Thinking I Blog

Definition of Crypto Values: Current Money Laundering Bill of the German Federal Ministry of Finance

For the purpose of this law, crypto-values are digital representations of a value that has not been issued or guaranteed by any central bank or public agency and that does not have the legal status of a currency or money.

One thing is clear: The German Federal Ministry of Finance also assumes that crypto values will establish themselves in the financial, economic and social systems.

Overall, the word crypto appears 45 times on 11 pages in the draft.

Excerpt / Definition:

"For the purpose of this law, crypto-values are digital representations of a value that has not been issued or guaranteed by any central bank or public agency and that does not have the legal status of a currency or money. Crypto values are values that are accepted or used as investment or currency by natural or legal persons by agreement or actual practice, and that can be transferred, stored and traded electronically "

(Page 38)


Respective PDF;jsessionid=461EFAB0C52AED878D0E182B92D8CF06?__blob=publicationFile&v=4

Published in Definition-of-Crypto-Values-by-the-German-Federal-Ministry-of-Finance on 06.06.2019 9:34 Uhr. 0 commentsComment here

Bitcoin - Gold of the Future

Should the Bitcoin actually develop into digital gold, then further, enormous increases in value are to be expected.It's not about Bitcoin replacing gold.But Bitcoin creates a new, additional asset class.And I therefore expect Bitcoin to establish itself as a digital asset in the wallets and portfolios of hundreds of millions of people in the not-too-distant future.

Since peaking at just under USD 20,000 on December 17, 2017, Bitcoin has lost a good two-thirds of its value. And according to Google Trends even more than 80% interest. In terms of Gartner terminology: the Bitcoin is currently in the Valley of Disappointment. More precisely, currently the fourth time, after June 2011, April 2013 and December 2013. 

Bitcoin vs gold : facts & figures

Read all here:

Published in Bitcoin-Goldof-the-Future on 05.06.2019 12:49 Uhr. 0 commentsComment here

Service Design and Technology in Retail Banking

Design is not limited to products. Design can also be applied to banking services to generate better results. First retail banks design branches, online banking and bank customer experience. New technology and renewed IT landscapes play an essential role to enable service design in retail banking.

Design matters

Audi TT, Apple iPhone, bulthaup kitchen, Braun Pulsonic shaver and Bang & Olufsen BeoSound are products, which all come with great design and address retail markets. Designed retail products sell at higher prices and with better margins. E.g. an Apple iPhone comes with a great unique design and an up to 100% higher price than comparable cell phones.

Many people think design is limited to physical goods and products. But you also can design services. An example of service design is the great customer experience delivered by Ritz Carlton hotels. Guest satisfaction is their highest mission. E.g., when a room attendant sees an empty soft drink container in a guest's room, the type of beverage is noted. The next time a guest stays at any Ritz-Carlton, globally, that soft drink will be waiting on ice in the room. They don't just offer a hotel room – they offer an experience. Ritz Carlton is spending 120 hours on service training per employee per year. And this pays off. Ritz Carlton is able to charge a 30% price premium. Further examples of great service design are the recruitment service hello change! and Presby Neuro Clinic.

A recent Retail Banking Satisfaction Survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, an US research firm, reveals suffering bank customer loyalty. In addition due to the financial crisis many customers did loose trust into their banks. So, it is a matter of time until banks will discover how to leverage service design in retail banking to inspire their customers and to regain trust and loyalty.

Good bank customer experience can be designed 

Actually, you can already observe first service design experiments of retail banks. Q110 – The Deutsche Bank of the Future in Berlin is a branch without barriers. The banks’ customers are called guests. Advisors and bank guests meet each other at a comfortable lounge and friendly atmosphere.

The different approach towards design starts with the branch architecture. The bank branch was not designed by a typically bank branch architect. Q110was designed by architects who usually design Tommy Hilfiger and TOM TAILOR retail stores. The bank products come in special designed aluminium boxes and sales processes like “to welcome bank guests” and “account opening” are designed and trained restlessly by branch staff. 

Finally, it is remarkable how Q110 makes use of new technologies. One example of outstanding customer experience design and use of technology is the deployment of Microsoft Surface™. Bank guest and advisor do jointly navigate through complex financial matters by simply touching a large table screen. In context of advisory of retirement provision Q110 has doubled sales.  

Good online banking experience can be designed

Websites of todays’ banks all look alike and deliver a bad user and customer experience. Text and figures dominate. And most bank websites lack of a visual experience, bright colours, dynamic content and modern design. 


Though, it can be done differently. Newly designed bank websites make good use of colours, are easily to read, have meaningful visuals, make use of quality photography, keep the website as simple as possible and provide an experience. An example of great web design in retail banking is SalemFive

The U.S. based bank has a strong philosophy to listen to their customers to make banking a better experience. The website of SalemFive is extremely visual, combines bold photos and bright colours with dynamic content and modern design. The bank has created its own, unique branded online experience. Another example of customer experience design in retail banking is  The free online service of brings all financial accounts of their customers together online, automatically categorizes transactions, lets set budgets and helps to achieve savings goals. 

New IT landscapes will enable service design

Most traditional retail banks struggle to design similar branch or online banking customer experiences. Reasons are lack of understanding, skills and foresight. Another reason is the limitation to adapt new technologies efficiently in order to design bank services for better customer experience. While Deutsche Bank is able to create a great customer experience in Q110 the bank is limited by the inflexibility of its 30+ years old legacy IT landscape to efficiently integrate and roll out proven Q110sales technologies and processes to all other 1,500 retail branches in Europe. In 2010 Deutsche Bank has started a replacement of its IT landscape by implementing a much more flexible and modern core banking system from SAP.

The example of Deutsche Bank shows, it is not enough to design great customer experience in one branch.  There is a need of retail banks to renew their legacy IT landscapes to enable service design across all sales channels like branch, internet and mobile internet.

Links, Deutsche Bank of the Future, Berlin, Germany

Published in Service-Design-and-Technology-in-Retail-Banking on 29.05.2019 12:31 Uhr. 0 commentsComment here

Best Practice Driven Core Banking System Transformation

Between 2005 and 2010 I have analyzed more than 100 core banking system implementations, globally and derived best practices for successful program delivery. Here the first six best practices which I have identified to run a successful core banking system transformation.

In February 2011 we learned that the Irish bank AIB is suing Oracle over a failed, €84 million implementation of its Flexcube banking software. And in July 2011 the Union Bank of Carlifornia has cancelled the implementation of Infosys’ Finacle Solutions - two years after the start of the program. A Boston Consultant Group survey on Renewing Core Banking IT Systems in May 2006 reports that all survey participants said that they had struggled to deal with expanding project scope and changing requirements.

Experience shows that there is a high failure rate of core banking system implementations. We can assume that 25% of core banking system transformations fail without any results, 50% do not achieve the transformation objectives - costs and implementation times double or triple and only 25% of the transformations can be called successful.

Possible causes of the bad success rates of core banking system transformations are widely unknown. Concerned banks, integrators and core banking system vendors keep quiet about failed implementations. 

Bent Flyvbjerg, professor at Oxford University, studies megaprojects. Generally spoken, he argues that people involved in mega projects overestimate their capabilities and underestimate risks. His late research indicates that black swans (very rare events with large scale impact) occur much more often in software mega projects than in any other mega project. Applied to core banking system transformations this means that there is a high likelihood that a single aspect handled wrongly leads to a disaster of the transformation as a whole.

Therefore it is essential for a successful core banking system transformation to understand, plan, control and execute all aspects of a CBS transformation program, comprehensively.

Over the last five years I have analysed more than 100 core banking system implementations, globally and derived best practices for successful program delivery.

Here the first six best practices which I have identified to run a successful core banking system transformation

  1. 1.Shared Strategy: Strategy, objectives and scope are widely shared and changes are managed well by all stakeholder group

  1. 2.Prepared Business Processes: All as-is and to-be business processes well documented and maintained in BPM tool, roadmap in place and maintained

  1. 3.Measurable Benefits: Detailed phased business and benefit plans are followed up and kept up-to-date

  1. 4.Minimum Customization: Customization requirements are kept minimal and are well known to all stakeholders, documented, put into contracts and budgeted 

  1. 5.Real Partnership: Vendor is seen and respected and trusted as partner, agreed split of responsibilities, good communication, both partner help each other if necessary regardless of responsibilities

  1. 6.Strong Governance: Flexible governance structures across landscape, portfolio, program and projects in place. Interdependencies are well understood and managed actively.

At this point in time it is clear that the identified best practices are not sufficient to ensure a successful core banking system transformation. But knowing the occurrence of black swans in mega projects it seems to be obvious that if a bank manages one of the six best practices badly the bank will suffer significantly and add another case to the list of unsuccessful core banking system transformations.

Links Boston Consultant Group survey on Renewing Core Banking IT Systems ,May 2006 Black Swan Theory by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Published in Best-Practice-Driven-Core-Banking-System-Transformation on 29.05.2019 12:19 Uhr. 0 commentsComment here

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