Beyond Banking

Decentralized Advisory Ecosystems as a Beyond Banking Opportunity for Established Advisory Banks

Sebastian Kaiser-Mühlecker
09 Feb 2024
4 min read

Introduction | Beyond Financial Services

In a time when the financial sector is shaped by digital innovations and changing customer needs, established advisory banks are presented with a transformative opportunity: the establishment of digital, decentralized advisory ecosystems as part of a 'Beyond Banking' approach. This development allows banks to redefine their role in the financial sector and expand their business models by acting as digital hubs for a variety of advisory services.

beyond24 - The Digital Advisory Bank | A Beyond Banking Demo Case by HalloSophia

Digital Ecosystems in the Banking Sector

According to a PwC study, approximately 95% of German banks plan to operate their own digital ecosystem or participate in one until 2026, with over half of them already planning to do so by 2022 (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2021). The study highlights the growing realization among bank managers that digitization and new customer needs require an adjustment of traditional business models.

The significance of Beyond Banking is also evident on a global scale. A look at e. g. the United Arab Emirates reveals that, according to a study by Arthur D. Little, a clear majority (61%) of bank customers are willing to receive offers from their main bank that go beyond traditional banking services - especially young customers with higher incomes show an increased interest (Singh, 2021). It seems to become more and more obvious that the future of banking is not just about digitally transforming existing banking services but rather about incorporating new non-banking products and services into their portfolios.

Decentralized Advisory Ecosystems as Strategic Expansion

For advisory banks, the establishment of decentralized advisory ecosystems offers the opportunity to act as enablers and intermediaries of specialized expertise across various fields by digitally connecting clients and consultants within the own banking group's ecosystem. By leveraging their external network of subject matter experts, banks can now offer specialized consulting services in areas such as taxation, law, ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), digital transformation, and internationalization under their own brand. This approach not only creates competitive advantage and customer value but also opens up new revenue streams for the banks themselves without exposing them to regulatory or liability risks, as it involves merely a mediating role.

Addressing a Steadily Growing Segment, The SME Sector

Particularly small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can greatly benefit from such digital, decentralized advisory ecosystems, as they gain access to specialized knowledge and advisory services, which they often could not have in the analog world due to monetary, network-related, or other barriers. The high efficiency of digital matchmaking and service provision in turn makes this segment attractive even for large consulting firms.

Why the strategic importance of the SME segment for banks, especially for established advisory banks, should clearly not be underestimated, has i. a. been highlighted by a McKinsey study, which shows that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generate about one-fifth of global banking revenues, amounting to approximately 850 billion US dollars annually for banks. Moreover, this market is expected to grow by about 7 percent annually over the next  years (Barua et al., 2019).

The Role of Technology in Digital Advisory Ecosystems

The success of decentralized advisory ecosystems relies on a modern IT infrastructure with flexible but UI complete as well as powerful API interfaces. This enables on the one hand fast, risk-less and low-resource go-to-market cycles and on the other hand deep and seemless integrations of market-proven service offerings in existing channels. At the same time, banks must ensure regulatory compliance like almost no other economical entity. By having Portal-as-a-Service providers operating these portals for banks compliance and data privacy by design is delivered out-of-the-box.

beyond24 - Your Digital Advisory Bank

beyond24 is a Beyond Banking demo case by HalloSophia. The demo showcases how banks can become the digital, intermediary hub for consultations and expert advice, provided by trusted network partners and individual consultants within their ecosystem. The service offering can be enhanced by listing internal financial specialists, who can be booked on-demand by both existing and new clients. The basis for this is the ConsulTech company's (HalloSophia) out-of-the-box solution, which operates all-in-one advisory portals including the necessary regulatory framework for other organizations under their branding (whitelabel). Overall, it is a groundbreaking, radically new concept with untapped potential for new business at the intersection of established banks' key assets. Explore beyond24 - The Digital Advisory Bank.


The establishment of decentralized advisory ecosystems by advisory banks represents a significant opportunity to remain competitive in the era of digitization and evolving customer needs. These ecosystems enable banks to go beyond their traditional business model and play a central role in providing expertise and advisory services to their network, especially to SMEs. By seizing this opportunity, banks can not only strengthen their customer relationships but also unlock new sources of revenue and solidify their position beyond the financial sector.


PricewaterhouseCoopers. (2021). Banken machen Tempo bei digitalen Ökosystemen. PwC. Retrievable online.
Singh, A. V. (2021, November 1). Beyond Banking. Arthur D. Little. Retrievable online.
Barua, C., Gati, B., Havas, A., Lajumoke, T., Radnai, M., & Taraporevala, Z. (2019, June 10). How banks can use ecosystems to win in the SME market. McKinsey & Company. Retrievable online.

Sebastian Kaiser-Mühlecker
COO & Founding Member

About HalloSophia

The ConsulTech Company 'HalloSophia' offers and operates maintenance-free, digital all-in-one advisory portals as a white-label solution. This innovative platform-as-a-service enables businesses, public institutions, and rapidly growing tech companies to centralize their expert networks on a dedicated portal. With 'HalloSophia,' organizations can now provide their clients and users with direct, efficient, and contemporary online access to the invaluable expertise of their internal and external specialists (from their network) in the form of individual 1:1 consulting sessions.