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  • user 12:18 pm on August 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Race, ,   

    Banks Lag Behind Tech Giants in Fintech Patent Race 

    Many large describe themselves as equal parts firms as they are financial services companies, but then shouldn’t they have relevant patents backing that notion? Well, they don’t. In fact, a new report showed that technology company IBM has five times more patents than the world’s 15 largest banks combined. The report, released [&;]
    Bank Innovation

  • user 12:18 am on July 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Race, ,   

    Lead Widens for JPMorgan Chase in Race for Mobile Banking Users 

    leads the for the most among the top three largest consumer in the U.S. &; still. With 31.6 million active mobile users, JPMorgan Chase is well ahead of Bank of America’s 25.3 million active mobile users for 2Q18. In the same period, Wells Fargo reported 22 million and Citigroup 10 million. Chase&;s [&;]
    Bank Innovation

  • user 12:18 am on May 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Race,   

    Small Business Banking Catching Up in Innovation Race 

    There are quite a few lending solutions these days for businesses — Funding Circle, OnDeck, Kabbage, and Square Capital, to name a just a few — but and digitization are lagging in other areas, such as digital account opening. Enter Gro Solutions, a sales and marketing platform for financial institutions. Atlanta-based Gro has [&;]
    Bank Innovation

  • user 12:18 pm on November 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Race   

    Europe Needs to Catch Up in the ICO Race 

    ICO funding has quadrupled in 2017, with $ 2.8 billion raised using the unconventional method this year compared to just the $ 228 million raised by ICOs in 2016. The U.S. and Asia are the leading places for ICOs, according to the Initial Coin Offering Funding Report, which was released last week by data analytics company Funderbeam [&;]
    Bank Innovation

  • user 12:18 am on May 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Count, , , , , , Race   

    Don’t Count Incumbents Out of the Innovation Race Just Yet 

    is a young company’s game, right? Well, not according to the . Established financial players are aware of the need for a “digital rebirth,” according to Kathleen Murphy, president for personal investing at Fidelity Investments. “We invest a lot in , in startups of varying sizes, to help spur innovation,” said Murphy, during a fireside chat [&;]
    Bank Innovation

  • user 12:18 am on July 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Outpaces, Race, Rivals   

    Chase Outpaces Rivals in Mobile Banking Race 

    JPMorgan  is winning the game. Bank of America held its second-quarter earnings call today, and was the last of the nation&;s largest to do so. Mobile is of interest on bank earnings calls primarily as a cost-saving measure, as digital customers are less expensive to serve. For instance,Read More
    Bank Innovation

  • user 12:41 pm on May 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Irrelevance, Race,   

    Blockchain and the Race Towards Irrelevance 

    Are financial incumbents in denial about the true impact of tech? Blockchain specialist Matthew Spoke argues the answer might be yes.

  • user 4:48 pm on May 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Arms, , , , , Race, ,   

    Technology Arms Race & Financial Services 


    We now hold these truths to be self-evident, that startups (especially of the d2c variety) do not pose an existential threat to finserv incumbents, that finserv incumbents are endowed by their regulators with certain unassailable defensible rights and duties embodied by licenses and are saddled by history with obsolete technologies that hinder their effectiveness in a changing world, thereby creating material barriers to a stable Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Stability.

    We are still exploring whether the following are also truths, that the existential threat to finserv incumbents lies with GAFAA, that fintech startups can help finserv incumbents counter such existential threat.

    Some do not believe giants are a real threat, arguing none of the GAFAA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Alibaba and their smaller brethren) are interested in obtaining licenses and directly competing against or insurers. Although I do not know with certainty that Apple or Amazon are thinking of owning and operating a bank, I do know the real question we should ask ourselves is &;Can and how would GAFAA or other similar companies cripple financial firms?&;

    It is evident we, individually or as businesses, engage with the world via our smartphones and tablets. We spend time on these devices interacting with a variety of apps (social messaging for example) or platforms (Facebook for example), reading, creating, sharing, consuming, purchasing. The more time we spend on these devices, with these apps and platforms, the less time we engage directly with the manufacturers of the products or services we ultimately consume. This state of affairs may not pose an existential threat with a brand like Nike for example. It is easy to engage emotionally and mentally with simple concepts whether physical or digital, ones where we have a meaningful bond that helps define who we are. It is not so easy for a provider of a checking account, a loan or an insurance policy. We do engage with money in completely different ways.

    To me, this means there is a potential catastrophic scenario in the making whereby financial services providers would be relegated to being &8220;dumb&8221; providers of products and services without having any meaningful control or tie to the end user &; retail or enterprise even though it is arguably more difficult to visualize for the latter.

    Finserv incumbents are now fully engaged, having woken up to the initial threat of fintech startups and realizing they do need to reform the way they do business. Innovation is the name of the game &8211; a dual mandate to be sure where both technology and culture need to be upgraded. For the purposes of this post, I only focus on the technology part of the innovation equation.

    The technology part of the innovation drive is multifaceted. Legacy rails, core systems, market infrastructures need to be upgraded. These &8220;basic&8221; upgrades a necessary but not sufficient. New technologies also need to be acquired. I view Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), /Consensus Ledgers, Quantum Computing (QC), Internet of Things (IoT) to be the main enabling technologies the financial services industry needs to acquire in order to close the gap and compete effectively.

    One does not acquire technologies in a vacuum and there is a competitive battle in the marketplace for the hottest assets. As this post from CB Insights shows, tech companies are hard at work acquiring the best AI startups. Try as I might, I could not find any finserv incumbents on the list of acquirers, nor could I find finserv service providers.

    How does a bank or insurer close to gap in AI if tech giants have first dib at the best assets? I do not know how things are developing in QC or AR but I would not be surprised if the same narrative were to be present. To be fair, the insurance industry is present and active in the IoT field and the banking industry is very active in the blockchain/consensus ledger field which shows a bank or insurance company can take the lead in a strategic technology field. Gaps are indeed being addressed, but not systemically.

    To be fair, there are many ways to bridge a technology gap other than through acquiring.

    &8211; Finserv incumbents could partner with tech giants, indeed such examples exist. Some tech giants are better at partnering than others. The risk of losing direct ownership of the customer still exists though.

    &8211; Finserv incumbents could develop their own technology solutions via internal R&D (such a strategy has not paid hefty dividends in the past, even if one is able to attract top talent)

    &8211; Finserv incumbents could develop partnerships and commercial agreements with independent startups. There will be AI, QC or AR startups that will decline selling to tech giants and pursue their own destiny. Let&;s assume some of these startups will be up to par with what giant tech companies are concocting within their walls, the question therefore is which type of independent startups are most appropriate to partner with. The AI, QC or AR startups specialized in the financial services, or those that have a horizontal &8220;go to market strategy&8221; approach. Startup xyz that only sells to banks or IBM Watson? Which will be most optimal?

    With every one needs to play to one&8217;s strengths. A finserv incumbent&8217;s strength is twofold in my opinion: a) deep knowledge and mastery of arcane work flows and processes specific to money/data flows, b) mastery of licensing and AML/KYC peculiarities.

    Extending these strengths to enabling technologies (AI, AR, QC, blockchain, IoT) thereby ensuring optimal customization and applicability is therefore key. Choosing the right strategy, best fitted to this goal while at the same time ensuring one does not lose the arms race is paramount.

    Regulators should play a role in facilitating their wards technology arms race battle. We know banks now have a difficult time making equity investments, and rightly so if these equity investments are made with a speculative and casino-like financial bent, from a proprietary trading point of view. Could strategic and technology based investments be viewed differently? Especially as the industry wakes up to the fact that financial services incumbents need and have to behave more like technology companies? After all, it is not too far fetched to picture an insurance company acquiring a cybersecurity consultant or service provider to hone its skills at underwriting cybersecurity risk. From the same token, a bank could (or should?) operate via a mix of acquisition/build a data analytics or AI startup. Such a move may actually be central to a strategy of delivering superior products or managing a client&8217;s identity or data.

    Building resiliency into a bank or insurer business model will require different approaches, and competing effectively in the technology arms race we are currently witnessing will have to play a part in a portfolio approach.

    Finally and clearly, a rising interest rate environment would greatly help finserv incumbents. Fire power in the form of an increase in operating earnings has a tendency to solve many a problem. This leads me to fire a parting question: What if the next 20 years will deliver continued low interest rates environments across the world? In this environment, financial services firms, and their regulators, will have to come up with drastically different approaches, else the technology arms race may be lost permanently.


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