Most headlines around fintech disruption focus on consumer-facing services, such as digital mobile only banking or money transfer services. Consumer services, after all, resonate with the public—it’s easier to tell a story about a new peer-to-peer money transfer service with consumer branding than a better way to do SME lending.
It’s now pretty much universally acknowledged that the UK retail banking market is being disrupted by new, digital-first competitors – the so-called ‘direct’ banks. The narrative is that these agile upstarts are stealing customers away from incumbents by offering compelling new services and unprecedented levels of convenience.
The platform economy, today’s economic and/or social online matchmaker, is set to transform another industry – financial services. To keep up, banks will need to adapt their business models to an outside-in approach that recognizes the importance of openness and collaboration in developing personalized products and services that enhance the banking experience for customers and enable them to manage their finances holistically.
As FinTech companies disrupt the financial services industry with marketplace lending and blockchain-based supply chains, wholesale banks are meeting the challenge by reprioritizing IT spending and improving their innovation capacity.
“This time is different”. The four most dangerous words in investing are normally whispered at the peak of a bull market. Said as a caution on a downswing they are not quite so dangerous, and amid regulatory, market and technological disruption, banking really is changing markedly in a way from which we see little prospect of a return to the earlier status quo.