key. Banks that need to change need to change quickly or risk getting left behind.

That’s why we created the Digital Disruptor program. With our help, banks can embrace digital, drive new areas of growth and create innovative new customer experiences in a matter of months. We bring our full capabilities across strategy, design, operations, engineering and data science to deliver a proven and repeatable approach to digital transformation.

Our approach is flexible and tailored to each client individually, but there are three key steps running in parallel that we take when building each digital bank.

VIDEO | 02:38 – Increasingly ripe for disruption, banks need to embrace a period of dramatic transformation. Only those institutions ready and willing to embrace change as a constant will make it through.

Step One: The ‘big idea’

It all starts with a ‘big idea’. This means setting high-level goals, identifying existing customer pain points and creating a vision of how these customer issues will be addressed.

Without this, projects easily drift off-course, so it’s crucial that banks don’t skip this step. Only when these key goals are identified can we work together to define the competencies and capabilities that will bring the big idea to life.

Step Two: Build it

With the goals firmly established, we can get to work creating the basis of the technical solution that will achieve these objectives. This is where we combine our capabilities across strategy, digital-first design and experience, operations, CX, marketing and the customer/partner ecosystem at the customer-facing end.

Services and products

As part of our proven and repeatable approach to digital transformation, we then select the best cloud-enabled partners and services and integrate them seamlessly to address the client’s individual needs and objectives. These include API- and data-enabled products for the discovery and marketing stages, right through to servicing and provisioning. Building in processes for rapid decision-making at this stage is essential and allows the client to respond faster to market changes, shifting business needs and customer feedback.

Building from the cloud

With these elements in place, we can start to build the solution, and a cloud-centric approach offers significant flexibility from the start and significantly cuts development time. Critical cloud services we employ at this stage include:

  • The proposition ecosystem – services for onboarding and verification, payments, lending and more
  • Operational services like CRM, treasury, and Risk & Regulatory reporting
  • Digital enablement – everything from app dev to smart analysis
  • Cloud provider services such as identity access management, networking, and infrastructure

The teams developing these elements work closely to ensure small challenges at the start of the project don’t become big issues toward the end.

We work closely with a wide range of cloud-enabled partners and pick the best and most appropriate out-of-the-box technical components that work together seamlessly for each engagement. This “plug-and-play" approach reduces build time and speeds up delivery.

“It’s interesting, when you look at examples to say, ‘but did they make it real?’ With Publicis Sapient … we have taken a dream and made it real.”

Chief Technology Officer,

Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank

Step Three: Become it

The final element of our work is the most crucial to the success of the project, but often the most ignored: a top-down examination of a bank’s ability to adapt its culture, invest in its people and embrace a new model.

Providing the tools and structure to change a firm’s environment, including planning, performance, and decision-making, is challenging for any organization but crucial to success. We help managers and colleagues make front-line decisions and take on a more collaborative relationship with customers.

All the planning that has gone before will count for nothing if the will to implement change and make it work is not there.

The Digital Disruptor program in action

Discover how our Digital Disruptor program enabled Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank to build the world’s first fully digital trade finance bank from scratch in a matter of months.

VIDEO | 03:37 – How AGTB Revolutionized Trade Banking to Bridge the Trade Finance Gap.