Two years ago, BAI was honored to introduce the annual BAI-Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards to recognize the many ground-breaking initiatives that we were seeing around the world in retail banking. This year, we are proud to continue that tradition, with the award winners to be announced at the upcoming BAI Retail Delivery 2013 in Denver.
In 2011, when we first introduced these awards, the banking industry was still reeling from the aftereffects of the financial crisis of 2008-2009. We believed at the time that it is precisely in difficult times that innovation is most needed. The financial crisis had weakened consumer trust and confidence in banking institutions and the industry needed to find new ways of improving the customer experience to restore that trust and continue to evolve with changing consumer preferences.
That challenge remains in 2013. While economic conditions are generally better around the world, much uncertainty remains in an era of unprecedented low interest rates and changing regulatory requirements. As they struggle with slow-growth economies and more intrusive regulation, banks around the globe are rethinking their business models to find more effective and cost-effective ways of delivering their services while providing the consistency in the “omni-channel” experience that customers now expect.
The global innovation awards are designed to recognize banking organizations for game-changing products, services and practices in all regions of the world, including the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Asia-Pacific (APAC). An objective third-party panel of distinguished financial industry executives from around the world this year reviewed 220 submissions from over 30 countries in the following categories:
Product and Service Innovation, which recognizes retail financial institutions that have substantially improved an existing product or service or developed and introduced a new product or service that has engaged customers, unleashed new revenue opportunities and/or improved the bank’s competitiveness;
Channel Innovation, recognizing retail financial institutions that have made marked changes or improvements within the distribution network to either existing channels (such as, branch, ATM or mobile) or have introduced a new channel or distribution strategy that has benefited customers and/or the organization;
Innovation in Internal Process Improvement is a new category this year which recognizes retail financial institutions that have made a significant investment in internal processes to improve the overall customer experience. Examples of process improvement innovations include technology investments that create more customer-friendly products, services and delivery, cultural transformations, or other types of significant enhancements to the customer experience;
And, also new for 2013, Innovation in Societal and Community Impact, recognizing retail financial institutions that have designed and/or enhanced products and services, or channel accessibility to meet the needs of customers with special circumstances. For example, some banks might reduce barriers to interaction and physical access for customers or shifting the boundaries to financial access for an underserved population.
We look forward to continuing to provide a platform for the industry to showcase the best global innovations. We hope you will be on hand in Denver on November 5 when we announce the 2013 winners and celebrate the banking institutions that have done the most to drive innovation in our industry.
Ms. Bianucci is president and CEO of BAI and publisher of BAI Banking Strategies and BAI Banking Strategies Daily.
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