Raktim Singh

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Agile and Adaptive Banking

Agile and Adaptive Banking

Adapting is essential for capitalizing on opportunities and minimizing risks in the finance industry, characterized by constant change. The increasing demand for real-time information is causing a corresponding evolution and escalation in customer expectations and a transition from physical to virtual service delivery.

Need for agile and adaptable banking

We are currently experiencing a period of great excitement and intrigue. There are numerous technologies, varying consumer expectations, and peculiar geopolitical circumstances.

Data has become the new currency in advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, enabling developers to create more insightful products and services.

Additionally, banking has become an integral part of our daily routines. Banking was previously associated with visiting a bank branch or ATM or accessing a bank’s website. However, it is now integrated into our daily purchase and sale transactions as “embedded banking.”

Many fintech companies are developing products and services that are well-received by consumers as a result of recent innovations such as “Open Banking,” “Embedded Finance,” “Banking as a Service,” and “Digital Currency.”

This frequently compels banks to collaborate with fintech or adjust to the “new normal” in response to customers’ demand for “real-time, instant gratification with personalized experience.”

The unbundling of financial services is underway, and if a bank remains resolute in its approach, customers will inevitably abandon the bank.

Concurrently, financial criminals are transforming into data scientists and mathematicians to understand the potential of data, resulting in the generation of ever-changing threats and risks.

Each of these developments substantially impacts the conventional banking paradigm.

The competition among established banks, conventional competitors, and emergent entities from non-banking sectors is resulting in a growing blurring of boundaries and roles.

Simultaneously, financial institutions are under pressure to implement composable, contemporary infrastructures that facilitate data capture, analysis, and utilization, as they must address IT environments composed of disparate legacy systems.

What is the definition of “Agile and Adaptive Banking”?

The banking industry, which has previously encountered numerous challenges regarding consumer expectations and overall flexibility, is undergoing a revolution due to agile and adaptive banking.

Banks are adopting a strategy to remain competitive in a volatile market, evolving consumer expectations, and technological advancements.

Agile and adaptive banking diverge from the waterfall service delivery and product development model.

This conventional methodology necessitated extensive planning cycles and releases of considerable magnitude.

In contrast, Agile and adaptive banking prioritize a flexible methodology. Banks can effectively address market fluctuations and meet customer requirements by learning, integrating feedback loops, and making data-driven decisions.

Adaptive banking is the process by which a bank can respond to customer feedback by either developing a product that meets the customer’s requirements or modifying its products and services on the feedback provided.

Previously, accomplishing this goal was a significant undertaking because institutions had either manual or semi-automated systems. Implementing any change necessitated assessing and explaining the impact of all departments.

Banks can now rapidly evaluate the effects of any intended change and implement it promptly with IT systems that are MACH architecture (Micro-services based, Agile, cloud-native, and headless).

The fundamental concept of agile is that the bank (or their IT vendor) should be able to implement minor modifications, present them to the customer, solicit feedback, and promptly integrate those modifications into the subsequent iteration.

‘Adaptive banking’ aims to customize banking services through incremental changes rather than revolutionary, one-time transformations by comprehensively comprehending consumer expectations, activities, and behaviors.

Implementing a composable framework for banking infrastructure would allow financial institutions to provide innovative and unique services independently or in partnership with external entities.

The foundation of adaptive banking is developing an agile business and architecture strategy that enables the rapid and efficient implementation of modifications.

Characteristics of “Adaptive and Agile Banking”:

  1. Agile Practices: Banks implement methodologies such as Scrum or Kanban, which involve teams working in iterations, prioritizing customer feedback, and delivering value promptly. The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is recommended for larger teams.
  2. Data & Analytics: Banks utilize real-time data analysis techniques that capitalize on intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities. This enables them to customize products and services to meet customers’ needs and preferences. Predictive analytics also aids in predicting consumer behaviors.
  3. Customer Centricity: Adaptive banking’s fundamental objective is cultivating customer relationships by offering customized experiences that meet their requirements.

Banks can effectively navigate the finance landscape and satisfy the changing demands of their customers by adopting these principles.

  1. Adaptive Culture: Fostering a culture that promotes continuous learning, collaboration, and experimentation, enabling teams to make decisions and learn from failures. This approach is necessary to adapt to the constantly evolving market dynamics.

Fundamental Principles of “Adaptive and Agile Banking”:

  1. Transitioning from Fragmented Systems to a Harmonious Customer Experience: Traditional banking practices frequently resembled departments playing instruments, which resulted in customers hearing disconnected melodies.

Agile and adaptive banking dismantle these barriers by orchestrating a customer symphony in which teams collaborate to provide a financial experience.

  1. Customer centricity: The practice of prioritizing the requirements and preferences of customers above all else to place them at the center of every decision-making process.
  2. They use data and algorithms as guides: Consider Beethoven’s AI and machine learning use.

That is the essence of adaptive banking—where data analysis and algorithms serve as guides, allowing teams to understand real-time customer requirements and customize services with the precision of virtuosos. Real-time data analysis is no longer restricted to the realm of rocket science.

Agile banking employs artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to anticipate customer behaviors, personalize offerings, and understand customer requirements. This methodology renders financial services more proactive and pertinent.

  1. Continuous Iterations to Unleash Innovation: The “set it and forget it” era is over. Agile and adaptive banking practices the philosophy of “always ready to Ship and ship often.”

Banks become innovation engines that continuously strive for experiences by delivering and refining features based on customer feedback. Agile embraces a culture of learning and improvement, with customer feedback driving iterations to ensure that products and services constantly evolve to meet changing demands.

This enables team members to acquire the ability to fire. Once they have this ability, they can shoot regardless of the target’s movement.

  1. Sprints and Kanban Boards: Consider the transition from five-year plans to focused two-week sprints. The Agile methodology deconstructs projects into tasks visually depicted on Kanban boards. This enables teams to deliver value swiftly and effectively prioritize collaboration.
  2. Collaboration Across Functions: The dismantling of silos! Agile fosters collaboration among teams, including developers, marketers, and financiers. This guarantees a seamless consumer experience from beginning to end.

‘Integration Testing’ will no longer be conducted after a significant development cycle, during which all parties engage in finger-pointing. Collaboration is imperative from the outset.

  1. Empowerment and ownership are not merely about unquestioningly adhering to directives. Agile enables teams to experiment with ideas and make decisions. Assuming responsibility for their tasks cultivates a culture of accountability and innovation.

Historical Background:

The transition to adaptive banking commenced in the 1990s and early 2000s with the emergence of Agile software development methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban. Initially adopted by technology companies, these methodologies progressively permeated the sector due to the efforts of pioneers such as ING and Standard Chartered Bank.

Several critical milestones have been identified throughout the history of adaptive banking:

The Agile Manifesto, published in 2001, established methodologies’ fundamental principles and values.

In 2009, the Financial Services Technology (FST) industry published a paper titled “Agile in Financial Services,” which underscored the advantages of implementing Agile in the finance sector.

In the 2010s, prominent institutions, including Citigroup, BBVA, and HSBC, expedited the adoption of practices by establishing teams and initiatives.

The significance of adaptability and agility for banks was further underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2020s. This crisis compelled them to adopt data-driven approaches and transformation initiatives.

Banks have acknowledged that implementing methodologies can improve operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. These developments serve as evidence of this.

Adaptive banking has a significant impact, modifying banks’ operations in various areas.

  1. Product development: Banks can capitalize on emergent opportunities by quickly bringing products and services to market by implementing agile and adaptive practices.
  2. Customer experience: Banks can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty by employing data-driven interactions.
  3. Operational efficiency: Banks can decrease expenses by implementing process automation and development and optimizing resource allocation.
  4. Innovation: A culture of experimentation, continuous learning, creativity, and the development of solutions is fostered by agile and adaptive banking.

 Practical applications of Agile and adaptive banking.

Consider the scenario in which a financial institution initiates the development of a mobile banking application. The bank would adopt an Agile framework that deconstructs the project into smaller iterations with iterative cycles instead of a linear approach.

User research findings and feedback from previous iterations would be the foundation of each sprint’s feature delivery. As a result of this iterative process, the bank can continuously test, refine, and customize the app to meet its users’ changing needs.

Data is indispensable in this process. Real-time analytics provide insights into user behavior, allowing the bank to prioritize features that resonate with customers and identify areas for development.

This data-based method guarantees that the bank allocates its resources effectively to provide valuable solutions.

The transition to adaptive banking has its challenges. It entails disrupting organizational barriers, integrating technologies, and modifying established cultures.

This procedure may be intricate and necessitates the dedication of both management and employees. Nevertheless, the potential benefits are substantial, as evidenced by the success tales of adopters.

The financial services industry is transforming due to agile and adaptive banking. Banks can navigate through periods of change with agility and resilience by adopting a customer-centric approach, utilizing data-driven insights, and engaging in iterative development practices.

Those who adopt principles will be in a solid position to prosper in the years ahead as the financial landscape changes.

Adoption of Agile Methodology:

In a survey on the future of banking, 75% of banking executives worldwide intend to invest in initiatives concentrated on transformation within the next two years. In another Banking Transformation Survey, 80% of banks in North America have either already implemented or are actively considering implementing an agile methodology.

Having gained an understanding of how adaptive banking distinguishes itself from finance by adopting a data-driven and customer-centric approach, it is time to explore more specific details, including their key features, prospective benefits, and real-world applications.

Benefits of Agile and Adaptive Banking:

  1. Reduced Time to Market: In an ever-changing financial landscape, outpace competitors by delivering products and services to consumers more quickly. Time-to-market results are reported by 78% of banks that employ methodologies, while 64% experience increased consumer satisfaction, according to a report.
  2. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: Customers are more loyal and content when they receive experiences tailored to their requirements. According to an additional Banking Report, banks that implement practices achieve a 25% faster rate of product launches and a 10% higher level of consumer satisfaction than traditional banks.
  3. Overall Cost Reduction: Improve efficiency and reduce waste and rework by streamlining processes and embracing iterations.
  4. Enhanced Innovation: Establishing a culture of continuous development and experimentation that encourages the exchange of innovative solutions and ideas.
  5. Enhanced and Improved Risk Management: Employed real-time data analysis to identify and mitigate risks, thereby guaranteeing the safety of both institutions and customers.

How it affects you:

Consider a financial institution that seamlessly adjusts to your spending patterns, eliminating the need for universally applicable budgeting tools. Agile banking can evaluate your transactions, offer budgeting advice and savings objectives, or even modify credit limits based on your spending habits.

Bid farewell to application procedures for loans. Forget about the weeks that are consumed by administrative frustration or waiting periods. Agile lending platforms that AI propels can assess your creditworthiness in mere minutes, resulting in nearly instantaneous loan approvals. This increases the ease of obtaining money.

Consider a financial institution capable of anticipating your requirements before you know them. Consider the possibility of receiving notifications regarding the payment of your insurance premium and recommendations for investment opportunities contingent upon life events. It can automatically adjust your insurance coverage in response to changes in your risk profile. Enabled by agile and adaptable finance, this is the future of assistance.

Numerous prominent financial institutions, including Citigroup (USA), ING (Netherlands), DBS (Singapore), and Metro Bank (UK), have effectively implemented adaptive banking.

The agility revolution is not limited to bank tellers or trading platforms; it is a cross-industry phenomenon.

Its principles impact industries, altering how organizations perceive, respond to, and generate consumer value.

Healthcare: Visualize hospitals that employ real-time data analysis to anticipate patient requirements and automatically modify treatment plans. By streamlining processes, agile practices can reduce waiting times and allow healthcare professionals to focus on patient care. As a result of this data-driven approach, healthcare may ultimately transform how we manage our well-being.

Retail: Bid farewell to static product lines and one-size-fits-all marketing campaigns. Agile retail enables retailers to customize offers and analyze consumer behavior. Develop products that are informed by real-time feedback. Consider a grocery store that modifies its inventory in response to demand and dietary trends or a clothing store that automatically recommends outfits based on your browsing history and personal style preferences. This degree of dynamic customization has the potential to transform the industry by offering a purchasing experience that is exceedingly personalized.

Technology: The industry that initiated methodologies is currently experiencing its transformative phase. Technology companies implement practices to expedite software development, consistently improve user interfaces, and promptly address changing market demands.

The ongoing process of iteration does not stimulate innovation. It also guarantees that technology solutions are current and tailored to users’ requirements in a rapidly evolving digital environment.


Adaptable practices are not merely jargon; they represent a fundamental change in organizations’ operations.

Businesses in various sectors can unleash customer satisfaction levels, innovation, and flexibility by adopting an approach that prioritizes customers’ decision-making and continuous improvement.

Those who are capable of adapting to change will inherit the future. The framework provided by agile practices enables organizations to navigate the constantly changing demands of the modern world easily.

The language of successful organizations will be agile principles, which will influence how we work, consume products and services, and interact with our surroundings as we progress. The boundaries between industries will become increasingly distinct.


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