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Cocktail vs. Mocktail in Banking

March 13, 2019 - Vishnudatta K Principal Consultant, Infosys Finacle

Let me start with a disclaimer and a couple of definitions:

The disclaimer:

I am a tee-to-tal-er and by that definition I do not advocate consumption of alcohol in any form!

And now couple of definitions:

  • Mocktail:
    Cocktails are alcoholic drinks made by mixing alcoholic drinks with soft drinks, fruit juices or other alcohols. Mocktails are non-alcoholic drinks made by mixing different fruit juices, iced tea or soft drinks. Mocktails are so named because they mock the cocktails i.e. they look like cocktails but are non-alcoholic (source: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-a-mocktail-and-a-cocktail )
  • For the purpose of this blog, anything that is original is a cocktail and the one that is derived, or mocks or is a variant of the original is a mocktail. For e.g., physical store businesses: cocktail, eCommerce: mocktail!

Digitalization has touched almost every aspect of our life in some or the other way and we see a lot of innovation driven by digitization. But a quick look at it also reveals that most of the innovations actually mimic, mock or are derived from the already existing ways of doing things. They just elevate the same to next level.
Swiggy, zomato probably can trace their genesis to the unique dabbawala services of Mumbai.
eCommerce is the digital extension of what we saw in the form of super markets, departmental stores.
And now, digital only banks – they are bringing the eCommerce behavior on top of traditional banking experience to bring the best of both the worlds together.

Digital mocktail:
Mocktail provides a lot more variety and the possibility to customize and personalize at an affordable cost which roughly translates to what digital banking is doing now.
Digital banking thrives on technology to provide quite personalized banking experience stemming out of core banking services and thus is able to create variants swiftly and at a reasonable cost.

I tried understanding what I call the mocktail vs. cocktail phenomenon further, and what became increasingly clear to me is that due to the advent of mocktails and their acceptance, a new customer segment has emerged. What is also noteworthy is that mocktails can be consumed anywhere, anytime which makes it is a must-have at most places.
Similarly, in digital banking, cross-channel and multi-channel digital service appeal to the next generation of users and allow them to bank anytime, anywhere at their convenience.

Now let’s see this analogy from a different and interesting perspective.
We have seen that most places which are licensed to offer cocktail, do offer mocktails but the vice versa is not true. The former take pride in their core offering. Mocktails are offered as an add-on to prevent losing some of the customers who accompany the core customers!
Do I see such a mind set with some of the traditional banks, to an extent? The answer is yes, isn’t it?

Extending this further, some things just get better with time and so are some banks which have put in years of service to be known for their specialized and niche offering. This is where they probably command premium which basically means that it takes a while to build expertise and branding around it.

Platformification in banking allows new-gen banks to offer lots of variety, and at times they spread too thin to offer everything under the sun. This is probably where customers who look for specific and specialized skillset may not find what they are looking for.

Hence it is important for banks to identify their true strength, real needs of their customers and thus accordingly plan what they need to offer – a cocktail and a mocktail, only mocktail or a hybrid!

And whether cocktail or mocktail or both, what really matters for banks is to serve their customers with the best and provide value for money.

So what’s going to be your drink?

Vishnudatta K

Principal Consultant, Infosys Finacle

More blogs from Vishnudatta K >

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One thought on “Cocktail vs. Mocktail in Banking

  • The disclaimers is so cool vishnu. Really a unique way of making us understand the concept of platform banking. Thanks for this blog vishnu.

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