Traveling in time with banks's digital strategy

By October 09, 2013
Keywords : alibaba, banks, China, Mobile
baggage room

Cécilia Wu's blog of September 5 on banks getting mobile (*) made me wonder about the changes that are currently ongoing in the digital financial landscape. 
Have you ever wondered how banks will look like by the time today’s children get some of their own? Well actually I couldn’t resist. So here’s very brief how I see things.

First of all, the current definition of a bank is already changing if you look at the digital offering they have and we are only 2013. Here in China there is still a strategy of being everywhere for the customer; meaning both online and offline at any time. Back in Europe where I lived for the past 27 years, this is no longer the case.  Banks are heavily increasing investments in digital and more often mobile solutions. Generation-Y is mobile native, or how I like to call them: the-everywhere-every time-anything-anyplace generation.

Second of all, I was actually not thinking of banks as we know them today when I was looking 20 years ahead of me.  It might be a bit early to say so, or maybe for some of you not, but I was thinking of big digital players like google, samsung, tencent and alibaba; maybe even Apple if they make it till iPhone 14.
These giants are cash rich; most of the time they have a high-tech driven business model. More often they have the user data needed to start with a gigantic potential customer base. Those could be also big financial players. So now you could ask yourself, what is keeping them from doing so for the moment? Actually the answer is very clear: nothing. They are already on the market.

Last but not least, we might not forget where we are already standing today. If all this sounds a bit in the cloud, you might take a look around you. Either you want to pay, lend, save or invest everything is available online, most of it even mobile. I can think of at least a few solutions for every example that can help me make this transaction. Different solutions that where completely unknown to me only 3 years ago. Our shopping experience, our customer journey and also our way of dealing with financials will keep evolving. In the end I have to admit I cannot travel trough time, but I do am very certain a lot of things will change. 

 Yannick Vandecappelle

(*) Chinese domestic banks going mobile, how do they perform right now?

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