Mercator Blog

Observations from BAI Retail Delivery 2015
Date: October 28, 2015
Ed O'Brien
Director, Banking Channels Advisory Service
This year’s BAI Retail Delivery show delivered on prompting discussions about innovation in banking and the direction that leading financial institutions are taking. The event showcased many of the most interesting and promising solutions available to today’s institutions and provoked dialogue on several important thought leadership themes.

At the heart of many of the presentations and discussions was the realization that today’s omnichannel banking environment is not far removed from the omnichannel retail environment seen over the past half-decade. This evolving retail environment includes a synchronized view of customer activity, including the increased use of customer data and predictive analytics to identify likely customer activity, and a 360-degree view of bank customers and credit union members.

The show had events in six primary categories of focus:
• Operational Excellence
• Marketing and Product Development
• Sales Effectiveness
• Omnichannel Delivery
• Community-Based Banking
• Showcases and Forums

Each offered insightful, real-world presentations on promising initiatives occurring in financial institutions of all sizes.

Sessions covered such topics as bank transformation, branch reconfiguration and omnichannel banking, digital banking and payments, banking profitability, and leveraging analytics to better serve banking customers. While financial institutions have not fully reached their goals in these areas, many banks and credit unions are working toward understanding their customers and members better by mining and synthesizing data into meaningful information.

These topics align well with several Mercator Advisory Group Banking Channels research reports and research notes. For example, in the report titled Omnichannel Banking Is Taking Hold: Lessons Learned So Far, released in May, we noted that areas such as data collection, cleansing, synchronization, interoperability, and data management are critical in creating an effective omnichannel banking foundation. While the presentations and discussions at the event may not have gotten to this level of specificity, the main themes aligned well.