The FINANCIAL — Societe Generale digital transformation acceleration, initiated several years ago, is based on two key levers, technology and innovation, to better serve clients. New technologies are innovation accelerators to better support clients whose needs and usages constantly evolve. As a traditional bank, its technological baggage needed to evolve, more particularly towards more modular and open architectures and through hybrid (private and public) cloud adoption for its infrastructures. This progress constitutes a real competitive advantage.
The culture of innovation is also a decisive factor for a successful digital transformation. Innovation and entrepreneurial culture are part of the Bank’s DNA, seeking to stimulate innovation at all levels, in all businesses and across all geographical areas.
Societe Generale has built most of the technological and cultural foundations, launched experimentations in all areas, and developed usage of digital channels by its clients in Europe, thereby strengthening its digital maturity and leadership.
The objective is now to achieve scaling up and move towards a complete integration of digital in all businesses: by giving full power to alternative disruptive businesses such as Boursorama, the leader in online banking in France, Shine (1), Prismea (2), ou Forge (3), by industrialising PoCs (Proofs of Concept) in terms of data and Atrificial Intelligence, by pursuing open innovation approach, and by developing services through integrated Bank as a Platform and Bank as a Service ecosystems, building on Treezor.
Adaptability during the Covid-19 crisis
The lockdown period has been one of intense activity for Societe Generale. Bank supported its clients by combining human and digital strengths in order to rapidly reconfigure products and services to meet their immediate needs.
Another priority was to protect employees and ensure business continuity, with the worldwide rollout of simultaneous remote working.
Societe Generale relied on the smooth functioning of IT systems around the world, in an environment of massive deployment of remote working, peaks in digital consumption by clients and increase in cybercrime.
The crisis has been a genuine global stress test of Societe Generale’s adaptability. It also revealed the relevance of its digital transformation and innovation strategy, launched several years ago to build value to its clients.
Frédéric Oudéa, CEO, comments: “Our strategy of the past several years has enabled us to build the technological foundations and infuse a culture of innovation which will remain two key levers for the success of our next strategic step. Our goal is to always bring more value to our clients and meet the economic, societal and environmental challenges which have accelerated with the crisis. The digital shift has brought us closer than ever to our clients and their concerns. Our teams are fully committed to adapting our distribution and production models, but also to inventing and growing new alternative business models, as we have been able to do with Boursorama, ALD or more recently with Treezor, Shine, Forge, Prismea which are concrete examples of the models of tomorrow. Innovation is in our DNA and, coupled with responsibility, will be a driving force to build, with our customers, a better and sustainable future.”
Co-building the Bank of tomorrow
Societe Generale’s Purpose, asserted before the crisis, is all the more relevant today in a world that is set to experience, with the crisis, major accelerations around technology, facing urgent environmental and social challenges and the deterioration of the economic outlook.
“Building together, with our clients, a better and sustainable future through responsible and innovative financial solutions.”
Guided by its Purpose, Societe Generale teams are working on the next strategic plan with three key priorities: client centricity, responsible finance and efficiency to sustainably strengthen commercial and financial competitiveness.
Innovation and technology will be key levers of this strategy, in order to:
- continue to adapt and design services that meet the changing needs of clients to offer them a high-end customer experience and a high level of satisfaction;
- go further on several CSR priorities including energy transition, responsible employer policy and their role as a trusted third party. Societe Generale is in particular committed to improving the societal impact of new technologies, in terms of transparency, data security and protection, changes in ways of working, reduction of the carbon footprint, digital inclusion and diversity;
- strengthen processing and speed capacities to serve customers and internal needs in terms of compliance, controls or reporting, by deploying the use of data and artificial intelligence in all of the Group’s businesses and functions.