Ref: IMD-7-2357

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2357

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Bank Cler and Zak: How to succeed in digital banking

Mariateresa Vacalli is CEO of Bank Cler, a subsidiary of the larger Basler Kantonalbank (BKB), a traditional local incumbent in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. She needs to secure the successful future of Bank Cler and its mobile bank Zak, in an increasingly digitally connected and competitive space. The variety of disruptive business models with a range of online financial services offerings backed by traditional banks, foreign competitors and fintechs poses a complex challenge. After attracting many customers following its launch in 2018, Bank Cler’s mobile-only bank Zak has seen its number of customers stagnating. Having analyzed the business models of other digital banks and the threat of tech giants entering and competing in the Swiss market, Mariateresa needs to choose whether to focus on the existing omnichannel strategy and customer segments or expand internationally.

Learning Objective

  • The case allows students to step into the shoes of the CEO of Bank Cler, a subsidiary the traditional BKB bank and to choose between strategic options for its digital bank Zak to respond to increasing competition from digital banks and startups in the financial services space. Assessing information about digital offerings, disruptive and traditional players, and market dynamics encourages comparisons of value curves, Business Model Canvases and Strategy Diamonds to justify the strategic choice.
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Reference: IMD-7-2357

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