Outside banking, how we shop, travel, and listen to music has been continually improved by slick digital experiences. As a result, many consumers expect the same highly personal and convenient experiences from their banking providers. Banks are under pressure to innovate more readily as customer expectations change, but legacy technology makes it difficult to get ideas into customers' hands quickly.
In a recent webinar, 10x Product Director Sophie Tollet and Product Manager George Broom discussed this in more detail, looking at the main themes from our latest e-book: How banks can supercharge their product lifecycle.
Here are some of the key highlights from their discussion.
1. Outdated tech and siloed thinking limit innovation
George says that Product Managers at banks are hampered by three challenges when developing ideas – speed, cost, and silos. First, Product Managers will have great ideas but can't develop them quickly enough.
Second, ideas are often too expensive to develop because of the resources and investment needed to take them forward. And finally, banks traditionally operate in silos, limiting product innovation and creativity.
One Product Manager interviewed for our e-book said: "There is no real innovation in banking at the moment because products are so tightly categorized, and people are restricted only to what they know."
By investing in technology that enables banks to think more freely about products – as loosely coupled features rather than fixed product lines – banks can break down the barriers preventing new ideas from coming to market.
"Cost and the organization's structure really come back to technology," explains Sophie. "Product Managers might have great ideas, but from a tech perspective, it's just too expensive."
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2. Cutting creation time with clicks, not code
Turning ideas into products typically takes banks too long because their tech stacks are outdated, and it's difficult to secure engineering resources. One Product Manager told us, "We have good ideas, but the execution doesn't happen – it is too difficult to construct the product we want."
To solve this, we built Bank Manager, a tool enabling Product teams to design and launch financial products through a no-code interface. Bank Manager turns products into simple features that can be quickly added, edited, and removed as required. Product Managers can add any feature from different product lines to any banking product, explains George, unleashing new possibilities for customers.
Best of all, this can all be done in minutes and without engineering resources. So there's no need to spend months obtaining budget and resources to make ideas happen. "We definitely put the power in Product Managers' hands," added Sophie.
3. Easier experimentation
Product teams need to test and experiment to ensure products work as intended once they reach customers. But they are often constrained by their tech stack, as it takes so long to make changes.
"If it takes you a year to implement a new idea, then it will be very difficult to do A/B testing where you might move a certain cohort of your customers onto a new product version and keep others on an old version and measure that performance. That's very hard to do when you don't have the technology to stand up the product changes," says Sophie.
With the right core banking platform, banks can be more agile by experimenting and adapting based on real-time data, which can be fed into the product lifecycle faster. As one Product Manager told us in our e-book research: "We want to do A/B testing: pick a few hundred customers and see how the product behaves in reality, so we have no unintended consequences."
4. Managing and evolving products
For product managers grappling with legacy technology, the challenges are not just limited to creating products but also managing them once they go live.
As one product manager told us: "Changing products is time-consuming and expensive. We need IT involvement. We can't react to the market quickly."
Banks need to understand how a product works and how customers use it in real time and then iterate as required, explains George. With a platform like SuperCore®, Product teams can do this without writing code – which means no IT involvement – and changes can be pushed live quickly so banks can react to changing market conditions faster, George says. "All of these things which have traditionally been seen as barriers to keeping banking portfolios competitive are just being removed by technology," he adds.
5. Giving product managers greater control
While cloud-native banking platforms like SuperCore can make the product lifecycle faster and more flexible, it's difficult for banks to move customers to a new platform where these benefits can be realized. Securing the necessary customer permissions, and managing the risk of customer migration, are two blockers that stand in the way.
"In certain hardship scenarios, we can't just force customers across. Banks have a lot of legacy products because we can't force the customer to change," said one product manager in our e-book.
Migrating customers to a new platform is a critical stage in a core transformation project. Banks moving to the 10x platform can migrate customers, subscriptions, and transactions in batches onto chosen products, migrating customers in a staggered and sustained way. This lets banks plan the customer migration, move carefully through their product set, and ensure customers are comfortable with every change.