Celent: Mobile Payments and Plenty More Change Ahead for Banks in 2018

March 13, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Our friends out at Celent recently routed a new report our way, and this bombshell is packed with some serious new developments coming to retail banking soon. It’s called the “Top Trends in Retail Banking: What to Watch for in 2018” report, and from chatbots to mobile services, it’s spelling a lot of change coming to the way we bank.

The report identified 10 different areas for change, sorted into three major classes: digital and omnichannel, innovation and fintech, and legacy and ecosystem transformation. Contained within these classes were such things as “replatforming for mobile and omnichannel,” “experimenting with AI,” and “advancing open banking, partnerships and APIs.”

Considering how many of those things we’ve already seen step into the retail banking space, Celent’s assertions that these will be major points of focus for 2018 isn’t out of line.

From there, we saw projections of what, more specifically, was likely to hit in 2018. Its framework for advancing digital operations in banking, for example, called for changes to IT departments, products and services, and the organization’s entire employment structure.

We’ve already seen as much happen; bank branch closures have been hitting for the last couple years, though recent word out of some of the biggest players says that branches may be on the way back.

Advances in mobile have also been major operations; while banks originally were often dependent on a third-party solution to bring out mobile banking, proprietary solutions—likely including some white-label options—are coming into play. Celent also noted a “shockingly high number of smaller banks” which have yet to produce a mobile solution. The report even topped off that projection by noting that a “…unified digital platform is a logical move, but represents just one step in a longer omnichannel journey.”

That’s the whole point of “omnichannel”; you’re available on every channel. Social media, desktop online, mobile online, and even physical branches. Mobile is one very important part of a much larger overall change, and that’s the point the Celent report drives home more than any other. There are a lot of changes coming to banks, and even the smallest neighborhood bank will be forced to change along with it or risk getting swamped by the sheer mass of changes to come.