Digital Day: "People remain the focus"
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Digital Day: "People remain the focus"

Digitalization is defined by many trends – technology, innovations, ecosystems. In this interview, Anke Bridge Haux, Head of Digitalization & Products at Credit Suisse, talks about these developments.

Ms. Bridge Haux, digital transformation has been sweeping through the economy and the financial sector at breakneck speed. What will the bank of tomorrow look like?

The bank of tomorrow needs to be flexible and innovative. But most importantly, it needs to provide its products and services the way clients want: simple, modular, and tailored to their needs. It's a journey that we continuously shape based on individual life situations and the resulting client needs – all supported by new technologies. The bank of tomorrow needs to go where its clients are, not the other way around.

In your opinion, which digital trends are having the greatest effect on the banking world?

The key question we as a bank ask ourselves in relation to digital trends is this: How do clients want to interact with us in the future? While some clients consider personal interaction with a client advisor essential, others want to use services primarily via digital channels. It's crucial that we as a bank can provide a combination of personal advice and digital offers. In addition, we're increasingly working in so-called "ecosystems." We're convinced of their relevance to our clients, so that they always have access to our services when they need them. Open banking is already a reality for corporate clients at Credit Suisse. For us as a bank, that means we'll continue to expand our partnerships – in particular with fintechs.

What is Credit Suisse's vision for digitalization?

Digitalization isn't an end in itself: It arises from client needs. Our clients tell us what their exact needs and desires are, and what they expect from their bank. We then develop and test digital solutions together with our customers in our own User Experience Lab. We continuously optimize our digital solutions based on the feedback we receive from our clients. Digitalization should support, complement, and simplify banking.

What is it about digital transformation that fascinates you personally?

It's an exciting mixture of technology, innovation, banking, products and services. It offers unimaginable technological possibilities. However, the focus is always on people. It's about finding the best solutions for our clients. I find that very exciting.

You said that people are the main focus of digitalization. Emotions such as trust – or uncertainty, for that matter – are very human, especially when we talk about unimagined possibilities. Do you see this as the biggest challenge?

Digitalization isn't just about making the most of new opportunities – it's also about detecting potential risks. Technical progress is accompanied by the growth of cybercrime – a problem of the utmost importance for banks. The trustworthy handling of data and data security is of top priority for Credit Suisse.

Are there ways I can protect myself as a client?

The security of online and mobile banking is our top priority as a bank. One important security factor is alertness on the part of clients themselves. Here, we see additional potential for more conscious behavior and targeted measures. That's the basis for our appearance at this year's Digital Day and our new campaign, "Better safe than sorry."

Digitalization isn't an end in itself.

Anke Bridge Haux

What's the campaign about?

There are many motives for cyberattacks. The methods spread very quickly, and are constantly being refined. We aim to ensure that clients are more alert about security, and help them realize the importance of personal information security – with the help of explanations, education, and networking. Do you use a camera blocker? How often do you delete your internet cookies? Could you remove malicious software from your computer? We offer safety tips, personal security checklists, and online tools to check your PC for vulnerabilities. Here we can rely on the support of our partners, the "Swiss Internet Security Alliance" (SISA) and "eBanking – but secure!" (EBAS).

So not everything that glitters is gold?

One of my favorite quotes comes from Apple founder Steve Jobs, from his commencement speech to graduates of Stanford University: "Stay hungry, stay curious." A critical eye is certainly very important. But at the same time, we can't be fearful and stand in our own way. Digitalization will be a part of the future, and our clients are the drivers of change.