What are the key digital challenges facing financial services in 2016?
In this video interview, Tim Kirk, highly-experienced financial services professional and an enrollee on the Executive Diploma in Digital Business, discusses what he sees as the financial services sector's biggest digital challenges.
Nearing the end of the 26-week executive diploma, in this video interview Tim talks candidly about the benefits of the diploma for those in the financial sector, his fellow participants on the cohort, and how his experience on the diploma compares with that of his MBA programme.
Find out more about the Executive Diploma in Digital Business, including the course syllabus, learning outcomes and entry criteria.
Three digital challenges facing financial services
With a strong financial services background at companies such as Capital One and Prudential, Tim holds the role of Operations Director at fintech business Liberis, a firm offering alternative business loans online.
“The key challenges from a digital perspective in fintech and financial services in general... I think there's a few," Tim explains.
Customer acquisition a challenge in the digital era
“Customer acquisition is definitely a challenge. I think the old way of marketing through serendipity of trying to find someone at the right moment, who wants your product, doesn't really know about you but in that moment is going to learn about you and then commit to it, is dead.
“The attention span of customers in general has shortened. I refer to it as this 'two-swipe patience limit'. Really, you've got to do the heavy lifting for a customer now, to bring them on board for a product.
Big data: a challenge facing financial services?
“Big data is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
“I think you can get lost in all of this data that is floating around there, so you need to focus in on what's important and turn that into useful reporting.
Resilience in rapidly changing environments
“The last thing is resilience, the pace of change is phenomenal.
“We've seen with Uber, and there's a number of others where you could say ‘wow, I didn't see that coming!’ So you need to be able to pivot. You need to have that resilience in a business.
“I think there's that great Mike Tyson quote that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. There is never a truer word spoken than when you're engaged in fintech and digital, because the pace of change is so quick.
“I think the diploma is definitely helping, especially myself and my business with these challenges.
“From day one I felt the influence of the course in the way I've thought about things and the way I've approached things. It gives you this this great set of tools and a network, and just this rich vein of content that you can leverage in your own working environment, so definitely this is a course that has practical application and I would definitely recommend anyone who's involved in digital, and especially fintech to get on this course and feel the value for themselves.
Solving the digital challenges faced by the financial services sector
“Everything I hoped I would get from the course I have, and it's exceeded those expectations on a number of levels.
“I found that the practical element of the course has become addictive. Some of the tasks and activities that we get to do, they're really fun to do and you're learning at the same time, and that's a really powerful combination.
“So although there's a number of hours that they expect you to spend doing it, you find you do more and more because you're actually getting really engaged with the topic, so that's been wonderful. From a business perspective, the course has influenced me from day one.
“The fundamental principles of the course have really served me well as some kind of guardrails to our own digital transformation.
“We constantly evolve as a business and the line between what we're learning in the course and what I'm doing day-to-day has got blurred very quickly. I'm able to bring new concepts, new thinking to the table that without the course, I probably wouldn't have had such easy access to.
“The peer group on the course are phenomenal. There's guys on there who are already digital masters, but their desire to learn more has them on the course as well, and that kind of input is great. And then the other end, you've got people who are newer to digital, but some of their thoughts and concepts, because there are unbiased, because they're coming to this fresh, are equally valuable.
“You mix that in with the different geographies, the different sectors; it's this really rich part of ideas and connections.
“[AVADO] does a fantastic job of providing a virtual campus, and it makes it very easy to connect. There's lots of activities where you work together; the webinars are very much an interactive piece, despite that you are all there in front of computer screens. And it's good, it has manifested into physical connections. The guys based in London meet-up and share drinks, and share ideas and stuff, so it's taking it to the next level there as well.
Comparing the Executive Diploma to an MBA programme
“I did an MBA and I graduated 2001, and it's interesting to compare that experience to this kind of virtual experience of the ADBL. Both have been phenomenal.
“The MBA was a very practical course, I spent a lot of time consulting out with businesses physically. That was a great experience, and then likewise [AVADO] does this phenomenal job of providing this virtual campus, and virtual course. For me, now, that's exactly what I need.
“I don't have the time or probably the commitment to spend a year or two years on an MBA course trying to achieve what I did back then. But with [AVADO] I can, this works for me. I can fit it in, I can control when I'm doing things. Everything's there on the campus.
“I can catch up on webinars, the tasks and activities that you have to do, you go at your own pace and you have the support, great support from both [AVADO] themselves, but also from your network of peers, and that's all established through the virtual campus.
“I've taken a lot from both, but at this time of life and with the challenges that I've got this works for me perfectly.”
Find out more about how the Executive Diploma in Digital Business can help individuals and businesses face some of the many digital challenges facing financial services and other sectors.