I disagree that Apple, Google and other big corporations extending their tentacles into the fintech market should be viewed as a bad thing.
They have a real affinity with startups and, within the years, they aligned culturally and crucially their view on fintechs as a necessary part of their business models, as they have utilised fintechs to form partnerships and collaborations to bring their new products to market.
Their interest in fintech should be viewed as a massive opportunity for many fintechs to commercialise their products and services, as well as to access to invaluable mentoring schemes provided by the larger organisations. Moreover, this new dynamic can help fintechs to tackle some key challenges they face, such as gaining trust, mitigating unknown regulation and having the credibility or brand to effectively break into the banking world.
On the flip side, fintechs need to be sure that they don’t get swallowed up by these giants of tech. To avoid that, they need to ensure that they have a distinctive offering that is innovative, predict and satisfy customer demands as well as understand the direction in which banking products and services are heading.
To my mind, the bank of the future is one that understands how people connect with the world around them and seeks to bring a new dimension to these interactions. By placing customers at the heart of their business and understanding their lifestyles, banks can create highly personalised products and services at scale. They can make the complex simple, think beyond the now and forge a new era of banking – but they can’t do that alone. Banks have the customer data, governance and market share, but they need forward thinking fintechs that are capable of thinking beyond the now and creating solutions for the future.
By Stuart Hall, Digital Practice Lead, iBe TSE