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The biggest threats to banks are banks themselves

We have been speculating a lot on the role that social media giants like Google, Facebook and technology companies like Apple or Square could play in the financial services arena. They have been positioned as a threat to the banking position with regards to payments and potentially other P2P products like lending.

In fact they are a threat and an opportunity when in comes to customer loyalty and customer centric behaviour. Not by competing them, their scale and customer drive are incomparable, but by cooperating with them. As the Google Wallet and Offers proposition shows, they are very willing to leave the infrastructural payments to the current providers. So with drive, an open mind and hard work a lot can be achieved via cooperation, smart IT architectures and basic investments.

The real threat to the position of banks are banks themselves. I have been talking and meeting with bankers a lot recently and what worries me most is the lack of passion and focus to develop customer centric solutions for either consumers or merchants. They really mean well but are so focussed on the impossibilities, restrictions in IT, governance, the current business model or costreductions that market driven innovation is hard to find.

This should change in order to reposition the bank as highly valued trusted service provider that is willing to invest in customer driven development and cooperation. Recent history shows that others are willing to disrupt in valuechains that underperform in terms of customer value.






Comments: (2)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 20 June, 2011, 11:47Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Although I don't see Apple, Google, PayPal and the other tech prima donnas as being either capable or interested in disintermediating banks, the situation with retailers is quite different. By diversifying into financial services, retailers stand to boost their profits and valuations. Only time will tell how successful they will be but, hopefully, the renewed push by Walmart and Tesco into financial services will drive banks to demonstrate greater focus and passion in developing customer- and merchant-centric solutions.

Ward Hagenaar
Ward Hagenaar - PaymentGenes - Amsterdam 10 October, 2011, 12:31Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Wouter Hasekamp, founder of Qhuba, wrote an illustrating blog on this subject. How to finance a small growing consulting company. As always we are very open on our efforts.

Ward Hagenaar

Ward Hagenaar

Head of Consulting - Co-Founder


Member since

02 Jun 2006



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

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