Banks balance a need for speed, customer expectations and strict regulations

Around four thousand years ago, merchants in Assyria, India and Sumeria began giving out grain loans to farmers and traders who transported goods between cities. In ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, lenders in temples provided loans, accepted deposits and changed money, paving the way for modern-day banking and providing new opportunities for people to spend, save and grow their money.

While the core of banking has remained relatively unchanged for thousands of years, today the industry is undergoing an era of transformation, moving beyond the basic apps and features that have become expected. Long-established banks, steeped in tradition, now face competition from startups and industry disruptors who are offering more innovative features, centered around customer needs.

Every company that wishes to remain relevant and competitive must become a technology company, and the banking industry is no exception.

“Change is happening, and there’s a sense of urgency,” says Patrice Amann, regional business lead for worldwide financial services at Microsoft. “This industry is under huge pressure, with challengers coming in through several angles. There needs to be a balance between the need for speed, agility and meeting customer expectations on one hand, while meeting regulatory requirements on the other.”

A feature published Tuesday on Microsoft News Centre Europe explores the latest trends and transformations in banking and finance, based on discussions with customers, partners, and leading influencers. Read it now.