Preparing the shop for the day after tomorrow

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Illustration with several devices

Nowadays almost everything is digital – also at ABN AMRO. Fewer and fewer clients visit their local branches, much preferring to do their banking online. Although some people use their browsers, the mobile banking app for smartphones and tablets is now the most popular tool. Around eighteen months ago ABN AMRO set up a new Digital Banking department. Online strategist Thomas van Tienoven is a member of Retail Banking’s Digital Strategy team.

More and more of our interactions with clients are online, and they’re not nearly as formal as they once were. Thomas van Tienoven Thomas van Tienoven Online strategist Digital Banking

As an online strategist, it is Thomas’s job to develop visions and strategies to reinforce the long-term relationships between the bank and its clients using online resources. He explains, ‘Our strategy team look for new products and services that ensure speed, convenience and a personal touch for our clients looking ahead to the more distant future. What technologies will emerge that will change the way we make payments? How should the bank handle those changes?’

Tomorrow’s greengrocer

‘Strategy’ can be an abstract term. Thomas uses an elegant comparison to explain what his team adds to Digital Banking. ‘I always compare what we do to a greengrocer’s. Our people in e-Commerce are responsible for the day-to-day running of the shop. The Digital Development team prepare the shop for tomorrow: they take a careful look at what’s in stock and decide to move the oranges to the front. The Strategy team prepare the shop for the day after tomorrow. We decide how to set up the shop for the more distant future. What will happen if we buy different kinds of vegetables? How will that impact our sales? These three teams work together to lift the bank to the next digital level.’

Gone are the suits and ties

During his time with Digital Banking, Thomas has discovered that things are done differently than he had initially expected. The lack of formality makes it an enjoyable place to work. ‘More and more of our interactions with clients are online, and they’re not nearly as formal as they once were. Formality is disappearing from what our clients expect and how they live. This is reflected on the work floor. Many of the Digital Banking team are ‘early adopters’, who follow the latest trends on the market. This creates a cool, tech-savvy atmosphere. Things are very informal, and that’s the way our generation does it. Nowadays it’s very unusual to see a suit.’

To find out more about the Digital Banking department, click here.

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