It’s time to move on from the focus on Fintech, and talk about the customer.
For a while ”fintech” has been the only game in town. If you’re not talking tech, somehow your ideas and propositions are old hat. It’s a trap that I’ve certainly fallen into but it really needs to stop. We need to be focusing on the customer first. Fintech is merely the way we make banking or finance better. It’s the enabler technologies and ideas that improve or replace the way we, the customer, have always done things.
Let’s look at what Fintech is not.
Fintech is not about the practice of banking
Let’s look at the main focus or application areas of Fintech discussion, activity & investment: Payments; Lending; Wealth Management; Credit; Remittances, FX and cross border transfers. These are all standard areas of banking activity, and have been, even before the word Fintech entered our vocabulary.
Fintech is not about unique technologies that only banks can leverage
So what are the specific technologies that Fintech is utilising? Big (or ‘More’) Data & Analytics; leading into the Internet of Things; social media; collaborative & open innovation platforms; biometrics and wearables;
Fintech is not about all the banks disappearing
Many Fintech businesses, ideas and startups are here to help banks transition into a digital era. Enhancing the business model, operating model and customer experience model of a bank will be highly beneficial to the industry, the economy and the customer base.
Fintech is not about being a startup
Utilising these technologies across the various sectors of banking, for the sake of making an impact in the industry as a startup is not a unique proposition alone – others can copy, banks can fast follow or acquire. Startups come and go, as does the VC funding. Many have yet to really make the impact we’re expecting.
Fintech is not just about tech!
Building anything digital doesn’t always solve the problems your organisation might have. Building an app is usually the worst thing to do. Purchasing a new system, digitising paper processes, moving to online collaboration and ideas platforms, ‘migrating customers to digital’ are all doing lip service to the deep entrenched challenges any organisation may face. These challenges must be confronted for what they are, not simply thrown in the Fintech queue.
So what is Fintech really?
Fintech is an attitude. A state of mind. A way of working.
Disruption only occurs when the disrupted clearly is unprepared by the timing, and unable to react to the change. Having an open mind, with open ears and eyes on the broader landscape, will ensure you can see the change coming.
Fintech is a way of managing, leading and building
Fintech dictates new ways of leading people and organisations through challenging or changing time. Fintech is a way of transforming, changing and adapting through new tools, processes, methodologies and approaches that utilise people and their skills the best, as well the tech that’s around us.
Fintech is the best chance we have of creating the ultimate customer experience
Fintech now is really putting laser focus and judgement on the real customer value proposition. Anyone can compare, contrast, judge and critique any new service or product against an incumbent, and simply choose to use it or not. The customer will vote with their feet, far easier than they’ve ever done it before.
Let’s take the Fintech opportunity for what it is – a culture change not a digital change.
It’s time for Fintech to die as a simple application of existing and new technology concepts. It’s time for Fintech to take hold as a way of doing business, a way of existing. And it’s not just for start-ups!
We’ll be discussing this and much more at the 2016 Fintech Finals conference on January 25-26 in Hong Kong – register today at www.FintechFinals.com