are you ready for platform banking? 

If you want to develop new banking propositions that revolve around the needs of the clients, platform banking is something you can’t ignore. But what exactly are we talking about and what is the impact of platform banking on your organization? 
people working on new concepts

Platform banking is the bundling of banking services and other services to target needs of a specific customer segment. The platform bank is a connector, who invites other service providers to be a part of its client proposition. The value to the customer lies in the novel combination the platform provides. The ownership of this platform does not necessarily lie with the bank itself. Rather it’s an ecosystem of organizations and offerings. By understanding their customers intimately, the platform bank delivers (and subsequently receives) unique value, which ultimately serves as its key differentiator.

To optimize an organization for performing within a platform landscape you need to adjust the structure of the organization and the technical foundation.

a different organization structure

A traditional banking organization can best be described as machine organizations. This is an organization with a hierarchy structure, products organized in silos and a bureaucratic decision-making process. A traditional bank will most likely choose to facilitate everything in-house. Also, when thinking of new propositions and their actual development and implementation.

A platform bank lets go of these structures and most resembles an Organism structure. Within these Organisms teams are focused on delivering solutions, operating in a structure less rigid and hierarchy based. In line with this, a platform organization picks and chooses what to do themselves. They focus on their core services and capabilities and ‘just buy’ other offerings and capabilities. 

diagram of organizational structure for machine and organism organization
the machine organization (left) versus the organism (right)

leadership

True customer-centricity starts and ends with the customer. That means researching the clients needs as a first step of creation, followed by validation, delivery and optimization. A product pull is created. Rather than a form of management based on a top-down product push, this organization demands a form of servant leadership. Management merely facilitates the realization of the demanded product or service. Within such an organization, linear (waterfall) projects and elaborate strategic plans are replaced for

  • Optimization – adjustments of product and market proposition based on data
  • Growth hacking – a marketing strategy based on small iterations and data driven options
  • Agile processes – a project structure that develops based on continuously re-calibrated priorities.

  • The advantage of platform banking is the ability to test and try-out without extensive prior research. Working like this significantly mitigates risk, as time to deliver is small, success (or failure) is evident faster, and confidence about the chosen course is high.

     

Technology and legislations like PSD2 make it easier to execute transactions through third party systems, based on standardized technology. The authorization lies with the consumer. But for more complex products and services, the bank still plays an important and active part. The winner within the platform banking playing field is the bank that
  • Identifies the right desired complex processes
  • Offers those processes as an easy to use plugin
  • Is able to make the organizational transition to be able to adjust to unexpected changes in client demand and technology.

qualities of the winner in the platform banking race