Banks: We are so digital it hurts.

You need to be a digital bank! We are a digital bank! We are investing loads of money in digital! We are transforming to be digital! Digital, digital, digital. We profess how digital we will be at our annual investor days and our annual results days both attended by our most important people, our institutional investors. Shareholders love digital. We must be digital for the investors. We must show how digital we are by including lots of digital things in our 380 page, one star open data rated PDF that we publish on our world wide website and print out and send to our shareholders.

The experts have been telling us for years. Digital or die! You must have a digital strategy, a digital team a digital mindset and digital DNA other wise you are digital dinosaurs, digitally decrepit, digitally doomed. Digital superstars will eat your lunch (the only meal they ever seem interested in), they have mastered the digitalness of the information superhighway and the mobile phones of all the millennials and they are going to digitally disrupt our non digital banks and our non digital cheques and our non digital cash and our non digital call centres and our non digital branches and our non digital fax machines for ID verification. We are in the eye of the digital storm, we are knee deep in digital primordial soup waiting to pounce on the digital Cambrian explosion of innovation and digitalness. Experts you are in for a shock, we are digitally ready to do digital battle in the digital trenches on the shores of the digital dystopia.

Our middle aged rich white male dominated think machines are ready for digital. They have been in banking for decades and they have seen it all, they have conquered it all and they have the hubris to prove it. digital hubris, digital hubs, digital spaces, our offices are ready for digital, we have sofas, and open spaces and chill out rooms and breakout spaces and actual maternity pay and walls filled with post it notes (in the digital team office at least). We allow beards and we are burning our ties, on Fridays, and we are on fleek, digitally fleek, digitally fleet. We are agile, pure agile, agile all the way. Not wagile, not scrumfall just agile, every project agile.

Our annual planning cycle is so agile that the several months each year it takes squabbling about it is agile personified, squabbles = user stories. Annual planning is a digital epic. Every year we iterate. Iterate to disintermediate, iterate to operate, digitally operate, digital operations, developer operations, Devops, we are DevOps, we put the DO and the Spe(e)d in DevOps and the. Our digital infrastructures are so ready for digital that we can do releases every second, every minute, every hour, proven by our record of digitally recovering from our non-digital outages that regularly happen but that we iterate our fixes to in real time provisioning and fault resolution orchestration.These changes are in the clouds before before they have even formed. Our clouds are so digital they are higher than clouds, stratosphere systems, serverless yet stateless, temperature controlled, hot and cold. Our service are hot. Our micro serviced, dockered, 12 factor developmental, fully automated push button provisioning and release allows us to ship COBOL to the Z-Series at speeds those so called digital folk cannot even imagine.

Imagination, imagineering, engineering for digital. We know our aaS from our ELK, oh. We are building a Bank as a Platform for Misselling as a Service. We had APIs before they were cool. We had so many APIs we called them P2P (point to point) before P2P meant something way less cool about peers. We are peerless. We are fearless. Our APIs, They are pronounced A-Piss because the take a piss over our competitors, And we wash them off with SOAP, we tell them to take a REST because they are wasting their digital time trying to catch up with our digital APIs. They cannot compete with our platforms, our ecosystems because we have done it before. We have created the ecosystems that brought you CHAPS, BACS, Faster Payments, Direct Debits and PAYM. We are the platform players, the ecosystem slayers, the adaptive middleware layers. We apply ourselves digitally to our Application Programming Interfaces, while your so called APIs are disgraces. JSON? more like ONONE.

On one. We are all one. We collaborate digitally and ephemerally we are the realtime realists bringing digital to the CSV customer lists. Lotus Notes was Slack before Slack even existed, we are digitally literate in a digitally blind world. We are digital braille. We feel the bumps of digital and we turn touch enabled digital signals into pure digital gold. Gold standard UI, User Interface, Users in there face, experiences they can almost taste. Agile User Interfaces, User Experience agility, Design first, design with the customer at the heart of everything we do, design thinking, service design, service benign. Conway’s Law has been disproved, we con in ways that leave us moved. Empathetic > pathetic. We are customer centric, our centricity is our authenticity. Centric, tantric, digitally tantric, channeling energy into our beautiful creations. Our mindfulness comes from creating digital mindsets. We hackathon daily, we are so digital we don’t call them hackathons, we call them digital disruption dynanism days, because we are so digital and IT security said the word hack had too many negative connotations.

Hackathon, smackdownathon more like. Our cyber intelligence teams repel threats daily, like swatting digital flies round digital turds. We see the threats while they are just ‘threa’. We read the digital signs for digital whines complaining about the weakness in our digital spines. We send them packing back to script kiddy land and DDOSville because we are secure, digitally secure, digitally protected for the digital future. We are the only ones Lulzing about our sec. No one is anonymous to us. We have digital eyes that stop those who digitally pry.

We are digitally secure and digitally mature. We know our customers feel secure because we are secure. We are touch ID enabled, biometrics are no longer fabled, we will scan you face, track your digital trace, we geolocate to authenticate, we scan your voice to open the gate, we don’t care if our logons really grate because we are great at keeping you safe.

You are our customers, we don’t do KYC we do KOC, we take the our from the your, we are the future, future not yore, we know our customers inside out. Honest Mr Regulator we do. We are so digital we kept track of all our customers over the years. Our digital identity processes must quell your fears. We will open accounts with a selfie, we will ensure our digital records are healthy, we ensure our favourite customers are wealthy, rich in money and rich in data, data we mine using Machine Learned Artificial Intelligences to Deep Learn the sweet burn of money in their pocket. Propensity to buy is what makes us high.

Higher plane, digital nirvana we have reached through our digitally connected workforce. Talking to our customers wherever they are, only 95% of our staff do we bar, for social media is a risk and brand damage explosions are brisk. We are trained to Tweet to show we are fleet and customers expectations we digitally meet, not because we have failed in other less digital channels. We don’t need to get better at the Internet, we are the Internet, the interchange net. We kept books before Facebook had a The, we were ephemeral in our conversations years before Snapchat deleted messages. We used to call it shredding. Now we digitally shred the superhighway.

Our surfboards are 5.5″ in size and they are where we run our daily lives. We are bank, we are mobile, we are the handheld branch there for you 24/7 in high res digital retina screen joy. Banking is no longer a place you go it is handheld thing that still says no. We are mobile first, we are customer first, we are API first, we are shareholder return first. Everything is first, our thirst for mobile shows our digital desires, our lack of wires. We are geolcating offers to augment your digital experience of the high street as you journey towards our branches to have an advisory meet. We are touch screen enabled for the swipe right generation. We were the first Tinder because our mobile interfaces are so hot that you need to swipe left and view full desktop mode occasionally just to cool down. Back to the browser because you exclaimed wowser, no way this journey can be completed on a screen so beautifully designed. Your heart would not cope, our servers would go up in smoke.

Smoking hot customer facing innovations. Frictionless not frictionmess, we are digitally slick, digitally sick, interactions with our customers make them stick, seamlessly pay, seamlessly play, seams never show as long as you interact during the day. We are digital payments innovators, mobile acceptance creators, we tokenise before your eyes, HCE yeah you know me, constantly piloting NFC. We had Apple Pay on opening day, Android Pay will show the way, their halo effect will save the day. We know our R3CEV from our EMV, we are smart contacts, smart contracts, our legacy code base will never contract. Distributed and decentralised, branches were that way before Craig Steven Wright’s lies. We are cryptographically current, we are algorithmically proved, we are on the blockchain, on the side chain, open ledgers since the 1800s, proof of work since our Lotus Notes calendars were jam packed full of digital meetings. We are digital because we gave some of our advisors in limited pilot branches tablets. Tablets is what customers need to take after seeing staff with their digital slate. Opening accounts in front of your face, real time credit decisions take place, digital interactions progress amongst the marble lined edifice. Walking customers through our digital application processes built for the web on iPads in branches proves we are omnichannel.

We are the O Mi! of Omni. We talk to our customers at a different level, our email addresses were AI years ago, DO NOT RESPOND passes the Turing Test with flying colours. We know conversations are markets, we listen first then broadcast later, two way dialogue broadcast, we talk, you buy. We talk the digital lingo, we are realtime in letter form, we are asynchronous in secure browser messaging, we are non-customer identifying on social media. All those channels to channel your aggressions. To lose your questions. To add to the digital exhaust.

Exhaust, exhausting, human interaction is too boring. We are AI first. We put the rhythm into the Algos. We make the market dance to our robo tune. We are high speed, high frequency, micro interactions via micro waves and under the waves. Digital bleeps while people sleep, having their pension pot traded from under their feet. We move markets, move needles, move faster than the speed of light, through microwaves and lightwaves and regulator waves, Oh hi Mr Regulatory yes of course we are not manipulating a thing, all done my machine these days mate. We are digital by design, we are the matrix.

The matrix of data. We are data first, data driven, from our silos fresh data insights are digitally riven. We dip or toes in our data lakes, Hadoop clusters make sense from waste, they crunch the data looking for fakes, and keep us compliant for all our sakes. We are big data, small data, realtime data, historic data, uncleansed data, data owners, data onus, we will never share with customers what the data shows us. We are open data, open to those senior enough to see, open for compliance checks, our spreadsheets are all up to date, our digital macros clearly state, the position of our digital bank, CSVs help us maintain our number one rank. Rank, rate, denigrate, our customers we will never hate, our digitalness makes us secure in our fate.

We are fintech, insurtech, regtech, bank tech, pay cheque. We are systemically important not systematically impotent. We are the the trendwatchers, the taste makers, the startup fakers. We are investing in partnerships to make us even more digital, we don’t acquihire we acquihigher. We are accelerating the Unicorns to breakneck speed. Their horns will not penetrate us for we do not bleed. We are digitally unbundling the bundled accounts that we bungled, we are digitally rebundling the unbundled to provide fun filled digital experience for the unfulfilled, underbanked, financially excluded who are rich enough to bank with us. Roboadvisors are here to surprise us, with algo run investments that run day today as long as market threats stay away. We are not afraid of Uberisation, uppity start ups are no match for regulation. Rules to keep us in line, rules that strangle startups until the end of time. Ever more regulation to run our banks, not because we have not innovated but because we innovated so much they had to slow us down. Governments bend to our digital will. We are protectedfromonhightech.

Hightech, Hi-Tec, running things digitally, digital processes allow us to be more efficient, we are lean, we are mean, on high staffing numbers we are not keen. Our efficiency is destined to reach a point, where human interaction is no longer needed. Machines have learnt, shareholders have earnt, wet signatures have been burnt, human capital has been rightsized, now dishing up nutritious fries. Surprise, delight, delight with surprise. Digital experiences deliver so much joy, redundancies will feel like bliss, return on equity targets we will not miss.

Miss. We don’t miss. We target, we zero in, we are zeros and ones. We are different, we are digitally different, we are digitally differentiatied from our digital laggard counterparts. Our legacy no longer lags, it is heritage now. We built the digital systems that have run for decades, moving money in batch form, overnight processing was the norm, we have shifted to real time because Monday to Friday 9.30 – 3.30 is branch realtime. It is the real time. Our systems take real time to evergreen and real time wipe away clean. Wipe the plate clean, our spaghetti architecture has been slurped up, and coated in a cloud native sauce with DevOps meatballs and iterative garlic bread. Start again the experts cry, you are not ready for the mobile wave of disruption, but they are wrong and we have proved that we are. We plugged our mobile apps into ATMs infrastructures. An invention from the 60s, built on proper standards and APIs before these experts were even born. We have always been digital and we always will be. People are sick and tired of experts, they are bored of them.

The board all have iPads, they work digitally, they think digitally, they have ever more digits added to their pay cheques digitally. Their digital iPads keep them on the digital pulse of the digital world. Filled by underlings with perfectly formatted two page, Times New Roman board papers, digital dashboards to show realtime the numbers their managers below want them to see. They get the digital world now. They see digital is the only way. They are digital, We are digital. Fintech ain’t shit. Digital banking is already here. Digitally deal with it losers.


Nick Potter says:

Superb! This is the sort of shtick that’s forever being forced in our faces here, but whilst the rank and file get digital, those higher up that make the decisions really don’t (with the odd exception I suppose). Example – our Head of Digital for EMEA doesn’t have a clue. He’s great at massaging the stakeholders and the business side of things, but not a clue about digital or technology, or how it should be set up/run. So of course he’s now got a promotion to have even more say over digital! Even implementing a simple new digital-based technology (which is pretty standard and widely in use elsewhere) is fraught with SAS-qualification level obstacles and interrogations. People with little to no understanding of the external digital landscape are tasked with being the gatekeepers to what can/can’t be used. And despite constantly being told we need to be nimble, I’m beginning to suspect they have redefined “nimble” to mean “able to change in around 3-5 years”!

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