24th February 2024

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Business Industry and Financial

Using fintech to digitise value streams in financial services

A range of market developments are forcing financial services institutions to rethink their competitive edge in the marketplace. One way of achieving an advantage is by using fintech solutions to enhance value streams, write Delta Capita experts Loek Bleijswijk and Wouter Pijl.

What is value stream digitisation?

The concept of value stream digitisation allows financial services institutions to adapt to new market demands by digitising and automating value streams to improve their effectiveness, and by decommissioning old legacy systems.

With this approach, human potential – which previously focused on administrative burdens – can be used for activities that create customer value. It helps customers in getting 24/7 access to real-time services, via multiple channels. Other benefits include raising customer satisfaction, boosting competitive advantage, cutting costs, and increasing profits.

Loek Bleijswijk en Wouter Pijl - Delta Capita

Some organisations may lack the internal technological capabilities to maximise the potential of value stream digitisation. In this case, fintech provided by external technology vendors could be the answer to digitise and improving the financial service value stream, considering the cost and benefits of this decision thoroughly on outsourcing your technological backbone. 

The value stream digitisation process

During the value stream digitisation process, internal and external digitisation opportunities are assessed to optimise existing business models and grasp new opportunities. There are endless examples, including digitisation of the value stream through low code technology; replacement of manual checks by automated API controls; or the use of artificial intelligence to determine the next best action for customers and employees.

At Delta Capita, we apply a three-phased approach for value stream digitisation:

Three phases in the VSD approach

Discover the options

The organisation should consider its end goals, which will clarify what the value chain should look like in the future and what demands need to be met. By asking the right questions about upcoming changes collaboratively, the organisation enables shared determination of the target state, and it can determine how (enhanced) usage of technology can help to improve the value stream.

While exploring these options and technological solutions, you will experience where technological capabilities and knowledge are sufficient to manage the new systems and where to explore vendor solutions that could fill the gaps.

Design the possible

The desired target state is clear, but how will the organisation get there? The next step requires decomposing selected use cases into a mapped value stream; a designed customer journey; service alignment; specified HR capabilities; clear data requirements; and a proof of concept to validate required IT functionalities.

This approach reveals value stream impact and allows you to validate business cases, and create a prioritised roadmap.

Deliver the solution

The last phase is about making it happen. The outcomes of the two previous phases are bundled into a plan of approach. A ‘T-shaped’ team is composed with a balanced combination of general and in-depth knowledge and experience. The roadmap is converted into a backlog with Epics, Features and User Stories. The Agile development process has been kicked-off, and progress is tracked against goals.

As the world keeps evolving, project teams should view all parts of the Agile development cycle in the context of a changing vision, priority of selected use cases, and the designed customer journey. Key is to adapt plans when needed.

Lessons learned

Based on our extensive experience with digitising value streams, here are five valuable lessons we’ve learned:

Standardisation will reduce the time and costs to change
Standardisation of processes and IT unlocks the opportunity for omni-channel experiences and improves the speed and flexibility of change significantly. Use cases demonstrate that costs can drop by up to 50%.

From low-hanging fruit to fine-tuned solutions
In line with Agile methodologies, we believe in an incremental and cyclical improvement process. Never forget to balance effort and potential outcome of required change. Focus on obvious changes with direct impact before focusing on complex changes with longer lead times. This will benefit morale and support for further changes.

Look beyond the technology
Successful value stream digitisation requires a well-tuned target operating model. Without the right mix of people, processes and technology, it is impossible to deliver a compelling service offering.

Find vendors with the right capabilities
The vendor’s capabilities – such as support and maintenance – are as important as the selected technology. Thoroughly assess against a scorecard aligned to what you want to achieve, and discuss in-depth with the vendor before making your final choice.

Build in-house capabilities to remain independent
Organisations often lack the internal capabilities to manage new technologies. This could lead to dependence on expensive external partners. Find the right balance between internal and external.

Conclusion

Financial services institutions who adapt their value chains to be ahead of the curve will beat and outlive their competition. The competition is fierce, and change is the only constant. Successfully using fintech to digitise value streams will help financials deliver digitised, automated, simple and easy-to-understand services with the flexibility to adjust. The result: an improved cost/income ratio and enhanced customer and employee satisfaction.

About the authors: Loes Bleijswijk is Head of Retail Banking at Delta Capita, Wouter Pijl is Head of Digital & Performance.

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