Banks face choice to collaborate or compete as fintech disruption hots up

Banks face choice to collaborate or compete as fintech disruption hots up

Up to $1 trillion in profits is in play as the world's banks battle to fend off competition from as many as 12,000 fintech startups globally, according to a report by McKinsey.

McKinsey warns that as much as 60% of bank profits in five retail businesses - consumer finance, mortgages, small-business lending, retail payments and wealth management - are at risk from a combination of shrinking margins and competition from fintech startups.

Banks worldwide face a choice between taking on new entrants through smarter use of their vast data resources and transforming their brands, or by forging alliances with startups, says the consultancy.

"The window for making this choice is narrowing," states the report. "Banks must decide soon, probably within three years, or the choice will be made for them."

Many banks have already begun the transition, shrinking their branch networks and spending heavily on mobile and online technologies in response to changing customer behaviour and the arrival of competition from big tech firms like Google and Apple. The creation of fintech accelerators by some of the world's biggest banks and the establishment of a multitude of venture funds to invest in fintech startups are another sign of the pressures facing the industry.

Those who fail to react quickly may find themselves ceding the customer relationship to tech firms and scaling back their operations to focus on basic products like current accounts and loans, effectively becoming "the banking equivalent of server farms" says McKinsey.

In February last year BBVA chairman and CEO Francisco Gonzalez warned that up to half of the world's banks will disappear through the cracks opened up by digital disruption of the industry. Forecasting that in the future, BBVA will become a software company, he said that competition from fintech startups and the entry into banking by any one of a number of big tech computer companies would have drastic consequences for banks which had failed to adjust to the digital revolution sweeping the industry.

Comments: (2)

João Bohner
João Bohner - Independent Consultant - Carapicuiba 01 October, 2015, 14:431 like 1 like

In my opinion, the point is not between those two choices.

The point that must be looked at is: When the old "Core Systems" will be definitely banned, replaced by a lighter, cheaper and quicker Architecture?

Let's face it!

As mentioned in Fernando Lanzer’s book Take Off your glasses:

 "The simple stuff that needs to be done is often scary stuff, which we would rather not face. Hence complication is a form of avoiding the simple essence. Complication is a form of using rationality as a shield to defend ourselves from the emotional consequences of acting."


Hitesh Thakkar
Hitesh Thakkar - SME - Fintech startups (APAC and Africa) - India 05 October, 2015, 19:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@Thanks Joao for sharing thoughts and very good book :)

The key success factor of Fintech competition is single visible thing - They know what customer does? When, Where and How at the tip of fingers (Using Mobile First Approach) and then they started offering LOW VALUE transaction services to purchase, gift and exchange goods.

Banks so far never bothered themself with such details and thus need to learn new tricks of the trade. Winners who learn and adept faster can win especially banks known to be risk averse find it difficult to tackle it.

Few fore-runners  from banks such as BBVA had found the way and vision others still in process of paving it !!!.