Tuesday, July 18, 2017

DBS Innovates: How Do You Make Banking Joyful?

Of all institutions, banks are one of the most stodgy and resistant to change. I read with amusement this DBS Innovates article in which the writer said a taxi driver once called DBS "Damn Bloody Slow"! Hey, I remember that too!

DBS now aims to "Make Banking Joyful" which is interesting because how do you spark joy this way? Maybe they can take a leaf from Marie Kondo. Take everything out, and begin by discarding. Do all of it at once, not little by little. There are way too many bloated processes and procedures that make it frustrating for the customer. This is an industry that is screaming for new ways of doing things.

I like how a certain bank has completely rewritten the scene on customer service a few years back. It's definitely made other banks sit up and take notice. Banks are a lot friendlier now.

But I didn't know about DBS Bank's own efforts in innovating until I saw the site DBS Innovates. There's a lot of content where DBS openly shares about their innovation processes: making banking simpler, faster and smarter; innovating for good causes; and what goes on behind the scenes. Not all of these are written by DBS; there are external contributors too.

Here are some articles:

I have to say it's changed my impression of DBS Bank. But let's not stop there. While it may have helped, I am not sure Kaizen is the way. Initiate change bit by bit? Maybe, but I can't help but feel sometimes you need a massive one-time overhaul, like the KonMari method. If it's life-changing innovation you want, not incremental improvement.

Of course, for such a highly regulated industry, that's going to be easier said than done, but the question is not whether you can innovate, it's how much you should.

Meanwhile, I'll keep my eyes on the site to see the new things that are coming out of DBS in this region.


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