Celent Model Bank 2014, Part 2: Case Studies of Innovation and Emerging Technologies

by Bob Meara, April 4, 2014
Case Studies


The vision for Celent’s Model Bank research, now in its seventh year, was to try to answer an apparently simple question: “What would it look like for a financial institution to do everything right with today’s technology?” To answer this question, Celent sought examples of best practices in technology usage.

These examples span a five-part report series:

In Part 2, Celent profiles three innovative initiatives:

  • Axis Bank: Relationship pricing initiative
  • Commercial Bank of Africa: M-Shwari initiative
  • USAA: Digital channel enhancements

Celent defines innovation as fundamental changes to products, services, or business models that break existing tradeoffs and provide value to the customer. New hardware, software, and network technologies feed banking innovation. Legacy technology can hinder innovation, and so can legacy organizational structures and culture. Bankers must not only modernize, but transform, their internal systems and the ways in which they interact with a vast web of customers, colleagues, counterparties, and regulators. Doing so is no longer optional.

“Despite marvelous diversity among initiatives nominated for Celent Model Bank awards, most shared a number of elements,” says Bob Meara, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Banking Group and author of the report. “One common aspect was having a sense of urgency to deliver value, but relaxed business case expectations, knowing that innovation often results after repeated failure.”

This report first details six common elements Celent observes among the most innovative initiatives. Then Celent profiles four innovative projects, and finishes with conclusions that are indicative of broader market shifts.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary





Summary of Model Bank Components


Innovation and Emerging Technologies


Case Studies in Innovation and Emerging Technologies



Axis Bank: Relationship Pricing Initiative



Commercial Bank of Africa: M-Shwari Initiative



USAA: Digital Channel Enhancements



USAA Virtual Assistant



USAA Deposit@Mobile




Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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