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Essential Fintech Reading: Oct 17-23

Oct 23, 2015 8:55:00 PM

Millennials Losing Interest In Banks

Writing for Adweek, Marty Swant covers the latest Cassandra Report revealing that millennials would rather borrow money from friends or family than turn to a bank. Millennials do not believe "banks are giving them the instant gratification via mobile options, digital-educational resources and personalization they desire."


"Banks are losing touch with an entire dominant generation," Joe Kessler, president of Cassandra Global, tells Adweek. "The answer to combating mobile apps is for the banks to build better apps themselves. The real issue is that they haven't really invested the time and energy to truly understand their prospective millennial customer base."

While banks have failed to capture the imagination of millennial customers, there are troubling signs that this generation is in dire need of financial advice. Carrying debt and failing to plan for retirement has become commonplace among millennials.


Transition From Physical To Digital Infrastructure Vital For Banks

Banks need to shift from a physical infrastructure based on paper to a digital infrastructure based on data distribution, says Fintech commentator Chris Skinner. Skinner doubts that many banks are ready for this transition as a majority of CEOs "tackle financial tasks such as risk management and regulations based on accounting backgrounds, but they have no grasp of, or training in, technology." Skinner observes that BBVA is led by a former IT programmer who understands the role of technology and that other Spanish banks such as Santander and Sabadell are rapidly embracing the digital revolution. In contrast, UK banks lack executives with a technology background.

Banks Struggling To Keep Pace With Fintech Innovation

Both bankers (54%) and Fintech executives (59%) agree that banks are either failing to meet the challenge of Fintech competition or talking about disruption while not making changes.


A new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit finds that banks see numerous barriers in responding to Fintech, including a "lack of a clear digital strategy, cultures unsuited to rapid change and an inability to attract top technological talent."

While 10 percent of Economist respondents felt the "Fintech phenomenon is overstated" and another 20 percent believe that "banks will continue to dominate," a larger group believes that banks and Fintech will both succeed in the market.


Forbes Identifies Competitive Advantages For Fintech

Writing for Forbes, Bryan Stolle identifies nine factors fueling the Fintech boom:

  • Stable, predictable business models
  • New technology: "From micro-sized card readers, block chain technology, and distributed smart ledgers, to advanced machine learning software, new technologies are coming at a rapid pace in Fintech, while traditional financial services firms are still wrestling with such staid concepts as cloud computing and mobile," writes Stolle.
  • Big data and the cloud
  • Low customer acquisition costs
  • Low cost to deliver service
  • Scalability
  • Appeal to Generation Y
  • Regulation: "In a perverse way, regulation has actually caused a huge acceleration in Fintech innovation, only not so much to the benefit of the incumbents," writes Stolle. "Regulation has slowed and hampered the large financial services firms who are the focus of regulation."
  • Empowerment of small business: In the aftermath of the financial crisis Stolle notes that regulations have made it "unprofitable to provide many of the services small businesses want and need."
Jeff Meredith

Written by Jeff Meredith

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