A guest editorial by Ben Goldin, chief executive officer and founder of Plumery

Navigating the skies of digital banking

Amidst the rapid evolution of digital banking, understanding the various technology platforms now on offer can be akin to deciphering flight paths in a busy airport. In this article, Ben Goldin, chief executive officer and founder of digital banking experience platform Plumery, sheds light on the nuanced differences between offerings by separating the DXPs from the DEPs, all through the lens of aviation.

Back on terra firma after a family adventure abroad, amidst the hustle and bustle of international airport terminals and busy airways, my mind wandered to the similarities between the world of air travel and the digital banking landscape. Hear me out – this kind of seemingly unrelated connection will make sense to most readers in our line of work. At the most random times you learn to spot quirky analogies that explain the most complicated of areas – and the world of digital banking with all its acronyms is certainly becoming one of them.

Specifically, I’ve noticed an understandable confusion with the overarching term ‘Digital Banking Platform’ which is often applied to Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs), Digital Engagement Platforms (DEPs), and Core Banking Systems, interchangeably. While this might sound like a pedantic point to make, this mix-up can often lead to difficulties in vendor selection, wasteful spending due to disjointed processes and increased operational costs, disrupting efforts to streamline operations and address existing challenges effectively. Just as pilots depend on clear communication to navigate the skies safely, organisations must clarify these terms to navigate the digital banking airspace with precision.

Check-in desk: Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs)

Much like the bustling front desk of an airline terminal, DXPs serve as the central hub for managing and orchestrating a myriad of interactions between customers and the bank’s suite of services, such as digital account opening or digital loan origination, across digital channels. Just as travellers seek assistance and guidance at the front desk, financial institutions leverage DXPs for offering their customers personalised services and streamlined banking experiences.

At the front desk, staff adeptly handle inquiries, check-ins, upgrades, extra baggage to ensure smooth operations and customer satisfaction. Similarly, DXPs integrate and optimise digital banking activities via online and mobile applications, offering real-time insights and minimising friction points in user journeys. They leverage advanced technologies such as data analytics to deliver tailored experiences and enhance customer engagement.

Retail and concessions team: Digital Engagement Platforms (DEPs)

Just as the front desk and retail and concessions teams serve different yet complementary roles in ensuring the enhanced passenger experience, DXPs and DEPs serve distinct purposes and focus on different aspects of the customer journey. While DXPs have a broader scope and focus on delivering cohesive and consistent digital experiences across touchpoints throughout the customer journey, DEPs primarily focus on fostering meaningful interactions between financial institutions and their customers, akin to retail and concessions teams seeking to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

These platforms provide a suite of tools and capabilities, including customer relationship management (CRM), social media management, and marketing automation, to emphasise personalised communication and targeted messaging to drive specific customer actions or behaviours.

Through targeted messaging and data-driven insights, DEPs enable organisations to build relationships and enhance brand loyalty, guiding them through the dynamic digital landscape with effective communication and meaningful connections.

Airport infrastructure: Core Banking Systems

An airport serves as a multifaceted facility facilitating aircraft arrival, departure, and maintenance. It encompasses various elements like runways, terminals, hangars, and control towers essential for air travel operations. Similarly, Core Banking Systems (sometimes called banking processing platforms or BPSs) form the backbone of a bank’s digital banking strategy, providing the necessary infrastructure and framework for managing core banking products, including deposits, loans, payments and customer accounts.

Despite the emergence of new digital channels, core banking systems stay crucial for keeping stability and security in financial institutions. These systems oversee core functions such as account management and transaction processing with reliability and precision. While digital advancements reshape the banking landscape, traditional core banking systems uphold the integrity of essential banking operations, guarding against disruptions and security threats.

Charting a course for the future

As we conclude our journey through the skies of digital banking, it’s clear that the parallels with aviation offer more than just clever analogies — they provide insights into the future of banking. By understanding and embracing the functions and roles within the digital banking ecosystem, both emerging and established banks can not only enhance customer experiences but also drive innovation and keep a competitive edge in the market. This comprehensive understanding will enable banks to chart a course towards a more connected, efficient, and customer-centric future.

Image: Plumery

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Guest Editorial
This article was produced specially for Fintech Intel by an expert guest contributor.