In the two years since he joined Lloyds Banking Group following a stint as a consultant and an MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School, Piers Sanders has taken the reigns of key projects which have pushed forward the Group’s digital thinking.
As the Digital Partnerships Lead at Lloyds Banking Group, Piers was responsible for setting up a strategic collaboration between the bank and Google, one of the world’s leading digital companies.
The experience opened his eyes to the amazing possibilities that only a collaboration with a major organisation like Google can offer.
“We wanted additional functionality on a Google analytics tool we were testing,” he recalled. “We spoke to them during the week, and the tool was built by the Google engineers that weekend in Mountain View and rolled out globally. Having that sort of agile relationship with a digital leader like Google is amazing. Co-creation allows us to do more, more quickly and drive quality for customers.”
There’s no disputing that Piers is an enthusiastic proponent of digital. But while he works in the Fintech sector, he believes that the term ‘Fintech’ is somewhat misleading.
“The real focus should be on the overall digital ecosystem, not just the bit that relates to finance or banking,” Piers said.
“Financial services need to learn from other industries. Some of the big changes that may be implemented in banking won’t necessarily have started life in a company that refers to itself as Fintech.”
Piers cites the increasing interest and focus on data analytics as an example of a digital capability that promises to revolutionise the banking industry, and he believes that it’s one of the most important developments in the digital realm in recent years.
“As data sets become more available, and as the idea of data marketplaces grows, there is a massive opportunity for the world to be optimised and new value to be created,” Piers enthused.
“For example, I’ve just installed Nest at home, and I can see that home-based Internet-enabled devices will proliferate and new sources of data will become available. We are using data in smarter ways to improve all areas of our lives.”
The benefits of a data-led economy are many and far-reaching. The growth of data analytics augurs a world that provides better customer service, personalised propositions, and more efficient processes within businesses and organisations. Furthermore, this is the start of individuals being able to better understand their own lifestyle and improve their health and overall standard of life.
When asked about his predictions for the Fintech industry for the next 12 months, Piers foresees a move towards increased integration between Fintech firms and major players, where all parties will evolve from competing to collaborating, sharing knowledge, expertise and resources.
Piers is also convinced that banks are set to become more of an enabler, rather than just a service.
“In the future banks may serve customers through new channels and digital partners. We don’t know how this will land, but as a bank we need to follow what our customers’ needs are and engage with them when and where they want us.”
Interested in the work that Piers Sanders and his team does? Find out more about a career at Lloyds here