05/14/2013By Vincent Piron, KPMG in Belgium and David Sayer, KPMG in the UK
These are not easy times for today's bankers. On the one hand, increased regulatory pressure and public scrutiny is pushing the issue of trust to the front of the business agenda. At the same time, new technologies and customer preferences are forcing banks to adapt their business models and evolve at an unprecedented pace.
Some would argue that – in the midst of all of this change – banks have no time to 'play' around on social media, let alone pour much-needed capital into it. Better the banks stick to their knitting and focus on getting the basics right, they say. Besides, this is not the time for banks to be taking on new risks (both financial and reputational) for the sake of social engagement.
But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, one could easily argue that social media – when properly harnessed – could be the solution to almost all of the problems that banks currently face. From customer loyalty and the re-establishment of trust through to new product development and more efficient approaches to customer service, social media offers innovative banks with a fairly straightforward and cost effective approach to transformation.
Social banker v2.0
Last year, KPMG's global financial services practice launched the Social Banker series, an initiative that took a rather unique look at social media in the banking sector. Over the course of 12 weeks, we explored some of the biggest social media questions facing banks at the time, introduced new ideas and – proudly – laid the ground work for cross-industry collaboration between banks, telecoms and IT providers.
This year, the Social Banker will go further by shining a spotlight on some of the new approaches that are emerging from the social sphere. We'll hear about new concepts such as gamification and social currencies; we'll demystify new strategies that leverage location-based services or business-to-business networking; and we'll hear about the new and emerging platforms that promise to revolutionize the sector.
And, rather than simply reporting on what banks are doing in the social space, this article series will also aim to bring new and innovative ideas from other industry sectors – those facing similar challenges to banks – to hopefully catalyze new approaches and innovative thinking within the financial services sector.
From insiders, for insiders
Once again, we have recruited some of the world's leading experts on social media to share their experiences and insights into how banks can take advantage of social and collaborative platforms to achieve measurable objectives and enhance their competitive position.
But we also want to recognize the advances being made by pioneering banks around the world who are overcoming complex challenges to develop their own innovative programs. As such, we encourage you – the pioneers and innovators – to share your experiences, insights and even mistakes so that, together, we can help build a greater understanding of the benefits and risks of social media for banking sector.
And, since we firmly believe that sharing with each other is the best way to learn from each other, we encourage you to follow this series through email, RSS and to join the conversation on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Of course, those interested in discussing their social media challenges in a more confidential setting are always welcome to contact their local KPMG member firm.
We look forward to engaging in the discussion with you and hearing your views and stories about social media in the banking sector.