Be curious.

December 21, 2017

Digital disruption in the banking industry

Every project comes to an end and new challenges arise. I spent the past months working for a German premium OEM in the automotive industry and discussing digital challenges. With lasting experiences from my travels to Beijing I then took my holidays at the beginning of November. I spent two relaxing weeks in Tarifa (Spain) and enjoyed the last days of summer with extensive kite surfing sessions. Taking holidays at Roland Berger is easy. You can easily go on holidays between two projects or even during a project if the team set up allows it. After my trip to Tarifa I returned relaxed and motivated to work, ready to start my next project.

I'm now located in Frankfurt. Frankfurt is the banking center of Germany and a city of contrasts. Wealthy bankers, students and granola drop-outs coexist in a city that has some of the highest, most avant-garde skyscrapers of Europe next to well-maintained old buildings. My client is a leading German bank, needing support to succeed the digital transformation.

Similar to the automotive industry, the banking industry is challenged by the issue of digitization. The digital transformation is changing the way customers bank and the way banks interacts with them. At the same time new players are shaking up the industry. Startups such as Number26 and auxmoney design convenient products much faster and agile than banks do. Tech giants such as Google, Amazon and Apple unite to promote tech-friendly changes to the financial services sector. Also the technology is changing, more and more people are getting familiar to mobile payment or P2P-lending. In this changing landscape established banks face significant challenges.

With a small team of 6 consultants we sensitize the top management of the bank to understand the upcoming digital era and to identify chances and risks. Again we collaborate closely with our partners from our Terra Numerata network to define the best suited digital agenda for our client. Inspiration tours to London and Berlin will follow to meet and exchange perspectives with players at the forefront of innovation.

For me the project will end in January. I will move on to Berlin and support the start of our newly founded Roland Berger Digital Hub. I'm looking forward to this exciting job and will share my experiences in my next blog entry. In the meantime, I wish you all a relaxing holiday season and a good start into the New Year.


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  • Photos Tom Merton/iStock; Takashi Kitajima/Getty images