Sopra Steria & SBS: 75% of Banks not Ready for Open Banking

Sopra Steria and Sopra Banking Software’s (SBS) latest report reveals that 75% of banks are not ready for open banking. Can AI fill the gap?

This week, Sopra Steria and Sopra Banking Software (SBS), a FinTech Magazine Top 10 banking technology company, will release the findings of their third annual Digital Banking Experience (DBX) Report, which finds that banks and other financial institutions are looking to AI to fill the gaps for the successful use of open banking. 

The report, produced in partnership with Forrester and Ipsos, finds that using AI to facilitate open banking is the most desired means by which banks and FIs are seeking to leverage the burgeoning technology, with 75% of FIs surveyed admitting they aren’t yet operationally ready to participate in open banking.

Despite this, 52% of global banks surveyed see AI as being capable of providing a highly-critical revenue stream organisation-wide. 

Below, we look at the areas where banks see AI having a transformative impact, per the DBX report. 

The call for AI’s use in banking ‘deafening’

For Eric Bierry, CEO of Sopra Banking Software: “The urgency for digitisation in the banking industry has been deafening for years. With AI now at the helm, that call is stronger than ever.” 

Indeed, the 2024 DBX report has seen a marked shift from last year, when it was revealed that banks’ delayed digital transformation was holding them back from competing against digital challengers and other new market entrants. 

Just one year later, more than half (58%) of banks classify themselves at the top level of digital maturity – suggesting the need for those to catch up is stronger than ever, and, for those that consider themselves digitally mature – new AI innovations mean further digitalisation efforts will be needed.

Shifting from legacy infrastructure alone (a marker of digital maturity) is now not enough to keep up with the industry’s current pace of innovation.

Surveying over 850 senior decision-makers and 11,000 global banking customers, the D2024 DBX report highlights how banks need to go past digital transformation to fully adapt to the digital-first world.

Eric Bierry, Sopra Banking Software

Leveraging AI to make use of open banking data

While many financial institutions are not yet ready for open banking, the benefits of it are clear.  In the US, 53% of banks see improved data insights, as well as approved data sharing, through open banking services as a significant stream of revenue.

Enhanced data-sharing capabilities as a result of new open banking regulations will make collaboration between traditional banks and fintechs easier too. Today, 74% of global banks and 66% of US banks see open banking as “crucial” to their futures.

With data-driven collaborations, banks will better enable fintechs to leverage AI for the creation of new products and financial services.

The importance of AI to support banks amid an open banking revolution is not just for revenue gains, it’s also about providing an acceptable customer experience. 

Some 40% of global banking customers say they haven’t received the same personalised service from their bank that they get everywhere else. In fact, only 27% of consumers believe that their bank offers them services best suited to their financial situation, and 19% say that inadequate personalisation could cause them to change banks entirely.

AI: The key to transforming customer services

With global customer satisfaction figures for banking low, banks are placing their confidence in AI to deliver the hyper-personalised experiences that customers crave. 

Per the report, 62% of US banks say that AI will have the most significant impact on customer service. As banks increasingly turn to AI to better engage with consumers, 64% of US incumbents specifically plan to expand their investments in AI-enabled chatbots and digital assistants, compared to 45% of banks globally.

This comes as 48% of banking customers feel their financial advisor does not fully understand their needs and 51% feel banks are not interested in helping them earn more money.

As such, AI reveals opportunities for banks to build on the trust that consumers already have in them by becoming better financial advisors. That’s because, despite the concerns expressed, consumer trust in traditional banks still stands at 80%. 

Eric adds: “Open banking is one of the main areas where banks are looking to AI to streamline processes and create new opportunities for collaboration—but it doesn’t stop there. AI also enables banks to adhere to consumers’ growing need for personalisation by becoming their trusted financial advisors.”

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