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6.3 Wrap Up: Business Models of Banks

Until now, the classic business models of the banks—with the exception of the independent asset manager—have concentrated on all elements of the value chain, as it has always been interesting and also possible in terms of margins. Now it is no longer possible due to the effects of the digital age, which is forcing a focussed discussion of banks' own value contributions in the various areas of the value chain. As well as the previous model types, what is now new is also the concentration on market leadership in one value discipline—for example as a product provider or a transaction specialist. Gradually, the “best-in-class” and superstar effects are coming to the fore. But the new technological possibilities are also putting providers in the position to offer a personal and cross-channel service to all segments.

Increasingly, customers can even put these service configurations together themselves via network platforms. The model of the self-determining agora is becoming ever more possible—technological and regulators barriers are falling. And precisely here is the starting point for the strategic importance of this book and the now urgent reorientation of business models, if a bank wishes to transform a position of success in the future. A prerequisite for long-term success is the ability to identify and further develop stable and mutually advantageous partnerships, and an openness towards further developments, some of which are as yet difficult to estimate. The key is to orient the service configurations towards the effective customer needs—customer focus alone will create added value in the face of the agora. Google is working on the agora—it is only a matter of time.

The need for effective and solution-oriented financial services will remain— however the business models and the possible price/performance configurations will have to change radically in coming years, with the customer in mind. The rigorous industrialisation of the business models of banks is only the admission ticket for the future developments on the horizon. Customers of the future will once again expect different price/performance configurations, and in part they will be able to assemble these themselves on the market. Just as in other industries, where radical change produces clear winners and clear losers, this will also be the case in the banking sector.

The crucial competence in coming years will be to understand the balance between renewal and retention at the level of management. Only then will it be possible to set the strategic, structural and cultural agenda within the present-day banks. Some will achieve this metamorphosis from the inside out, while others won't. A key success factor is the precise and constant observation of customer needs, and the ability to immediately introduce the changes identified into the continuous change process of one's own bank. The “industrialised workbench”, with clear and agile processes, is only one necessary prerequisite in managing to contribute actively to development.

It is down to the banks to develop this understanding among all stakeholders in the coming years. Although radical deconstruction and reorientation from a customer's perspective might be painful initially, it must be grasped as an opportunity, designed from the inside with in-house top performers.

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