Retail banks focus on digitization to enhance the customer experience

Digitization remains top of mind for retail banks as they strive to meet customers’ evolving digital expectations. Executives are focused on delivering a better end-to-end customer experience that drives loyalty and revenue. Finding the right IT talent to accelerate digitization is a major challenge this year. Critical operational priorities, including securing the bank in the face of growing cyber and financial crime threats and complying with mounting regulation, are also high priority concerns.

View key findings from our conversations with retail bank executives in 2022 below, or download our report.

For more insights on macro trends, including social demographics, climate change, deglobalization, technology acceleration and supply chain reconfiguration, read our summary.

Top trends and priorities

Top macro trends
  1. Technology and digital acceleration, notably rising customer and citizen digital expectations
  2. Changing social demographics, including aging populations and talent shortages
  3. Climate change, including the energy transition and the acceleration toward decarbonization
Top industry trends
  1. Increasing customer adoption of digital as the primary channel
  2. Digital transformation demands straining legacy banking infrastructure
  3. Growing threat of cyber and other financial crimes
Top business priorities
  1. Accelerate digital client-facing transformation
  2. Improve the end-to-end customer experience
  3. Protect the bank and clients from regulatory risk and financial crime
Top IT priorities
  1. Deliver client-facing digital transformation
  2. Automate business processes
  3. Safeguard the bank


say legacy systems pose somewhat of a challenge in implementing digital strategies
indicate their IT and business operations are highly aligned in support of digitization
cite difficulty in acquiring and retaining IT talent

What digital leaders do differently

Among the 36% of retail bank executives who report achieving expected results from their digital strategies, some common attributes emerge. Our table compares responses to questions from these digital leaders to those from executives whose organizations are still building or launching digital strategies (digital entrants). Learn more about the attributes of digital leaders.

Common attributes of digital leaders

Digital leaders

Digital entrants

Consider their business model to be highly agile 30% 6%
Have highly aligned IT and business operations to support the digital strategy 74% 36%
Have deeply integrated IT and business operations to drive execution of the digital strategy 67% 33%
Are implementing or fully operational in delivering client-facing transformation 98% 44%