An Advisory Event in Dubai Unlike Any Other

This is not a typical conference

This is not a typical conference


Here we go again.


Another day, another city, another GTB Advisory event.
Well, not just any advisory event but the biggest, longest and first publicly advertised client Advisory event!  Held at the stunning Park Hyatt hotel (think typical opulent Dubai, lush, green grass everywhere, golf course…er hang on I thought you said Dubai, as in sand, desert, no water etc?  Ah but no this really is Dubai, not-a-problem Dubai, yes there was a huge sandstorm two days ago, nobody could see ANYTHING, but not today, clear, beautiful blue sky, gentle sun – what I call a glorious warm summer’s day and the locals call ‘cold’ – sand, not a problem, no water, not a problem, desert, not a problem, where there’s a will there’s a Dubai way, as I sit on the terrace overlooking the creek, thousands of $m+ yachts bobbing gently as seaplanes land and take off for my personal entertainment…well for five minutes anyway I can sit there, no more, before back to check the room etc…) – where was I? got a bit carried away there…yes…held at the stunning Park Hyatt hotel (etc etc) and deliberately timed to precede the EMEA Finance Awards dinner where our great friends Mashreq Bank would that evening sweep the Oscars with three trophies.
But I get ahead of myself.


So over 60 registrations from ALL the key, top UAE and many regional clients and banks, and in each case the right people, the right contacts, the right level, CEOs, COOs, top product managers, etc.  Fab job to the local team for mobilising the region and a tribute to both them and to our excellent standing in the region. Plus a few select corporations, from foodstuffs to ports to manufacturing etc.  And press, the editor of Cash and Trade magazine a speaker, even the Financial Times’s Gulf correspondent put his head in, and Government, David Kaye from the UK mission.  Plus us.


So here’s the thing, and this was my opening address. We meet as equals. We vote.  We discuss. We create output.  This is not a typical conference, with bepedestalled, bigged-up, gracious ‘presenters’ (performers) patronising count-themselves-lucky, lap-it-up, sit-back-and-relax, passive ‘listeners’ (delegates).  Oh no.  You can’t snooze at these events, check your email.  Pay attention!  Here’s another question for you…get out your voting machines. For example, the group decided (50% of them) that ME banks lag significantly in technology!  91% felt some sort of catch up was needed.  So I threw out the pompous ‘top table’, threw out seating ‘the speakers’ (bow now, please) being on a separate table, threw out fanfares for introduction, and instead we had fun making each table choose a name and contribute to the discussion.


What’s in a name?  We had ‘the Middle Eastern Wonders’ was one, modest table.  One was ‘the 7 Ds’ (a blatant attempt to upstage our own (now) Andrew England, who presented ‘the 7 Cs’ but only half hearted else they’d have been the ‘8 Ds’ or even the ‘30,000 Zs’ – that would be real ambition), the ‘Almost Arab Table’ and the ‘All Arab Table’ – enough of this nonsense, I named one table, where I was perched, ‘Phil’s Table’ and one ‘Next to Phil’s Table Table’.   Oh and I also showed them how to be rock stars, that is, how to hold a microphone (and why).


So Andrew up first.  His pedigree shouts and demands respect (running transaction banking at Lloyds, same for CEE at Unicredit, cash and trade at Deutsche, Citi before that, now holding down Senior Advisor on TB with McKinsey at the same time as our own Strategy Director, see last week’s press release) but what REALLY demanded respect and attention was what he said (and how he said it).  His devastatingly simple but insightful breakdown of the Transaction Bank’s head’s to-do list in terms of seven ‘C’s – made brilliantly memorable by Nancy’s ‘seven seas’ map graphics – all backed up by solid data from McKinsey, BCG etc, hyperlinked into the Powerpoint, drew great praise from the audience.


His pedigree shouts and demands respect.
Andrew England: His pedigree shouts and demands respect’


Mashreq Bank have done great things, winning three awards just yesterday, but showing a David-and-Goliath story taking on much bigger banks with their mashreqMATRIX – powered of course by iGTB.  Harshit, their product manager who turns out also to be a University Professor, took us through some learnings including how to buy bread, a well-appreciated turn of phrase ‘not growing is riskier than growing’ and reuse of Michael Porter’s ever-relevant warning about trying to be best in more then one of product leadership, customer intimacy and operational excellence (hang on, has he read our ‘key proposition’ slide?  Harshit, I mean, not Porter….though maybe….).


After lunch we had two iGTB sessions, from Phil and Henry.  Phil deferentially spent most of his time wagging his finger at the bankers and saying ‘you must do this’ and ‘you must do that’.  Reminded me a bit of KS’s spirited approach to negotiation ;-). But he was talking about regulations so got away with it. Henry gave a laconic and I-don’t-know-if-you’ve-ever-heard-of-lit’l’ol’-Oklahoma sort of talk on payments with a southern drawl explaining how backwards we all were in banking payments.


After a provocative talk from the Deputy Chairman of the Kanoo group – which divided the audience – we drew together the themes of the day from the various interactions and votes, courtesy of Hani al Maskati, editor and publisher of Cash and Trade magazine. Some interesting results came up you’ll no doubt read about there.   A veteran of, you’ve guessed it, Citi!  Also transaction banking consultant with the excellently named company Cash Management Matters.


Manish closed, emphasising our strength and depth in the region (first time really we talked about us) then Henry knocked their socks off with Onyx.  And all the time we were tweeting, filming, recording, interacting, overacting (in my case, at least) and we announced already the NEXT ME CLIENT ADVISORY EVENT – WEDNESDAY 24 FEBRUARY, 2016.


My special memories:


– Dinner with Hani, a very interesting man.


– The Financial Times interviewing Manish.


– Meeting the classical trio we sponsored at the Awards dinner.  (Competition time: Irena plays flute.  The girl from Argentina does not play violin.  The girl from Belarus has a bow.  Clara’s Cello comes from the flute player’s home town in Macedonia. Olga speaks better English than the girl on either side.  The flute needs space on its right hand side.  Work out who plays what, from what country, and in what order they are sitting. And yes they really ARE their names. And instruments and home countries.)


Lara, Irene and Olga

Lara, Irene and Olga


– Silversmith course and childrens’ cause. To get people used to the voting machines we had a ‘fastest finger’ competition – who could first guess the correct number of companies in the world?  The winner was a banker, Neena, and her prize is a free four hour course with a silversmith making herself some jewellery. This is something we bid on and won at the charity EMEA Awards dinner, and so all the money will also go to the Save The Children Fund.  So two good things at one go.
A marvelous evening.

A marvelous evening.


Is mobile banking keeping up with the digital banking revolution?

If one compared 4000 years banking history to the average human life-span, digital banking would have just started making unintelligible noises and mobile banking would be barely a month old. Yet the digitisation of financial services has led to a shift as extreme as the introduction of digital money or the development of central banks. Today most people have no need to physically visit their banks and can conduct transactions electronically. This has created a range of opportunities and challenges that will transform the banking industry in the coming years.

According to the The Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), Gen Y and Gen X are increasingly adopting new devices and online channels for financial purposes. 40% of Gen Y customers prefer using Personal Finance Management (PFM) tools to manage their expenses and savings, and are more inclined to interacting with a financial advisor on video chat, compared to boomers.
With customers buying financial services online, most banks have revamped their digital presence to simplify access to their products. The use of integrative technologies and game-like interfaces enables a more seamless end-to-end experience for customers with their bank. Another major source of investment has been in the area of big-data analytics which assists in suggesting relevant products to customers and fraud detection.

The ubiquity of mobile systems implies that within the next few years, most financial transactions will be via such devices. This will lead to a huge expansion of the customer-base of banks since mobile internet requires much less user infrastructure. The challenge for the banks is obvious: creating simple, unified and secure end-to-end platforms, which can handle huge data and traffic with little or no downtime.

Mobile banking offers more transactional features as opposed to the full menu of services. However, the list of services available through mobile banking will increase in the future, ultimately encompassing all of the banks’ offerings. This requires a paradigm shift in security architecture (WAP based interactions do not have firewall protection) and creation of platform independent applications. Further, the banks have to present themselves in a new light to an audience much of whose social and professional lives are conducted virtually with the physical location being irrelevant. Making the mobile banking platform a scaled-down version of the bank’s webpage is not the solution.

This scenario has opened up an avenue for development of full mobile banking by new players. More such innovative applications are the order of the day, if mobile banking has to realise the full promise of the digital banking revolution.

As mobile banking dominates the market, banks need to keep up with digital banking developments in this competitive market. They should look at adopting new banking technologies and integrating advanced transaction banking platforms. Get to know about a high-speed banking platform which provides an advanced highway to run customer payments services, receivables management, cash management, liquidity management, trade finance and supply chain finance in an integrated set, through a single platform.

Find out more in this year’s annual conference of Sibos, where iGTB will be showcasing its core comprehensive products, from Corporate Banking Exchange, Customer Onboarding, Payments Services Hub to Liquidity Management.

Adopt New Banking Technology To Tune Into Your Mobile Banking Customers

Digital Banking Sibos

Know Your Digital Banking Customer

Know Your Customer

By 2015, digital banking is predicted to overtake branch banking as the preferred channel, according to the report, ‘The New Digital Tipping Point’ by PwC.

In this digitally frenzied environment, majority of the population is immersed in some device or the other, be it laptops, mobiles or tablets. It is important for banks to utilize innovative banking technology and understand the new age digital banking customer.

Digital Banking Customer – Segmentation by Generation 

There are interesting characteristics of each generation from Baby Boomers (Hippies, Yuppies), Generation X (Lacthkey Kids), Generation Y (Millennial Generation), and Generation Z (Digital Natives) to the future of Generation Alpha (Google Kids).

According to the PwC research, ‘The New Digital Tipping Point, Generation Y or the ‘Millennial Generation’ is 20% times more likely to consider using mobile or online banking than Baby Boomers. They are characteristically tech-savvy, brand loyal and consistently choose their primary bank when planning to buy new banking products.

With Generation Y being the segment that embraces technology and digital communication, banks need to focus on this group and build a primary customer relationship with them.

Give What Digital Banking Customers Want

Many banks have been following the trend of “show us your transaction history, and we will tell you who you are.”  This approach of understanding customers no longer truly applies. While it is important to know customer behavior, it is more important to understand why they transact the way they do and how they wish to interact with banks.

To understand digital banking customers, you need to know what they want.

Digital banking innovation has evolved as technology companies are focusing on creating software that is more customer-centric. Currently, there are three areas of focus that banking companies need to consider when understanding the customer:

  • Banking Technology – In order to ‘know your customer’, you need to provide exclusive interactions the way customers want, whether it is through mobile or online channels. New banking software programs should include customized features based on user profiles, preferences, online behavior and value added services.
  • Security – Digital banking should embed robust technology that provides security and protects information and communication. Security systems should protect users’ devices and the IT infrastructure of banks as well.
  • Private Banking – As the next generation of digital customers begin to dominate the market, private banks need to rework their strategies and adopt new technology. Customers extensively use new channels, devices and platforms to transact, find out about other financial products and write reviews. Banks need to keep up and engage customers through various channels and build a strong relationship through customization, personalization and customer-centric products and services.

Digital banking technology and products should be built based on a strong understanding of the digital customer behavior and preferences. In order to create a customer-centric experience, banks need to adopt new and advanced banking technology.

Find out how you can capitalize on the digital banking wave in this year’s annual conference of SIBOS, where iGTB will be showcasing its global transaction banking products, from Corporate Banking Exchange, Customer On-boarding, Payments Services Hub to Liquidity Management and more.

Create a Customer-Centric Experience with Cutting-Edge Banking Technology

Read more about the Top 3 Trends in Digital  Banking


Top 3 Trends in Digital Banking


op 3 Trends in Digital Banking

The digital era has changed the entire landscape of the banking industry, and has provided new opportunities to improve customer experience. Customers are increasingly using smartphones, tablets and PCs to access financial information and perform transactions.

With evolving technology and customer landscapes, it is important for businesses to keep up with the trends in digital banking:

  1. Mobile banking: The major trend in digital banking includes mobile banking. The average financial servicers witnessed a significant amount of audiences coming in exclusively from mobile platforms. Smartphones have facilitated quick adoption of technology, enabling simple and immediate transactions from phones.
  2. Omnichannel banking: Omnichannel banking has enabled customers to have a holistic transaction experience, while the bank can leverage a unified view of customers. Customers today can carry out their banking transactions from any place, at any time; be it a bank branch, a kiosk, an ATM, or phones, tablets and websites.
  3. Leveraging contextual data: individual user behavior is tracked and Contextual data is leveraged within digital channels, in order to customize the portal to the customer needs. Furthermore, online channels are optimized to up-sell campaigns. A seamless customer journey can be possible only when relevant information is collected and mapped as per the personal preferences of customers.

Banking strategies have changed over time to suit the evolving needs of various customers; with no room for ‘one size fits all’. Planning is integral to counterbalance device and platform differences.

In this digital world, keep up with what’s hot and happening. Expect the extraordinary and experience “Digital Banking 360” showcased by iGTB for the tenth consecutive year at the Sibos annual conference.

Are you ready to take banking to next level? Visit us at – booth H30. Schedule a meeting today!


Omnichannel Banking – Transformative Technology For Evolving Customers

Take a look around, there’s an interesting transformation happening today.
Customers are getting digitized
Whereas customer touch points are getting humanized

Welcome to the age of Customer 3.0. The type of customers who are not defined demographically, geographically or economically, but by their evolution to adopt new technology to meet their banking and transacting needs. To serve the evolving customer landscape, the omnichannel approach is the need of the hour.

The focus of the omnichannel approach is on contextual banking to create a holistic experience to enable customers seamlessly transact. The omnichannel concept of engagement banking refers to providing a single experience for banks’ customers across multiple channels. In this approach, irrespective of the channel chosen by the customer, the functions, services, capabilities and experience should be the same. The omnichannel approach also supports bankers on the go, by providing agility, flexibility and secure access to information and systems anytime, anywhere, through any device.

For instance, if a customer wishes to open a new bank account, the banking representative could use an app to fill in customer details, an e-signature could be captured, digital documents could be securely uploaded and verified, and a new account could be opened within minutes using minimal paper work. This is what omnichannel integration facilitates.

What is required is an intuitive, real-time omnichannel interface that uses transformative distribution technology to provide an exclusive business banking software to create that seamless experience that the customers desire.

At this year’s Sibos, iGTB’s core comprehensive products are being showcased, from Corporate Banking Exchange, Customer Onboarding, Payments Services Hub to Liquidity Management. All these modules are available, through intuitive real-time omnichannel interface, renowned Corporate Banking Exchange (CBX), powered by Canvas Technology – a transformative distribution technology.

Get to Know How You Can Engage ‘Customer 3.0’ with Omnichannel Banking