TORSTEN HENNING HENSEL
PARTNER // CREATIVE CONSULTANT
THE PROSUMER BANK
A COLLECTION OF THOUGHTS FOR BANKING 2.0
BERLIN // OCTOBER 2009
The collapse of our ﬁnancial system has inspired not
merely a national but a global crisis of conﬁdence.
Good God, the world seems to be saying, if they don’t
know what they are doing with money, who does?
Global Rage at Bankers' Bonus Excesses
Banks around the world may have made huge losses and be reliant on state bailouts to survive,
but they're still paying out huge bonuses to their top staff. The popular outcry against the greed
is growing – but few bankers are willing to go without the cash. Der Spiegel / Published: 20 Feb 2009
Losses derived from the crisis: $3.4 trillion
Since the onset of the crisis in mid 2007, banks have written down $1.3 trillion worth of loans
and securities which were effectively proved worthless, while IMF expects a further $1.5 trillion of
“actual and potential writedowns” yet to be recognised by the end of 2010. Telegraph / UK / Published: 30 Sep 2009
a global crisis of conﬁdence.
Recent data on consumer conﬁdence suggests that households are quite pessimistic on
the severity of the current ﬁnancial crisis, and its impact on the economy at large.
Conﬁdence indicators for OECD member countries in recent months have witnessed an
almost unprecedented collapse, with some levels falling to the lowest on record.
OECD / Published: 06 Feb 2009
If the ﬁnancial markets industry is to prosper
again, it must primarily fulﬁll the promises it makes.
Most ﬁnancial markets ﬁrms have brands that
implicitly promise to provide agility and stability,
and to focus on the interests of their customers.
In practice, however, the opposite is often true.
We're not in the business of satisfying customers.
We‘re in the business of making money...*
* Paraphrase of a quotation of Trevor Edwards, VP Global Brand & Category Management at Nike:
”We’re not in the business of keeping the media companies alive. We’re in the business of connecting with consumers.”
modes of value creation
modes of delivery
Markets are conversations.
Companies need to come down from their Ivory
Towers and talk to the people with whom they hope
to create relationships.
The dominant logic that an enterprise utilizes is
difﬁcult to change. It‘s somehow like the shift from
the Ptolemaic view of the universe (earth-centered)
to the Copernican view (sun-centered).
We are used to have a goods view of the economy, looking from the glass of a Goods-Dominant
logic. Now a service mindset called Service-Dominant logic is available to serve as a foundation in
In Service-Dominant Logic, service has a process orientation. Service is deﬁned as the application
of competences (knowledge and skills) for the beneﬁt of another entity, rather than the production
of units of output. Goods remain important in Service-Dominant logic, as vehicles for resource
transmission (tools and appliances), rather than containers of value.
In the Service era we shift the focus from “Producing” of goods that are value enhancing add-ons,
where the value creation happens with resource acquisition, to "Resourcing", where value creation
happens when a potential resource is turned into a speciﬁc beneﬁt. Resourcing allows value
creation through collaborative value co-creation.
This perspective prompts the organization to consider not only its employees’ productivity but also
the productivity of the consumer.
The prosumer is the opposite to the passive
consumer, taking an active role as the individual
gets more involved in the process.
Innovation in the 21st century is much more than
invention. It’s open, multidisciplinary and inherently
collaborative — taking place with customers,
across communities and among millions of people
who will never meet.
For banks, this means:
Innovating together with their customers around the
way their customers live, work and play.
client wants and what it will actually value and pay fo
There is often a disconnect between what a bank thinks a nificant
exact questio n and what we found is that there are sig
So what will a client value and pay for today? We asked that ey will value. It really revolved around thre
iders think th
disconnects between w hat clients say they value and what prov
p items that clients valued: trust, service and products.
major discon nects and what I will say are the three to
ally has to
reputation an d integrity.When I talk about service, it re
By trust, I really m ean a greater level of transparency, also when we
ing the real, true, unbiased advisor to the client.And
do with things like de livering service excellence, as well as be the
lass produc ts in a fast time-to-market and creating
talk about products, it re ally has to do around innovating world-c
level of custom ization and tailoring around the clients.
Imagine a bank that can communicate to their customers
through any mode of communications that the client chooses.
You know, proactive alerts around things like a CD coming due
or a deposit that has just hit your bank account or new
Imagine a bank that could, with your permission, look at your
expenses, maybe your utility bill and compare it to your
neighbors’, and can proactively advise you on not only how to
reduce your expenses but also how to become more green.
That is a smarter bank.
Imagine then if it were possible to offer a service in a more
personal, intimate context, reaching into the customer’s social
Imagine a service that is proactive, attentive, ﬁnally able to
support the customer’s ﬁnancial decisions; not only the
That is a smarter bank.
The Open Bank
This bank would feature radical transparency: full disclosure of performance and compensation.
The group decided that a banker should not sell a product unless he could pass a test about it. They
even decided that there had to be a means to conﬁrm that customers understood what they were
buying. They proposed collective risk assessment, creating a means for its constituents to select
and perhaps vote on investments. They explored how to offer transparency on each product and
customers’ performance with them so that you could compare your returns with fellow customers.
And they argued that bankers should be compensated on proﬁt. It wouldn’t be an easy business to
run; being answerable is hard. I said later that its slogan should be, “the only bank you can trust.”
That is what would make it successful.
Jeff Jarvis, associate professor at the City of New York University
Competition in banking will increasingly revolve around the customer experience, an experience that
will be delivered in a predominantly digital context. The Frank Bank incorporates all the Web 2.0
concepts like tagging, gadgets (small applications you can add) and personalization of data. On top of
that it lets you administer your budget with fancy bar- and piecharts and gives you different views on
your data. Banking for the digital native to love.
The Googley thing to do would be to seek innovations that make the whole banking business
more efﬁcient and better able to serve people’s needs. Googlers would ﬁgure that whatever
makes the banking business better would help Google even if it also helps Google’s
“competitors”. (A rising tide helps all boats — including Google’s) So, Google would address
issues of the banking business’ infrastructure. For instance, you might see development of an
open-source banking platform and the development of open-source banking applications. The
idea would be that providing such a platform and apps would reduce the cost-structure of the
business while also reducing cost of adoption of the new applications. Reducing cost of
implementing new applications would tend to cause them to be more widely offered and thus
tend to generate more demand for Google’s own implementations of the applications. Open
sourcing the platform would encourage others to also build open-source apps on the same
platform and thus make it easier for Google to expand its own services with applications
which come from other platform users’ innovation.
Disney makes banking an adventure
The Great Piggy Bank Adventure is an interactive experience that brings basic savings and investment
concepts to life in a fun way. The attraction includes a series of games that teach guests how to set
goals, save and spend smartly, stay ahead of inﬂation and diversify investments.
Make your bank a consumer centric bank.