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Q&A: Why are banks still struggling with digital transformation?

Amdocs’ disruptive offerings empower banks to partner with fintechs and new market players.

Midsized US banks are still feeling pressure in the aftermath of the March failure of Silicon Valley Bank
Midsized US banks are still feeling pressure in the aftermath of the March failure of Silicon Valley Bank - Copyright AFP/File David GANNON
Midsized US banks are still feeling pressure in the aftermath of the March failure of Silicon Valley Bank - Copyright AFP/File David GANNON

When it comes to digital transformation, banks are still struggling to catch up which means they are ultimately losing in the fight for customers. To gain an understanding of this process, Digital Journal caught up with Or Kapelinsky, Customer Business Executive at Amdocs.

Kapelinsky discusses why Amdocs is now working with banks, what challenges banks face as they look to a digital path forward, what this evolution looks like, and what we may see in the future of the banking industry.

Digital Journal: Please tell me about Amdocs, its history in telco, and the expansion into financial services

Or Kapelinsky: Amdocs is best known as the most prominent software services provider in the telecommunications industry, with more than 40 years of experience in digital transformation and helping telecommunications companies innovate. In 2022, after serving banks for 15 years through mergers and acquisitions, Amdocs officially launched its financial services practice.

We saw that the banking industry was struggling with the same challenges as telecommunications regarding digital transformation initiatives and the difficulties to innovate, while some newer companies on the market lacked the legacy knowledge and capabilities that Amdocs can provide. With our DNA of taking full accountability; our deep expertise in the cloud and digital design; our middleware products stack capabilities; and the similarities between the two industries’ technological needs, it was an intuitive decision to serve banks.

DJ: What challenges do banks have right now when it comes to digital transformation?

Kapelinsky: Today, traditional banks are faced with the challenges of keeping up with and meeting the evolving and unique demands of the modern customer, and shifting from the traditional monolithic products and services offerings and operations (bank to end customer) to agile, ever-changing business models and services (B2B2X) such as the Banking as a Service model. In order to provide the products that customers need and want in the right channel and at the right price and time, banks must implement digital and cloud-based strategies and replace the legacy technology they have relied on for decades. This shift is no small feat for banks, given how heavily regulated the industry is, and this has led to banks being challenged by fintechs and more agile startups, which can implement new technologies more quickly.

DJ: How is Amdocs helping banks achieve their transformation goals?

Kapelinsky: Given the dire need for digital transformation in the banking sector, Amdocs has stepped up to help banks make the transition. We are bringing innovative product and service offerings to the market focusing on the areas that require accountability and deep understanding of integrations, configurations, and the backend of how banking operates. Our target is to enable banks to become business-led organizations, hyper-personalized, and compliant; based on a cloud-native tech stack, and empowered by AI and automation.

Through our work, Amdocs is allowing banks to better embrace and scale within the cloud, increasing their agility and efficiency, while ushering in contemporary technology strategies and customer-focused goals. After directing many modernization journeys at mega enterprises, we understand that QA testing and the ability to release small pieces of software is critical to its success. Therefore, we are also reshaping how banks tackle development by providing automation-based and AI-powered testing that runs continuously, accelerating time to market for products and lowering costs while freeing up time previously spent on manual testing.

Our best “seller” and the product we are really proud of is our Product & Pricing Catalog, a SaaS platform that enables banks to rapidly create product packages and offer BaaS in a controlled and agile model, while supporting different fees and charging policies which allows banks to innovate offerings as needed continuously and in different channels (B2C, B2B, and B2B2X). Amdocs’ disruptive offerings empower banks to partner with fintechs and new market players by accelerating digital transformation and heightening customer experiences without compromising compliance.

DJ: What is Amdocs’ vision for the future of the banking industry?

Kapelinsky: Amdocs’ vision for the future of the banking industry is enabling banks to win their category either as “Smart Safeboxes,” “Super Apps,” or “Niche Banks” with the ability to decide whether to offer their services directly to their end-customer with highly personalized offerings or to distribute their products through specific channels (more on these categories below).

We are striving to help banks seamlessly and quickly launch and refine their products to meet the unique needs of their customers. We have seen the evolution of the telco industry from landline to 5G offerings bundled with Wi-Fi, mobile phones, cable TV, and Netflix packed into a subscription-based monthly offering, and we envision a future where banks can do the same for their customers with financial services and products without being held back by IT constraints. This vision is why we are here today, helping banks innovate and succeed in the digital-first world.

DJ: What is the number one piece of advice you would give financial service leaders today?

Kapelinsky: In my opinion, the banks of the future will be divided into three major groups or business cases: “Smart Safeboxes” (banks that will license their regulation and liquidity to 3rd parties and will monetize on treasury and credit), “Super Apps” (banks that will take part in almost everything we will “pay” for in our day to day life), and the “Niche Banks” (the banks that will master a specific segment and offer it tailor-made services).

A banking leader should first understand where they want to focus the bank in the next ten years and build the journey to support this offering starting from the business model, and then the technology and structure that will support it.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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