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Game of Loans: Become the HBO of Digital Banking

Big Announcements from the Video Industry

Earlier this month there were multiple announcements about developments in the video streaming industry. The biggest and arguably most important announcement came from HBO, who announced it will soon provide a standalone streaming service available without a separate cable package. The other announcement came from industry elder CBS with news that they too will be launching a cable-free streaming option for access to their shows.

These developments follow in the wake of recent news from Yahoo resurrecting a cancelled NBC sitcom, Netflix securing original movie deals with Adam Sandler, and Amazon announcing the lineup for their third batch of original television pilots. For an industry that only went mainstream in 2007 (the year both Hulu and Netflix Watch Instantly launched) these announcements illustrate how quickly a technological innovation can spread.

Why Video Streaming Is Becoming Standard

The rapid expansion of video streaming can be attributed to a few features that have helped fuel its widespread adoption.

  1. Video streaming is easier than the previous way of watching movies and TV. The old way required you to drive to the store or rental place to pick up the movies and required you to own a DVD player. It was a multistep process that took you out of your home. Now you don’t have to even leave your couch.

  2. Video streaming represents the culmination of multiple technological innovations. The rise of WiFi, tablets and smartphones created an ideal environment where mobile streaming could flourish. The well designed interfaces were slick and easy for internet newcomers to use.

  3. Video streaming exposes audiences to content they had never had the chance to see before. If you didn’t catch a show when it was on or didn’t spend money to buy it yourself you had no way of seeing certain shows or movies. Streaming makes it easier for audiences to find both new and old shows.

  4. Video streaming is backed by the biggest players in the television and movie industries. Movie studios made lucrative deals with Netflix to license their content, and Hulu itself is a joint venture between ABC, NBC, Fox and The CW. The decision-makers of the entertainment industry found ways to expand into this new platform to secure their future.

Why the Financial Industry Will Follow Suit

Those familiar with the history of the finance industry should see numerous parallels with the history of video streaming. Mobile banking has the potential to be as big a disruptor as video streaming has been and, as with streaming, there are a few features that make it poised to spread just as rapidly.

  1. Mobile banking removes pain points from personal finance such as having to drive to branches to deposit checks or not having a single place to see various accounts in one place. Banking used to be a time-consuming, multistep process. Now it can be done straight from the phone, wherever account holders are.

  2. Mobile banking is the same Wifi-rich and mobile-first environment where video streaming succeeded. Segments of the finance industry such as Uber, Apple Pay and Square have already found pockets of success with this technology, and digital-only banks like Moven and Simple showcase the new possibility of joining mobile technology and personal finance in one app.

  3. Mobile banking introduces account holders to tools they’ve never had access to before. Intuitive budgeting apps and helpful debt reduction plans are just a few of the tools mobile banking users currently have, but there is so much potential for more developments. Many account holders don’t know how to start or what to do to manage their finances on their own and mobile banking has the potential to change that completely.

  4. Mobile banking doesn’t require the industry as we know it to go away. Just like movie studios are partnering with third-party tech leaders (Netflix and Hulu), so can banks and credit unions seek outside help to provide the best mobile banking solutions. ABC, NBC, Fox and The CW didn’t abandon their old business models. They just adapted to the new reality and made sure they’d remain relevant by investing in technology providers. Banks and credit unions can do the same.

Of course managing finances is a much more complex and emotionally charged process than watching movies and TV. However, that doesn’t mean the potential for industry-wide disruption isn’t there. We’re already starting to see widespread adoption of the simple and intuitive solutions that will move the whole industry to the next (digital) level. That should absolutely be the goal for traditional financial institutions out there right now — do whatever it takes to become the HBO of digital banking by making the transition to a digital model as smooth as possible.



For another HBO-inspired fintech piece, see this article from Bradley Leimer. Highly recommended.

Topics: Design