Do Traditional Banks Really Still Own the Customer Relationship?

Conversations and sessions at FinTECHTalents last month covered many hot topics, but one theme dominated: the customer relationship is at stake.

Emma Wadey
Dec 11, 2019 · 8 min read

False comfort

Banks continue to draw a false comfort from retaining customer current/checking accounts, without realizing that data, engagement and monetization opportunities are seeping away to other players.

“Banks have willful blindness; they don’t realise that they are losing business. Just because bank customers don’t switch doesn’t mean that they love you.”

Jim Marous, Digital Banking Report CEO, The Financial Brand Co-Publisher and Forbes Contributor speaking to Ben Robinson of Aperture.co

The engagement gap

“We spend 3 hours a day on our mobile phone. On average we look at our phones around 80 times. We scroll through 300 feet of news-feed every day, that’s the equivalent height of Big Ben!” said Russell Pert, Industry lead, Financial Services at Facebook on Day 1 of the conference before concluding:

Bradley Leimer and Theodora Lau, Co-Founders of Unconventional Ventures speaking to Ben Robinson of Aperture.co

“The promise of open banking to a High Street bank is a degradation of their relationship with the customer. For a fintech, it’s an inroad into a relationship. For a tech provider, it’s a way to take more data in, understand and profile a customer better, and further entrench them into the ecosystem.”

So should banks despair? Not all, sometimes the answer is to go back to basics, rather than to try to emulate Facebook or WeChat.

Using digital to do banking better

Roger Vincent, Chief Innovation Officer at Trade Ledger pointed out there is a global funding gap of £1.2 trillion, defined as the shortfall between the capital SMEs require to grow their businesses and what they receive in lending, and that gap continues to grow.

Roger Vincent, Chief Innovation Officer at Trade Ledger

“the economy is becoming increasingly intangible, but banks aren’t yet comfortable lending against these intangible assets, which requires them to capture and process new datasets in real time.”

But taking advantage of new datasets to get credit flowing to SMEs is exactly the kind of opportunity banks should be seizing with digitization.

James Perry, Head of Client Delivery at Bud speaking to Ben Robinson of Aperture.co

Helping customers to make better decisions

But going back to basics even further, the route to more meaningful customer interaction may lie simply in helping customers to make better decisions.

Pol Navarro, Digital Director at TSB with Ben Robinson of Aperture.co

To sum up…

Any bank looking at headline customers numbers and giving itself a pat on the back should be wary that disruption continues to abound. There remains the big threat, heightened since the advent of Open Banking, that the large technology platforms will eat their lunch.

a p e r t u r e

a p e r t u r e is built on the exchange of ideas around technology, strategy and the dynamics of the platform economy. A content hub and a community.

Emma Wadey

Written by

Helping digital-era businesses connect capability and business value through engaging messages and practices. Often found in Bordeaux (or a field) aperture.co

a p e r t u r e

a p e r t u r e is built on the exchange of ideas around technology, strategy and the dynamics of the platform economy. A content hub and a community.

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