Each step towards higher levels of digitizing banking ways will offer up benefits across the value chain. Customers are more than willing to see their banks go this route. Image Credit: Shutterstock

At a time when the planet is facing the potentially devastating effects of climate change, countries and companies are increasingly looking at adopting sustainable ways of doing business.

In the banking sector, beyond traditional financing, banks are leveraging the latest technologies and embracing digitalization to minimize the environmental impact of their operations.

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Since every pound, every rupee, every dirham spent leaves a carbon footprint, it is essential for financial institutions and digital banks to take the lead in reducing this footprint by providing support to consumers and businesses through the creation of digital banking environments and frameworks, thereby contributing to a sustainable future.

The digital transformation in banking leverages technology architecture and infrastructure to meet the end goal of more sustainable banking operations.

Digital banking is an enormous opportunity for the financial sector to collectively define its next chapter of growth, in the UAE and beyond, and contribute to the creation of a more sustainable financial ecosystem. One that not only benefits employees, customers, and partners but also supports every stakeholder’s own sustainable transition journey towards a greener tomorrow.

Digital banking raises the sustainability bar

The rise of the conscious consumer is bringing attention to the need for more sustainable practices in banking and wider financial services. Sustainability increasingly is influencing people’s decisions when choosing who they bank with; there’s an increasing number of consumers opting for banks and financial institutions which align with their values and provide a more sustainable service offering.

In this context, banks globally are making significant strides towards accelerating digital banking and adopting greener practices in their front- and back-end processes.

Digital banking has raised the bar for sustainability by leveraging next gen technologies such as Big Data, AI, machine learning (ML), and cloud computing. Digital banks, by their very nature, are changing the narrative and embracing the expectations of their consumers to ‘do better’ and support their sustainability journeys.

A growing share of banks’ customer base now comprises ‘climate conscious’ individuals – particularly Millennials and Gen Z - who are adept to transacting digitally. As a result, addressing sustainability requirements are no longer just a matter of meeting regulatory and compliance standards, but also about creating product offerings that resonate with an emerging digitally-native and sustainability-focused customer base.

Some digital banks have introduced innovative features that encourage climate-positive behavior in customers, such as paperless processes, quick account opening, and instant loans. These features not only make banking easy and convenient but also contribute to reducing the carbon footprint associated with traditional banking operations.

Additionally, digital banks are actively working with like-minded partners to introduce path-breaking digital services that further reduce the environmental impact of banking.

Winds of ‘digital change’

As players in a service-oriented sector, banks play a strategic role in driving sustainability practices among consumers, which is even more accentuated in the climate situation. The sector is leveraging technology to evolve and align with the new generation of climate-conscious consumers’ expectations. At the same time, banking institutions are working together with like-minded partners to introduce path-breaking digital services that not only make banking easy and convenient, but also reduce the carbon footprint of banking operations.

Regional financial institutions recognize the importance of promoting sustainable ethos in all areas that matter to their customers, partners, and the community. Empowering customers with sustainability knowledge is a cornerstone solution to addressing the climate crisis.

This is why banks are actively exploring innovative ways to help customers take meaningful steps towards a more sustainable future. Through collaboration and continuous improvements, the banking sector can contribute to a greener tomorrow for all.