noun mav·er·ick \ˈmav-rik, ˈma-və-\

An independent individual who does not go along with a group or party; one who chooses a road less traveled.

Maverick.  I always liked that word. It really has a nice “ring” to it, and apart from the 1960s television series, it reminds me of the very first car that I purchased – my very own Ford Maverick.


Photo by ‘Collector Car Ads

When applying for a line of credit to purchase the car, the bank provided me with a unique customer service experience that stays with me to this day – the honor of a personal meeting with the President of First Bank & Trust.

It was only a small and simple gesture by today’s standards – but 30 years has gone by and I’ve never forgotten the personal “touch” that transformed me into a loyal customer, and helped me get my first set of stylish wheels.

In today’s digital world, financial institutions are really challenged to offer more personalized services. Today’s banking customers expect relevant, expert and timely service at all times, and they are willing to shop around to get it.

But the only way for banks to deliver personalized and contextualized services at scale is by leveraging forward-thinking digital methods and technologies – the tools of the digital maverick…


If you’re charged with leading digital change in a financial services organization, these are the three important areas I would recommend that you build into your digital transformation strategy:



This one seems obvious, but it is just so incredibly important. For today’s customers it is easier than ever to create a new bank account, and as customers continue to diversify their banking portfolios, if you aren’t delivering a unified “omni-channel” experience (acting like one business rather than several), then there really is no advantage to the customer in keeping their different banking needs with you. This threat of customer attrition is compounded by the new and innovative FinTech companies sweeping in to deliver much more digitally agile financial services.

The world has changed. Today’s customers want to conduct transactional events anytime, anywhere and they know that every financial institution has stored all kinds of personal information. This data holds valuable insights and contextual knowledge that will allow your allows employees to serve the customers better across every touch points. Whether they walk into the bank, visit the website, or make a phone call, you need to be able to serve them right there and then with exactly the service they need immediately, because every part of your business understands that customer personally.



For every large business transforming for the digital economy, legacy technology is a major limitation. Financial services organizations are no exception. Yesterday’s systems of record are deeply integrated into every enterprise organization, and they hold a wealth of essential customer information that is vital to the future of that company. But they are also rigid systems, closed to change and built for security rather than agility. And itts not easy to just replace these legacy systems overnight – not even remotely possible in fact – it’s not an option.


The leading strategy of forward-thinking organizations led by digital mavericks is to wrap an agile digital process layer around the existing siloed IT systems and streamline it. This essential agile layer becomes the orchestration engine that provides a single version of truth across customers and products – displayed through employee applications. And right now, the ability to deliver these advancements fast is non-negotiable. That’s why many digital leaders are adopting a low-code development approach that allows them to deliver business value faster, whilst also creating a system this is more supportive of adaptation and innovation in the future.




It’s often repeated that digital transformation is not a journey, but a destination – which is why an essential part of your strategy will be to make sure that you’ll be able to be a maverick next year, and the year after that. You’re not just going to transform and then stop.

Business and IT working together will foster and accelerate your innovation.  By “taking a road less traveled,” you can find a new way to rapidly experiment with new solutions and try new ideas, fail fast and course correct where necessary – just as new digitally born businesses do.

When you’re innovating in this way, your options become much wider, you start to think in a whole new way. Many organizations for example are partnering with more and more third-party technologies to create a competitive advantage and delight customers (e.g. digital signatures like e-signature, voice signatures, sourcing identification or other information from the system of record using APIs and more.) I’ve even heard stories of banks creating alliances and combining resources with competitors to innovate the industry before digital disruptors do.



By actually delivering on these three factors, you can be one of the few mavericks that leads the financial services industry in 2017. You have the opportunity to discover your competitive advantage in your market – and protect your business from digital disruption.

If you can do this, you’ll be a digital maverick, and customers might be writing blog posts about your efforts and services in 30 years’ time…

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