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4 steps considerations to payment digitalization

Digital development does not have a single direction. It is aggregated initiative of several processes in multiple areas of a typical financial institution

Tomasz Pawlowicz / June 01, 2021

Digitalization is one of the most used words in the payment industry today. Significant amounts of investments go to initiatives under such an umbrella with expectations to contribute to the competitive advantage of the company.

As this is no question for startups, they make use of existing and the newest technologies available as is, however it is more difficult task to endeavor for the more traditional banking players. They call the process “digital transformation” which consumes most of investment money in recent years.

The all known truth: without transforming to digital technologies, traditional banks lose their competitiveness. Customers will gradually choose the easier way of banking.

User Experience (UX) is everything

The importance of UX cannot be overestimated. Simple UX decides between success and failure of customer the facing application. As part of our business consulting projects, we approach UX in the most scientific way possible measuring customer interactions. Our conclusions are then converted into a set of mockup screens to confirm the insights and to build an ideal customer journey.

Having said that, there is a decision to take by a traditional financial institution: the new technologies also simplify operating model almost in each activity area. We can use it for the benefit of more efficient customer acquisition e.g., migrating Know-Your-Customer (KYC) procedures to remote channels, or for the benefit of simpler, faster, cheaper new product development or future integrations by taking advantage of internal APIs. Such decisions are on any financial institutions daily agenda.

Where the value of external advisory lays is in approaching a field of uncertain decisions in the field of digitisation with clear, fact-based priorities for investments.

Digitalisation budgets tend to grow significantly. Decisions on its allocations are therefore of the highest importance to an organization. There are few high-level considerations I would give:

  1. Benchmarking is only a supportive tool – copying others’ steps may lead you to copying their mistakes. We have often seen when entire markets, majority of entities make wrong decisions because they were copying what others are doing. Moreover, each institution has its bottle neck somewhere else. Good identification of a point in your operating model is that, when improved, brings the highest return on investment.
  2. Digitalisation is only a supportive process – it sounds like a controversial statement, but I have seen too many cases when new technologies application was a goal in itself. Try to avoid such mistakes. Think about benefit that is going to come rather than how are you going to do it.
  3. Do not act under a time pressure – do not get me wrong, it is important to take decisions in timely manner. However, the worst scenario that may materialize when you skip current state and gap analysis stages and jump prematurely into implementation. It increases risk of suboptimal investment significantly.
  4. Do not panic – a strange recommendation, I must admit. However, it helps in keeping discipline of logical thinking. Customers are loyal by nature. Attrition is never 100%. You will not lose them all tomorrow. Invest time and effort in proper preparations before money goes to a dedicated bucket. It refers to the previous point.


These considerations are obviously not exhaustive. We have seen a lot of attempts to digitize processes that would not necessarily benefit a lot from a transformation. Our advice, however, is to think it over carefully. Take time. Invest in external consultants to guide you through the process of upgrades and leverage digital technologies available. For more on our Payments consulting services please see here.


Tomasz Pawlowicz
Lead Business Consultant

Payment expert and manager with 20 years’ experience in the Financial Services sector. Faceted to address complex client needs and provide tailored product solutions, ensuring first class customer journey management

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