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Scenarios on the future of cash for an international Bank Group

Workshop: Future of cash and cash operations in 2030 in Central and Eastern Europe, 1 day, in English, 40 participants

5.10.23, Prague, Raiffeisen Bank International

Method: Scenario building with 4 Quadrants Maps


It was a pleasure to design a daylong workshop on the future of cash and cash operations in 2030 at Raiffeisen Bank International for cash operations teams of 11 countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

« Dear Isabelle, we are very grateful for your tailoring and delivering the Cash Operations Future Workshop – Scenarios method to us and our CEE colleagues in October 23 in Prague. Both us, as organizers and the participants got really engaged and found a lot of value in learning and applying the knowledge about future scenario creation with all it involves. We really appreciate your professionalism, your energy and the dedication you applied in your work, as well as the great, effervescent atmosphere you helped creating. We believe our cash operations leaders will be able to apply the knowledge gained towards building flexibility in our approach of the future challenges. »


Rodica Guja and Kateryna Maznikova,

International Efficiency Management, Raiffeisen Bank International

The first challenge consisted in designing a workshop which could accommodate exercises both for the CEE group as a whole and for each individual country. The scenario method with its "funnel" procedure fits in well with this idea, its purpose being to look from the global to the particular.

The second challenge consisted in covering a wide range of domains across global and local environments. Indeed, cash operations touch on almost everything, from fintech innovation to consumer behaviours and perceptions of cash, from financial regulations to changing demographics and labor markets, from (geo)political developments in Europe and the EU to increasing climate effects and tightening ESGs, to name but a few.

Given the range of domains involved, I opted for the 4 quadrant map (also know as the 2x2 matrix), one variant of scenario building that is ideal for capturing critical uncertainties in various domains and their relationships (see Basic of scenarios).

The 4 quadrant map as the name suggests consists of an x/y axis made up of two fundamental uncertainties, each with two highly differentiated or opposite effects. Crossing the two axis creates four different quadrants, i.e. four different scenarios.

This is the easiest way to build scenarios, but unlike the original idea of using just one map, we developed 4 to 6 different maps, thus broadening the range of domains taken into account.

Once the different maps had been developed, the next step was to combine one quadrant of each map together into a consistent scenario of the environment. This led to developing scenarios going beyond what participants would have conceived on their own.

These scenarios served the background against which to project cash operations by 2030. How would cash operations look like in that environment? What would need to change?

Back to the present, actions and decisions were formulated according to these findings. Collecting all of them revealed "robust" directions and actions to take or to enquire further, i.e. directions and actions relevant in different scenarios, in different plausible futures.

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