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There is a lot of thinking going into what the expectations of the millennials will be and a lot of industries are trying to predict what they should "look like" to attract the next generation of customers.

We decided to do some research and innovation on the topic and invited fifteen millennials who are currently studying undergraduate university degrees, into a Design Thinking session spanning over three days.

Would the outcome be in line with our thoughts…?

In this five part blog over five weeks I will cover the challenge that we set out to explore and what the three different team’s vision turned out to be and last, the general consensus and overall thoughts on the results.

In our innovation team we were playing around with what we thought the future would look like. No point hiding the facts – we felt a bit old (not the same as being out of touch though) and weren’t sure that we actually understood what the expectations of the future would be. The team is very business and tech savvy, but still – we had all passed the forty mark and were looking at these young people around us living their lives on mobile devices.

This had raised a lot of questions for us - here are some of them…

Is there a future in bank branches? To be honest, my own bank have very few in London and not near where I live. At the same time, the Metro Bank (new bank in the UK) are expanding fast and see branches as driving customer intimacy and a key for success, while other banks are closing them fast. The retail stores are offering bank accounts, credit cards and services such as insurances from pets to houses.

The second point we were struggling with was not as much if the incumbent banks needed to change, but what would that new (dare I say) Digital Platform look like to cater for the needs of the new generations to come. We realised that if you engaged with a banking group, they had no or very little insight into who you actually are and what business you do with them – and the other way around. We found that this is down to fragmented architecture and no common business processes across the different companies in the same group.

Last but not least

What would the risk versus benefits be to go through with a Digital Transformation, when architecture changes and technical re-platform in the banking and insurance sector is regarded as expensive, slow and poses great risk to their operations.

Would these challenges be a risk for them in the near future or could they stay where they are and still serve the new generation of employees, business owners and C-Level people? Would there be new and innovative ways to reduce the risk and cost during the transformation?

The challenge we gave them all…

“What would you expect from a Retail Bank in 10 years from now?”

The outcome was indeed interesting and in some cases thought provoking around their expectations and what they were willing to give up in return to get what they wanted.

In next weeks blog post I will look at the first group thoughts and direction – “A Bank for Everyone”