Thinking (and banking) out of the box


Out of the box – let’s call it OOTB – the concept of which is simple to explain and relatively simple as a technology to implement. This is because it’s uncomplicated to the naked eye, and in banking may cover oft-used functionality such as logging in, authentication, account overview, payments and other transactions. In fact, a good OOTB solution will cover as many of the details as possible to help you get started without fuss, and rather quickly out of the gate.

Can OOTB solutions overcome legacy infrastructure obstacles? Yes, but it’s down to how you make the most of the tools at your disposal. The end game is what you want to achieve for the customer, and your legacy infrastructure will only present itself as an obstacle if you let it dominate your strategy. What use is an OOTB solution if you’re not leveraging its speed and capabilities in making you a more agile business?

It acts as the foundation for your own digital transformation. It begins with identifying and constructing all-important customer journeys, and building from there with analysis of the key metrics that help inform iterations of your digital transformation. An out-of-the-box solution is the launchpad for improving so many facets of financial services, so let’s look at the main benefits …

The benefits of OOTB solutions

OOTB solutions are usually optimised for specific use scenarios, and are ready to work, well, straight out of the box. This means you can get up and running quickly, decreasing time to market. This is no mean feat in this era of technological change. If you’re not matching the pace of demand, you’re not in the race, which makes for a compelling argument for the implementation of OOTB solutions.

OOTB solutions are often easy to implement and integrate across different ecosystems. This makes them attractive to those without the patience or wherewithal to climb a steep learning curve. This simplicity doesn’t make the technology simple. On the contrary, OOTB solutions are usually quite complex, but it’s all behind the scenes. This sort of simplicity is appealing to customers, current or otherwise.

Of course, speed of implementation means you’re competing with rivals. This in itself is a benefit, particularly if you’re regularly included in the Forrester Wave, et al. By offering OOTB solutions, you’re demonstrating your arsenal of expertise when it comes to software development, and that’s no bad thing. Not only is the delivery of software an incredibly competitive marketplace, so too is recruiting the most talented developers. If you’re showing aptitude across your software portfolio, you’re revealing your approach to innovation and cutting-edge technology.

And with all of that legacy banking infrastructure to tackle, being able to implement new technology cost effectively is a must. OOTB solutions can be the least expensive way to make a big difference to how you operate.

OOTB and the customer journey

At the heart of every good customer journey you see is the customer! Sounds simple, doesn’t it? The most effective customer journeys are those where you’ve thought about the customer rather than yourself (commonly called outside-in). While it’s important to think of ROI, it’s only your customer that can help determine your success, so creating customer journeys with them in mind is key to everything you do. OOTB solutions offer a great stepping stone towards addressing your customer journeys, and bringing them up to date with demand.

Imagine being able to see a dashboard of their financial status quick as a flash, or be able to transfer money using their phones (without having to find a computer and use a browser), or block a card with the tap of a thumb. OOTB solutions offer this functionality, and so much more, and within a relatively short timeframe.

The caveat is that OOTB solutions are only as good as how you implement them. They should represent a strategic approach to changing your business; a vital tool in making you more digitally agile, more customer-focused and more everything. Senior management and leadership teams that see OOTB solutions as quick fixes for short-term problems aren’t seeing the bigger picture. They are the tip of the iceberg in adapting to an ever-increasing digital world of financial services, and leveraging their power and potential may just take you out of the box and into the financial stratosphere.

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Written by: Shaun Weston

Rami Cassis is the non-executive director of ieDigital