One of the big topics of discussion in the industry at the moment is the need for banks to move away from being product-centric organisations to become customer-centric, as customers become increasingly influenced by their experience with other industries. As part of this, many banks are moving away from traditional product and departmental ‘silos’. But what is the right operating model for a customer-centric bank?
Maybe banks can take inspiration from Klarna, the profitable Swedish payments FinTech. Klarna set up shop in 2005 aiming to solve a customer problem; namely, removing friction from e-commerce purchases in the Nordics by creating online invoices. This problem-solving ethos is now embedded across the organisation; teams are not organised by product, function, channel, or even ‘customer journey’, but instead by ‘customer problem’. Of course, this is easier to achieve at a relatively young company with 2,000 employees instead of 200,000. But could trialling a few multi-disciplinary problem-focused teams act as a catalyst for banks in their journey towards customer-centricity?
Mr Siemiatkowski has divided Klarna and its roughly 2,000 workers into 250 teams, each focusing on a specific problem for customers and how to solve it. He gives an example of one team of eight people working on how, inside Klarna’s app, to help customers with their logistics experience when they have bought something online. “How can we speed it up, how can we visualise it? Each team is creating value,” he adds.