On 6 May 2015, the European Commission’s published the Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy and surprisingly the banking sector has not been mentioned as such. Creating a DSM that responds to the reality of the banking market is one of the priorities of the European Banking Federation, which is actively committed to the future of banks.
The emergence of new technologies is leading to more efficient banking services, generating many new opportunities for banks and better products and services for their customers. It also accelerates the rethinking of banks traditional business model.
In light of this on-going digital revolution and as a first response to the DSM Strategy, on 17 September 2015, the EBF published a Blueprint “Driving the digital transformation: the EBF Blueprint a guide for policy change”. The Blueprint was notably presented at the EBF Annual Conference “A Brave New World for Banks’.
The EBF Blueprint aims at helping to understand more effectively the digital transformation initiated by banks, a description of today’s digital bank representing an innovative customer experience, and a portrayal of the bank of the future. It also explains why banks should be considered as strategic players in the DSM.
With the aim of encouraging discussion and reflection among banks and EU policy makers, the EBF Blueprint proposes recommendations on which to build a proper framework for a workable DSM, to ensure that the reforms undertaken will lead to the desired effects: restoring trust, creating a competitive and innovative market, and boosting economic growth and employment.
The EBF Blueprint notably presents the challenges and opportunities in retail banking on the following key issues:
⁻ better access to digital banking products and services,
⁻ data value chain/big data,
⁻ payments (mobile/instant and e-invoicing),
⁻ digital skills (education, competencies, talent recruitment),
⁻ and the importance of removing regulatory inconsistencies and ensuring fair competition.
In order to make the Digital Single Market a success the following elements should notably be considered:
§ Banks represent strategic digital partners for Europe’s economy. Making Europe “digital” involves banks too. They embrace the digital innovation opportunity, accelerating the rethinking of their traditional business model, proposing innovative products/apps, engaging in FinTech partnerships, and financing innovative starts-ups. Banks perform indispensable functions within the economy and in this way strengthen EU competitiveness and stimulate investment for growth and job creation.
§ Faced with an unprecedented industrial transformation towards a digital future, a more holistic approach is vital. All European Commission services, as well as the other EU institutions should, together with the private sector, conduct an assessment on the challenges the EU needs to meet and ensure the legislation is adjusted to the digital market reality. Currently some regulations do not allow banks to take advantage of technological innovations.
§ The banking sector supports a competitive and innovative EU Digital Single Market which safeguards existing consumer protection, trust and security. In the banks’ view, there is not necessarily a conflict between innovation and security and fair competition should be preserved.
§ Strengthening cooperation and raising the awareness of EU citizens on the growing threats from cybercrime is crucial. Making digital finance secure and building trust should be a concern for all, including public and private actors.
The EBF Blueprint is to be considered as a starting point for the work carried out by the EBF on digital issues. Read the blueprint at www.ebfdigitalbanking.eu
EBF Contact: Noémie Papp firstname.lastname@example.org