In the age of open banking, how is the bank advisor transformed?


When it comes to their money, consumers want two things: to maximize their purchasing power and to save enough for their future plans. The two subjects, of course, are linked, because any saving made on a daily basis increases the savings capacity. Yet, on these two issues, banks provide only very limited answers. Purchasing power is far from being at the heart of their offerings and only the most affluent customers benefit from genuine support in terms of wealth. More than in any other sector perhaps, the gap between supply and demand appears considerable.

By the nature of their activities, the banking sector has always been opaque and captive to its clients. Regardless of the quality or cost of the service, many of them stay in the same bank for the rest of their lives, which was often their parents'. Fees are levied without always knowing what they are, or even without warning. And when you meet your advisor, you have to deal with a salesman who gives the choice between a homemade product and a homemade product according to his own sales objectives. However, this situation could very quickly change.

Recent French and European regulatory developments facilitate bank mobility and force banks to open their data at the request of their customers. Just as number portability has boosted competition in the telecoms sector, this "open banking" is shaking up the status quo. More in position of strength, the consumer is now free to head to the establishment that will – finally! – meet his expectations. This will force traditional banks to get back on their feet very quickly, because opening up more competition to a sector as fundamental, as large and as deficient, can only arouse appetites. And of course, the eyes are turning to the giants of the net.

What will a bank look like to its customers? First, she will be resolutely interested in the question of purchasing power. It will help you manage your budget on a daily basis by using dashboards, custom rules, such as allowable spending limits, and alerting systems, for example when there is a risk of overdraft or when you are approaching. a compulsory levy. It will also help to spend smarter, pointing to opportunities for savings and optimization: an oversized phone subscription, an unsuitable energy contract, a renegotiable real estate credit, loyalty points to convert into savings … even in terms of wealth, it will warn the client of opportunities corresponding to his situation and his projects.

Accessible from a simple smartphone, many of these services will be automated, but in terms of money, for delicate or complex decisions, nothing will ever replace human contact. These new services do not mean the end of the advisor, but an evolution of his role. From now on, it will be inserted in digital routes after the customer has, for example, been able to receive personalized recommendations or made simulations online. Accessible via various communication channels (chat, telephone, video …), including face-to-face for the most important choices, the counselor will be a trusted reference to whom the client will turn to lift his last doubts.

Omnicanal, backed by a network of experts and partners, reinforced by artificial intelligence, tomorrow's banking adviser will be able to reconcile productivity and fine knowledge of its client portfolio. In other words, it will be able to provide an expanded public with personalized advice hitherto reserved for a small and wealthy clientele.

However, for this digitized and democratized financial advice to be truly valuable, another change must take place, the most important of which may be: the advisor must become independent of the products of his establishment. He must, before any other consideration, act in the interest of his client, even if it sometimes means not advising the homemade product. For himself as for all his organization, it is a radical cultural change, but essential. Otherwise, the banks will discover bitterly that their customers too can leave them.