SwissBanking
The online magazine of the Swiss Bankers Association
September 27, 2018

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A look behind the scenes of digitisation

A look behind the scenes of digitisation

Swiss banks today are shaping the financial services of tomorrow. The film «Future Shapers» («Zukunftsgestalter») shows how they are doing this using the example of seven young people. insight asked two of them what this means for them personally.

insight: Ms. Oikonomou, you’re playing an active role in shaping the future of Swiss banks. What does that mean for you personally?

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Sofia Oikonomou, Innovation Sprint Manager at SIX Innovation & Digital

I believe that innovation is the necessary component to sustain, develop and optimise the financial services in the future. Novel needs are arising and the way to answer to them is trough innovation.  Personally, for me SIX is a great place to work because the company says yes to innovation and understands the value and potential of it.

In the film you talk about your work with such dedication – your enthusiasm is infectious! What is the major motivating factor for you in your work?

There are three main components for that. First of all I love my job and what I do. As the Innovation Sprint Manager I’m organizing the sessions where we identify needs with relevant stakeholders and the experts of the field, the so called sprints. During a sprint I act as a coach which means that I provide the teams with the tools, with design thinking methodology and with a start-up spirit. Secondly I love the fact that I am always working with different inspiring people within unseen topics. My days are never the same!! And finally I really enjoy working within the Innovation at SIX , where people are open-minded, proactive, passionate and fully engaged.

What are the biggest challenges you have to overcome?

In innovation challenge is a positive thing that drives our work. The trickiest part in my job is to inspire people and to find ways to make people think outside the box and to forget for a while their day to day business. However, it is my personal motivation to make the people embrace challenges, trust the design thinking process and propose new solid value propositions. 

How do you picture Swiss banking in five years? What will change, and what will stay the same?

That’s an excellent question. Of course, no one knows about what the future will bring. In 5 years’ time I believe that the core elements of Swiss banking will evolve and will become more and more digital. This will have an impact on products and processes. For example: I think that traditional investment classes will still be dominant, but at the same time digital assets may become more relevant than they are today.

 

insight: Mr Catrambone, you’re playing an active role in shaping the future of Swiss banks. What does that mean for you personally?

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Massimo Catrambone, Partner Management Technology + Development at Hypothekarbank Lenzburg AG
An important aspect for me is to explore new ground. This means having the courage to change things, not being afraid to try something new and making decisions that sometimes may be unconventional – and not being afraid to try something new. It's also important not to be a lone wolf. I place great importance on being able to motivate my team, on everyone being able to contribute ideas for improvement and on them being taken seriously. A major part of my work is to motivate my colleagues within the bank to be active and get involved. For me, one thing is clear: What we do today is an investment for tomorrow. We won’t be able to reap the rewards until a few years down the line.

In the film you talk about your work with such dedication – your enthusiasm is infectious! What is the major motivating factor for you in your work?

I always work from the result backwards and keep the project goal firmly in the forefront on my mind. It's also about showing that what we’ve undertaken isn’t impossible and knowing that we’ve made full use of our potential.

What are the biggest challenges you have to overcome?

On the one hand, it’s the sheer number of projects. We have lots of cool ideas, but we can’t do everything. We have to narrow down the pool to those ideas that have the most potential. During this process, priorities can shift rapidly. We review the status of all projects once a week and make timely decisions about what has high or low priority.

Which criteria do you apply for this?

There are certain things we have to do, things that are prescribed by the regulations. When it comes to innovation projects, I favour those projects where we can achieve the most with the least possible effort. An overriding priority here is that it must, ideally, always be something that ultimately provides added value to clients.

How do you picture Swiss banking in five years? What will change, and what will stay the same?

Some things will continue to operate as they do today. There will still be bank branches and person-to-person contact between clients and advisors. At the same time, however, technology will play a much greater role, e.g. artificial intelligence in advising and blockchain in processing. And client contact will be increasingly cultivated via digital channels. This will include channels that already exist today, such as e-banking, but in future these as well as new platforms will offer a much more extensive range of services. Given the availability and integration of banking APIs, market place thinking will play an important role. Developments in this direction are being driven by financial institutions that are open enough, such as Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, as well as initiatives such as the one currently being advanced by Swiss Fintech Innovations in the area of Common AIP.

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The SBA reserves the right not to publish comments. This applies in particular to comments that are offensive, irrelevant or do not address the topic. It also applies to comments written in dialect or a foreign language (except for French, English and Italian). Comments posted under pseudonyms or obviously false will also not be published. Comments are moderated.