Digital Pulse Check: Three questions to Christina Wirth

At a glance:

•    For several years, zeb has measured the digital maturity of banks in the Digital Pulse Check.
•    Today, there is still no real digital leader among European banks.
•    Regarding digital transformation, there is no time to lose.


Ms. Wirth, you have worked on the team that developed the pulse check. According to the most recent edition from 2018, there is no digital leader among Europe’s banks—put simply, not a single bank sets market standards in terms of digitalization. Isn’t that a pretty poor show for the sector?

CHRISTINA WIRTH: Of course, other sectors have achieved much greater progress in terms of digital transformation. On the other hand, companies from other sectors have had to adjust much faster as digitalization shook them up a lot harder. Take a look at the music industry or the press to name two examples. And they have managed, so I’m certain that banks will also handle the transformation. Customers will certainly demand from them what fintech and big tech companies are already offering. Digitalization is a complex process which affects many areas and thus takes time. My conclusion, however, is that there’s no time to lose.

What is special about the pulse check?

To answer this question, it is important to know that the data collected is a self-assessment of the banks. Nevertheless, and this makes the study’s method so complex, the possible answers are differentiated in such a way that we may consider the results to be objective. Combining our expertise and the banks’ perspective with the customer survey gives us a uniquely comprehensive picture. This breadth is what sets the pulse check apart and is only offered by us.

How will the study evolve in the future?

The Digital Pulse Check has been around for three years now, and it is clear that the digital transformation of banks takes time. Therefore, going forward zeb will not launch a new survey every year. We will retain the basic questionnaire, but also follow the developments of the fintech and big tech companies as well as the customer perspective. Of course, there will be a deep dive topic in the next Digital Pulse Check as well, just as we surveyed the customers for the first time in the latest edition. However, we aren’t revealing the next spotlight topic just yet.


“The mix of data in our Digital Pulse Check paints a uniquely comprehensive picture.“

Dr. Christina Wirth, Manager, zeb