The International Confederation of Popular Banks (CIBP) is leading a global research initiative to explore how co-operatives could benefit from increased collaboration.
CIBP members operate in 11 countries. Out of 15 institutions, 14 are national federations or central institutions of cooperative and popular banks that have co-operative statute and governance. Called GRACE16, the project aims to help co-operatives take advantage of the opportunities brought about by the “age of information”.
Andrea Karner, secretary general of CIBP, said: “Our research, conducted by Dr Filippopoulos of Shakesteer, is a dive into the core of our novel model, Designing Tomorrow’s Cooperative Banks, which we presented with great success at our World Congress in Rio de Janeiro in October 2015.
It is now time to […] explore the way different co-ops can work together in this economic ecosystem made of co-operatives and co-operative members.
“This study is the result of an international SWOT assessment of cooperative and popular banks’ current business model, as well as of an international dialogue on value innovation.
“We envisioned a novel, superior co-operative business model that compels co-ops to foster innovation, intelligence and a new form of collaborative commerce better suited for the ‘age of information’.
“Within this collaborative ecosystem, all players, customers, members, partners and of course banks are empowered to interact, co-develop and co-deliver novel or complementary superior value-added services and make better use of time and resources. It is now time to assess the cross-sector challenges and explore the way different co-ops can work together in this economic ecosystem made of co-operatives and co-operative members.”
As part of the research, CIBP has launched an online questionnaire to find out how co-operators feel about creating a collaborative system where enterprises could exchange information and even data to improve the services they offer to their members.
The survey looks at different ways in which co-operatives could share knowledge and data, including via online platforms and compatible digital technologies to optimise their supply and distribution channels. Another option analysed is collecting data in a common database for all co-operatives to help them customise services for their members.
GRACE16 stands for Global Research on Augmented Collaborative Economy 2016. “As we define it, GRACE16 represents a new way of thinking about cooperativism, value generation, market creation and development, exchanges and interactions within the coop community,” added Ms Karner.
She explained that CIBP members identified four main challenges that impacted on their business: competition on a large scale and non-bank players, strict regulations, lack of innovative culture and IT progress & digitalisation.
“Thanks also to the talks we had during our World Congress – Innovation Strengthening Cooperative and Popular Banks in Rio, cooperative and popular banks are rethinking the way to innovate and to deal with digital advancements. Like other companies, cooperatives and popular banks have to embrace the digital revolution. It is not a question of whether to go digital or not, but how to identify the best digital strategy for the business.
“At CIBP, the whole team is working on the topic: How can cooperative and popular banks better serve their members and customers?
“Some of our members are running the Omnichannel strategy. In future, customers and members will visit the branch far less frequently, most of them have already moved online. Consequently, banks do no longer primarily collect knowledge about their members and customers while talking to them face to face.
“Instead, they gather information across all channels. This is where smart data analysis comes in, helping banks to evaluate the collected data so that they can identify customers and members’ individual needs to ascertain the best way of making an actual offer to a member or a customer, as well as when and where,” she added.
The findings of the study will be presented at the third International Summit of Co-operatives in Quebec on 11-13 October. CIBP has been a sponsoring partner of the International Summit of Cooperatives since the first edition.
In addition to presenting the results of the survey, CIBP will also be hosting two side events at the summit. “The expectations for the next one are very high. We are looking forward to all inspiring sessions of this insightful event,” said Ms Karner.
- For further information and to take part in the survey visit: cibplab.wix.com/