The latest EXPERIAN’S 2021 BUSINESS AND CONSUMER REPORT in EMEA clearly shows that 62% of businesses believe they need more data to fuel their analytics needs, while 65% are exploring different types of data sets to improve accuracy of their analytics (e.g. use of non-traditional data sources such as open banking), and 67% of businesses are prioritising investment in the digitalisation of core business processes. The data came out based on the commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Experian, August 2021, over 598 senior decision-makers in financial services and telecommunications firms in EMEA region.

The report confirmed the findings which came out during the Experian Innovation Week that took place at the end of 2021. During the event Experian has invited and gathered for the first time on a joint discussion platform the most innovative organizations in the Balkans and in CEE: PostBank, buddybank powered by Unicredit, Credefi, Kontomatik.

Consumers generally trust banks with their data, but their needs and expectations are changed after the pandemic and this have accelerated the digital transformation process.

“The crisis reflects on the data we are dealing with and since the data is the most valuable asset to perform risk management, we all depend on the data – its nature, structure and storage. To deal with stable data is not that big challenge but innovations is what help us to deal with unstable, not well structured, missing or bias data. The challenge comes not only as a result of the crisis but also as a result of the expanding banking products and systems during the banking process. That is why we are willing to expand the data sources, improve data quality and take as much possible advantage of the data by using more innovations”, said Tsveta Nikolova, Head of Credit Risk Methodology and Capital Adequacy Control Department, Postbank.

The report shows that 62% of businesses have seen an increase or a significant increase in credit applications from new customers over the past 12 months. Organisations that still suffer from delays due to manual workarounds or customer checks that slow the process down will be affected and lose business. Organizations are now trying to create a digital customer journey as much smooth, easy and transparent as possible.

The data shows that 67% of businesses are prioritising investment in the digitalisation of core business processes. “Early Warning System allowed us to defend our portfolio from deterioration and maintain a good customer relationship even during the collection process” – confirmed Natalia Keserova, Head of Retail Troubled Assets Group Department, Postbank

During the last two years the pandemic has made it more difficult to understand the true picture of the financial health of consumers and sole proprietors and on the other hand has accelerated the digital transformation and introduced new ways for consumers to use financial services. The fast mass spreading of the use of internet and online shopping and interacting has paved way to a new, disruptive trend in the banking services, which are embarking into the full-mobile journey.

According to key managers of fintech and mobile banks speaking during the Experian Innovation Week, the disruptive mobile banking is already seizing chunks of market share from traditional banks.

For example, The UniCredit Group has launched buddybank, currently available for Italian customers only, a mobile-only bank accessible solely via smartphone, available on iOS, Android and newly on Huawei platforms. According to Massimo Bondanza, Head of marketing & products at buddybank, mobile banking “allows the use of small formats, due to the use of smartphones for interaction, instead of desktops. We also had to eliminate all round-trip outside the smartphone. It all starts and ends within the mobile phone”. Buddybank is using Experian solutions, and this allowed fast deployment, without branches- The mobile-only bank runs the customer care through chat and is completely paperless.

For the business environment, SMEs especially, the mobile banking is useful since it allows clearance for loans within 48 hours.

The use of algorithms has taken the mobile banking to an unprecedented level, making Ivo Grigorov – CEO, Credefi Ltd to estimate to 300 billion the number of alternative online transactions (outside traditional banking) worldwide last year, with a forecast of doubling until 2026. “Our aim is to bridge the traditional financial sector and the blockchain ones and thus to provide a rather unique service. We believe that such bridge is the future of finance. We offer our customers a very easy access to finance by employing blockchain technology. We offer services that have very low transactional fees compared to the traditional finance. The two main advantages are the cost and time effectiveness as well as very easy and customer friendly experience. The whole process from the application all the way to the disbursement of funds is done on the platform and is digitalized.”, said Ivo Grigorov, CEO, Credefi Ltd.

Open banking clearly will be the game changer on the financial institution around the globe including the CEE region. It is giving opportunity for better evaluating risks but also tailormade product proposition for customers lifestyle. The innovative elements are efficiency and transparency that can smooth the customers’ journey. It is also servicing the connectivity challenges and secure business continuity model as stability becomes the key factor for a smooth user experience.

Michal Lukasik, CEO of Kontomatik, a bank reader licensed fintech, said that “Even if the level of maturity in EMEA vary from country to country and from vertical to vertical, in the next future we can expect the open banking solutions to become more and more widespread. The challenge from a technical point of view is represented by the stability and quality of data. In EMEA there are in fact many different technical standards. It is crucial to have a good categorisation process that can harmonize data from different data sources and make them meaningful.”

Discover more about the outcomes from the latest <strong>Experian Innovation Week</strong>

Discover more about the outcomes from the latest Experian Innovation Week

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