Banks and Disruption/Innovation.

Mobile Technology has posed one of the more disruptive changes to the Financial Services industry in decades. It will rewrite the expectations of consumers and their needs from their financial intuition. Suddenly 24×7 accessibility, instant fulfillment, enriched contextual service, simplicity and mobile will be the trend of tomorrow’s successful retail bank. But what is stopping the banks from making these moves today? It’s not a technology limitation, because all the necessary tech is already available. Is it the legacy mindset of the banks? I think so.


The banking sector has one huge thing going for it. It has survived multiple depressions, recessions, revolutions, evolutions and innovations. Their slow but steady approach to progress protects them from hype, risk and bad decisions (except in recent times). So how does an traditionally risk adverse intuition position itself fo future success? There are several cases of success. 


Take for example Australia & New Zealand Bank’s transformational subsidiary in Cambodia, WING. A business aimed specifically at a new market segment for the bank on a technology the bank had little experience with, mobile. Big establishing a separate brand & operations, ANZ was able to protect the Mothership while experimenting with a new approach to the market. Similarly National Australia Bank, used the UBank venture to dable in new generation direct banking.


So will we see more experiments like these as banks grapple with with the evolving Generation M as they push into primary markets? I would suggest so, as it allows the Traditional Bank to survive, while creating a the ability to learn new technologies and customer needs.

© Scott Bales 2014. All Rights Reserved.