Forget Robo & Blockchain – Here’s the Next Big Thing.

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A few months ago I had an ugly call with a big startup VC.

We discussed what the future would look like in banking. I pushed the ideas and concepts which I fully believed would push the wealth management space to it’s full potential but weirdly, and I wasn’t getting through to him. It’s like my points weren’t being listened to unless I mentioned “-advisor” or ““.

That’s when I realised, there is massive over-indexing towards these few trends.

Did everyone forget to create truly new value propositions?

I’m pretty sure we as the wealth management industry have lost four years to chasing the latest headlines.

X-Vestor is the first fully automated portfolio advisor that re-balances ETFs based on the latest superheroes movies!”

“X-Bank is the first bank to create an automated parking place Blockchain exchange in Slovenia!”

Instead of discussing the merits of 100 different flavours of robo and blockchain, shouldn’t and ‘s be focused on creating truly new value propositions where customers need them most?

Today, in our BEST MakerZone yet we talk hardcore strategy, architecture and the BIG missed opportunity we see in wealth management and private wealth management.

(Note: 2,000+ of you listened on your commutes so you can download the official podcast here on iTunes and Podbean)

Q&A Transcript

Veronica asks, “After the un-bundling of financial services when does the re-bundling start and how will it happen?” (1:15)

Everyone in the industry is talking Customer-centric experience design thinking UX journey….but where’s the new digital stuff? We should all be worried. Since 2012, Payments have left the banking ecosystem, and Transfers are on their way out too. Those were two lucrative traditional businesses in the cash cow retail spaces of universal or regional banks that provided the cash flow to the rest of the business to serve higher-end wealthy customers.

Open Finance is our belief that customers need access to several providers to manage their wealth efficiently and effectively.

Digital creates totally new space for things that did not exist before – to shift existing business lines over to other faster, simpler ecosystems. Yet here we are at the end of 2016 – and after 10,000 FinTech conferences, newsletters and consultant briefings. We are something like 1-10% done in the wealth industry in terms of un-bundling and inventing truly new digital value propositions for customers:

I don’t see any Bank (or FinTech) who has an Amazon, AirBnB, ProductHunt, NetFlix or Glassdoor in their skunkworks.

People of Banking and FinTech! There is a huge greenfield out there to create new ways to locate and compare your private banking services. Comparison platforms that operate outside one captive banking structure and work across many providers – is a huge opportunity. YNOME is one strategic piece we are creating in the greenfield to see if it can prove the marketplace is needed – and so far all evidence points to we are right.

So much of the value chain in wealth management is baked into the actual human advisory process – and we think new services will look completely different than today’s mess of apps and services. We need something new – many new things. Replicating an asset allocation and simple execution? That’s not a full digital value prop and should be pivoting by now and filling in those missing pieces served today during the actual advisory process.

The internet for banking and un-bundling has just gotten started.

Arthur asks, “What are the Best Online Financial Services Platforms and how do they perform versus each other and Advisors?” (7:18)

The “platforms” out there are captive in bank’s ecosystem today but those are not truly platforms for banking. We think Google is a platform, Apple is a platform. We talk about Ynome (www.ynome.com) which is one of our attempts to build an actual extra-bank platform that will help customers assemble their own private banking services. We believe platforms are new systems that are not captive within single banks and part of their plumbing – but are truly user-centric as Uber, which as we all know was not invented by a taxi company, it was a new digital proposition fixing old problems and has only really just begin. I fully expect I will Uber all my transport needs in ten years and I won’t own a car. That’s what “platforms” really do to disrupt existing industries.

We also talk about the First 20 Days of the journey to find yourself better private banking services, which starts in the internet and returns largely paid advertising. We liken the future experience of banking to be more like Google Flights and Trip Advisor, where I don’t even know what the airline names are anymore (I usually just look as we are going to the airport). Travel or entertainment can be booked so simply, so should wealth management services.

So our challenge to you today is – go invent more platforms outside the captive banking system. Don’t just keep replicating single pieces of the value chain like strategic asset allocation, but try to create truly new digital user-centric (not bank-centric!) value propositions that make the job of managing your wealth much simpler and faster.


is Co-Founder YNOME, Head UBS WM Innovation, Advisory Board Member BONSEYES and this article was originally published on linkedin.