The Experian 2021 Report on Business and Consumers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa Outlines Leading Trends in the Financial Sphere
The digitalization of the main business processes is a priority for 67% of the businesses in the region.
Over the last two years, the pandemic has made it difficult to understand the true picture of the financial situation of consumers and sole traders, but has accelerated the digital transformation and offered new ways to use financial services. The rapid spread of online shopping and overall digital interaction has paved the way for a new trend in banking services, namely full-fledged mobile banking.
These are the conclusions of the latest Experian report from 2021 on business and consumers in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa). He found that 62% of businesses felt they needed more data for their analysis, while 65% used different types of datasets to improve the accuracy of their analysis, such as using non-traditional data sources such as open banking.
67% of businesses prioritize investments in the digitalization of their core business processes. 62% of companies have registered an increase or significant increase in credit applications from new customers in the last 12 months. Companies that still suffer delays in this process due to insufficiently digitized solutions or due to customer checks, which in themselves slow down the process, will be affected and will lose business positions.
The study commissioned by Experian, conducted by Forrester Consulting in August 2021, covers 598 people in senior management positions in financial services companies and telecommunications companies in the EMEA region.
Mobile banking is already gaining significant market share in the field of traditional banks, said key managers in the fintech industry and mobile banking during Experian Innovation Week, which took place in late 2021 and confirmed the key findings of the study.
During the event, Experian invited and brought together for the first time in a common discussion platform the most innovative companies in the Balkans and Central and Eastern Europe: Postbank, buddybank of Unicredit Group, Credefi, Kontomatik.
UniCredit Group, for example, has launched buddybank, a purely mobile bank accessible only via a smartphone and available for iOS, Android and, more recently, Huawei platforms.
According to Massimo Bondanza, head of Marketing and Products at buddybank, mobile banking allows small formats because it is only used via smartphones instead of desktops. We also had to remove all unnecessary actions outside the smartphone. That's how it all starts and ends on a mobile phone. " Buddybank uses Experian solutions and this allowed a fast implementation process without the need for branches, a complete lack of paper use, and customer service via chat. Buddybank is currently only available to Italian customers.
Mobile banking is useful for business and especially for small and medium enterprises, as it allows settling loans within 48 hours. The use of algorithms has raised mobile banking to an unprecedented level.
Ivo Grigorov, CEO of Credefi, estimates the number of alternative online transactions, outside of traditional banking, worldwide at 300 billion last year, with a forecast to double that number by 2026. "The whole process from applying for a loan to repaying the funds are made on the platform and is fully digital, "he said.
Consumers generally trust banks and their data, but their needs and expectations have changed as a result of the pandemic, and this has accelerated the process of digital transformation.
According to Tsveta Nikolova, Head of the Credit Risk Methodology and Capital Adequacy Control Department of Postbank, challenges exist not only as a result of the crisis, but also as a result of the expansion of banking products and systems during the banking process. "That's why we are ready to expand data sources, improve data quality and make the most of it by using more innovation," he said.