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NZ banking sector should brace itself for watershed year in 2022

By Shannon Williams
Wed 16 Feb 2022

This year is set to be a defining year for the banking industry as it enters a period of unprecedented transformation, according to new predictions from Accenture.

Accenture's annual banking trends outlines the top ten predictions that will disrupt the banking industry in 2022, bringing it closer to an industry that is far more modernised, adaptive and innovative.

"When we look back on 2022, we will see it as the moment when banking fundamentally changed," says Alex Trott, banking lead at Accenture A/NZ.

"There haven't been any significant changes to the New Zealand banking business model in decades, which meant that banks could be conservative and reactive and still perform well," he says.

"But, like so many other things, the pandemic has thrown these traditional practices into the air. Last year, banks started to question long-held assumptions as customers began demanding more innovative experiences and digital interactions with their banks. We're going to see that accelerate in 2022," Trott says.

"We think that New Zealand banks will become much more proactive, forward-looking and inclusive in their approach to customer experience and have realised the need to be more flexible to meet the constantly evolving needs of their employees, stakeholders and customers. Traditional approaches to customer engagement wont keep working," he explains.

"The pace and extent of the disruption we have experienced in the last two years is only going to accelerate in 2022, and the banking industry will need to make fundamental changes to keep up."

Accenture's Banking Top 10 Trends for 2022 are:

1. Everyone wants to be a super-app

Super-apps are dominating more aspects of the digital world and human interaction. Banks face a high-stakes choice to compete or collaborate.

2. Green gets real

As ESG concerns grow, banks are being urged to become guardians of our planet. There will be costs but the returns are sure to make it worthwhile.

3. Innovation makes a comeback

To keep up with fintechs and other competitors, banks are rediscovering their creative mojo and asking a simple, powerful question: why not.

4. Fees a magical mystery tour

Free products from digital-only challengers and BNPL firms are forcing banks to be more transparent and more creative with fee structures.

5. The digital brain gets a caring heart

Banks are looking for ways to have meaningful conversations with customers in digital spaces. Technology like AI can help make the human connection.

6. Digital currencies head for college

With crypto currencies here to stay, experiments like CBDCs are gathering momentum. The search is on for use cases that prove the economic benefits.

7. Smart operations put zero in their sights

Artificial intelligence and machine learning in banking now surpass humans in some tasks. Applying this tech will bring zero waste operations within reach.

8. Payments: anywhere, anytime and now, anyhow

The next payments revolution will stem from open networks, which empower banks to reimagine their payments offerings for newly demanding customers.

9. Banks get on the road again

The search for growth will include international markets in 2022. Expect cross-border players to seek out digital banks positioned to attack.

10. The war for talent intensifies

The pandemic disrupted the supply chain for banks most critical asset: talent. Competition is rising. Winners will transform themselves as employees.

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