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Tackling digitization in financial services?
Add these inspiring books to your reading list

Allison Karavos
February 22, 2021

Whether your organization is just starting out on a digital journey, you’re an expert on digitization in financial services, or anywhere in-between, learning from leaders in the industry can help inspire you to think about things differently!

At Provenir, I spend my time working with a huge range of people, from those who work in organizations exploring their digital options, to employees of what can only be described as digital disruptors, and one thing is clear: Digitization isn’t a one size fits all situation. Learning something new every day from these amazingly creative and talented people has inspired me to expand my reading list this year and delve into some additional perspectives.

And, I thought I’d share the first 5 books on my list with you! These books, covering everything from data analytics to the banks of the future, are a great resource for anyone in the financial industry:

The Model Thinker | Provenir

The Model Thinker: What You Need to Know to Make Data Work for You

Data has the power to transform your risk decisioning processes, so this fascinating book, The Model Thinker, from social scientist Scott E. Page is at the top of my reading list. When it comes to making credit decisions in today’s digital world you need to gain a much deeper understanding of what the data is trying to tell you, “anyone who has ever opened up a spreadsheet packed with seemingly infinite lines of data knows, numbers aren’t enough: we need to know how to make those numbers talk.”

The Model Thinker covers linear regression, random walks, and many other models, but perhaps the most fascinating method discussed is the ‘many-model paradigm.’ This “shows the reader how to apply multiple models to organize the data, leading to wiser choices, more accurate predictions, and more robust designs.”

A fantastic option for anyone in financial services, providing a practical toolkit to teach business users, scientists, analysts, writers, and more, how to leverage data to make more informed decisions.

Emotional Banking

As one of the leading influencers in the FinTech industry Duena Blomstrom needs no introduction and her new book—named after her method and philosophy—Emotional Banking, speaks straight to our human, and tech, hearts. Why? Because at Provenir, we’re huge believers that talent, not just technology, is at the core of creating world class digital experiences.

Anybody working in financial institutions that are looking to leverage technology to drive client interactions will benefit from reading this book. It’s easy to forget, especially in today’s digital-first world that, those emotional connections with customers can be the difference between an average experience and a brand-building moment.

With Emotional Banking, Blomstom promises to explore key questions including, how can banks find their way into customer’s hearts? Is inertia in banking a result of a broken internal culture? What is FinTech and why does it matter?

For those looking for practical advice it concludes with “examples of best practices and a hands-on approach on how to change the inertia, become a brand and make customers fall in love with their bank.”

Breaking Digital Gridlock | Provenir

Digitization isn’t just limited to large financial institutions, even credit unions and community banks need to take the digital journey.Breaking the Digital Gridlock by John Best aims to help smaller financial institutions “make the shift to digital—even without a seven-figure consulting budget.”

This book piqued my interest for a number of reasons, including its promise to emphasize how organizations can maintain the culture, services, and features valued by their customers while embracing digitization.

With a focus on real-world strategies to take “the leap without tearing your organization apart,” this book should be on your radar if you’re working in a community bank or credit union that is looking to begin their digital journey.

The expert advice shared by industry innovation leader, Best, covers embracing technology at key points in an organization’s evolution, “how FinTech partnerships and strategic technology acquisition can foster new growth with minimal disruption, and how project management can be restructured to most effectively implement any digital solution and how to implement and leverage analytics.”

Digital Human | Provenir

It’s impossible to ignore a book that sells itself as “a visionary roadmap for the future, a timely guide on how to navigate the world of finance as we create the next generation of humanity.”

Chris Skinner, author of the, has added another book to his already impressive list with Digital Human. Why is this book on my reading list? Because this all-in approach is something both myself and the Provenir team truly believe in, “Digital is not merely a “bolting on” of technology to produce results faster and cheaper, but a complete rethinking of common business practices and notions of efficiency and customer engagement.”

Watching businesses embrace change is one of the most rewarding aspects of my role, so I’m always interested to gain new perspectives on how financial institutions can leverage technology to drive transformation. Digital Human offers a “timely guide on how to navigate the world of finance as we create the next generation of humanity,” with insights covering: rethinking business models, implementing the right technology, and a roadmap to digital success.

Banking Everywhere, Never a Bank | Provenir

For someone working in financial services, no reading list would be complete without a book authored by the fantastic Brett King. So here it is: “Bank 4.0 explores the radical transformation already taking place in banking and follows it to its logical conclusion. What will banking look like in 30 years? 50 years?” Isn’t that the question that we’d all like to know the answer to?

Banks are facing an increasingly challenging future and the “coming Bank 4.0 era is one where either your bank is embedded in your world via tech, or it no longer exists.”

The final book in King’s Bank Series explores the future of banking and the role that technology will play in that story. Bank 4.0 promises to help readers identify the low-friction, technology experiences that are undermining existing products and how technology will shape the future of the industry. It also looks into how FinTechs are using psychology, behavior, and technology to disrupt the banking industry. “Bank 4.0 takes you to a world where banking will be instant, smart and ubiquitous, and where you’ll have to adapt faster than ever before just to survive. Welcome to the future.”


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