What does it take to become a retail banking digital performer?

Updated: Apr 27


In this time of COVID-19 crisis and confinement, everyone can realize that digital performance is a key asset of one company to be more resilient.

Coming back to 2019 digital performance ratings of retail banks in Belgium, France, Spain – the top 4 performers in each of the 3 countries (cf. Figure 1) were all positioned in the Digital Transformer category.

For established banks, what does it take to become a retail banking digital performer?

By comparing 2019 top performances in every area of D-Rating analysis, is it possible to define a composite drawing of a retail banking digital performer (cf. Figure 2)?

First, to become a digital performer, it is essential to offer a superior Digital Proposition and top performance in this area were found in Spain and in France:

  • Customer journeys are still led by neobanks but, among established banks, BBVA is the top performer. BBVA scores high in all aspects of journeys and outperforms everyone, even neobanks, in terms of ergonomics.

  • The highest achievement in terms of Offers & Features on digital channels is also delivered by BBVA. The scope of proposition of BBVA is not the largest one, but BBVA outperforms all competitors in terms of richness of features on both web and app channels.

  • The unrivalled top reference in terms of Contact Channels is BNP Paribas. The diversity and reactivity of contact channels on the public space and the performance of autonomous troubleshooting tools are key differentiators of BNP Paribas.

Second, it is good to have an outstanding Digital Proposition, but it can be a waste if digital channels are poorly used and plebiscited by customers and prospects. A digital performer is strongly focused on the Usage Status of its digital channels and actively manages its assets to reach the highest performance level in this area.

  • Concerning Web channels, Bankinter delivers the best performance with a well-balanced set of scores on traffic & engagement, demonstrating a high adoption rate and a high frequency of use of the web channel by its customers.

  • In terms of mobile Apps, Belfius demonstrates a leading position characterized by over-average scores on traffic & engagement and store activity, and the highest satisfaction score on stores.

  • With regard to Social Media, the best performance is provided by Crédit Agricole with strong scores on traffic & engagement and social activity, and especially an outstanding capability to generate Web traffic from social media.

Third, a digital performer not only delivers superior customer experience (i.e. The combination of Digital Proposition and Usage Status) but also demonstrates a strong Transformation Dynamics. In this area, highest performance was found in Belgium and in France.

  • In terms of Technologies & Innovation, KBC gets the highest score with strong application performance and high engagement on innovation.

  • The Operational Integration domain is leaded by ING Belgium, that demonstrates strong operational excellence and one of the best phygital integration performances (see our article dedicated to this particular topic).

  • In terms of Talent Attraction, BPCE outperforms the other banks thanks to very positive feedbacks from employees on the web and a superior digital experience for applicants.

In conclusion, there is no unreachable barrier for an established bank to become a Digital Performer, according to D-Rating scale. By achieving the best performance identified in 2019 in all nine areas, a bank would have been rated in 2019 as a Digital Performer with an A-grade.

2020 rating campaign will allow to measure progress in terms of digital performance. The rating scope will be expanded to new geographies with the coverage of 60 key retail banking brands in Europe (cf. Figure 3).

Figure 3 - Key 60 Retail Banking brands that will be analyzed by D-Rating in 2020

By taking into account best performances within an extended group of banks including several ones considered as digital champions in Europe, the rating will be more challenging.

Which European banks will be rated as Digital Performers or beyond? - D-Rating will evaluate the key 60 European brands against 700+ factual indicators. Intermediary results will be delivered throughout 2020 and final results including 2020 ratings will be presented to the market in Q1-2021.

About D-Rating

Created in early 2017, D-Rating is the first rating agency of companies’ digital performance.

D-Rating provides all market players (investors, financial analysts, fund managers and companies) with an independent rating of the digital competitiveness of companies likely to impact their business performance in the medium term.

Thanks to an innovative approach based on a data-driven methodology - including the analysis of 700+ indicators - D-Rating is already a standard in the financial services sector and is now engaged in the deployment of its activities worldwide and in multiple sectors of activity.

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