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Struggles of traditional banks highlight the winning principle at the heart of FinTech innovations PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 February 2016

As banks embark on their reporting season, the traditional institutions are setting out how they have fared in a tough global environment. Credit Suisse are due to release year on year results on Thursday, which are expected to show that the restructuring undertaken by the Swiss bank has not yet fed into their share price. Last week’s report from Deutsche Bank showed their first full year loss since the financial crisis of 2008, attributed by their CEO to on-going legacy issues.[1] It is clear that traditional banks are feeling the pressure from the disruptive impact of FinTech innovators.

These pressures are highlighted particularly in the retail sector, with those banks with high exposure to customers experiencing profound disruption from FinTech competitors. A report by PwC highlights that 55 per cent of bank executives believe that non-traditional players pose a threat to traditional banks. The report identifies the development of a customer-centric business model as the highest priority for banks if they are to remain competitive over the next 5 years.

Technological innovators such as TransferWise, Nutmeg and Funding Circle are increasingly fragmenting the market by unbundling financial services to create an agile offering. They are disturbing the established order by leading with customer focused innovation. This characteristic is at the heart of the battle between the FinTech sector and traditional banks.

Dan Wagner, Founder and CEO Powa Technologies, comments: “FinTech companies have recognised the value of offering a completely new proposition to consumers. In contrast to their traditional competitors, many of them giant and overreaching, successful Fintech start-ups are specialising in just one or two aspects of financial services. They remain agile and responsive to customers, tailored specifically for the age of the ‘digital native’.

“Over the past few years we’ve seen the rise of mobile banking, particular in the U.S. where it exceeded physical banking in 2015. There are predictions that 81 per cent of Americans will do their banking on their smartphone by 2020, with the popularity of the service not just limited to the States.

“In the case of mobile banking, the path to ubiquity has been paved by the availability of this service ‘anytime, anywhere’. This is the message that users of FinTech products are sending loud and clear to banks: convenience has never been a higher priority for customers. Traditional banks will continue to struggle if they fail to meet consumer needs in this area.”

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