At the 4th HHL International Investors Day, Dr. Jan Wiedei, Head of Digital Sales at Deutsche Postbank AG, gives a keynote address on ‘The Digitization of Financial Services’. In the following interview, he elaborates on this topic including the effects of artificial intelligence (AI) and software as a service (SaaS) and talks about the partnership between the banking house and HHL.
1) The financial industry is going through major changes due to digitalization. What is your assessment of this development?
Digital Business and Digitalization is probably the most discussed word in the last two years. Common sense says that something big is coming. It will affect growth, efficiency, technology and culture. However, companies tend to view the required actions differently; Some financial institutions view digital as a discussion about apps, others view it as having the potential to significantly alter business patterns, USPs and the way we create value for clients, shareholders and employees. Traditional ways of running the business will change significantly.
2) How do AI and/or SaaS affect your industry, the financial service sector?
Both are significant. AI will find its place, especially in sales and services, in daily banking. Look at call centers; it is likely that in a few years AI answers the plain vanilla questions directly and an agent concentrates on the complex ones. With SaaS, it’s the same situation; financial institutions invest huge amounts of money and focus, for example, on being compliant with the regulations. Is that a USP in itself? No. So why not share this cost?
3) How does Postbank benefit from the collaboration with HHL?
Our specific view on banking is personal and digital. Understanding that digital is big, fast and ‘different’, you have to be part of the eco system. There is not THE ONE right answer – therefore, you have to observe, learn, discuss and collaborate. We have chosen HHL as one of our key partnerships.