Perspectives from Boyden's Global Financial Services Experts on Banking, FinTech, Real Estate, Insurance, Wealth & Asset Management
A roundtable discussion led by Boyden's Global Financial Services Practice Co-Leaders, Carlos Dafauce and Joost Goudsmit.
Carlos Dafauce: Consumer behaviours have rapidly changed, very clearly demonstrating accelerated demand for, and use of, financial digital solutions. What evolutions can we expect to see from FinTech?
Anita Pouplard (France): The FinTech industry is one of the fastest-growing and paced industries around, and it’s changing the financial services industry as we know it daily. Customers have now accustomed to top-notch omnichannel experiences thanks to Amazon, Uber, and other apps making once-daunting processes a one-click breeze. Gradually, most of us developed a neat digital ecosystem of products to fulfill our every need. FinTech apps have the opportunity to find their place in the heart of that ecosystem.
This growing popularity and adoption of digital banking has empowered banks to provide a growing number of real-time and same-day banking services through multiple online channels at once. From personal digital assistants, saving and investment tools, payment processing, and more, the FinTech industry is responsible for some of the most innovative and intuitive ways humans interact with technology that truly make their lives easier.
Millennial and Gen Z consumers are the driving consumer force — the key target demographics for 2020–2030 — want to see their banking products as their companions and advisors who are helping them reach their financial goals and gradually building up their wealth.
Russ Silvestri (U.S.A): I would add that the battle for the peer to peer payments whether Apple Pay, Venmo, Zelle for the most part is over and is, in essence, a free service provided by banks.
There are three areas that I believe are up for battle:
Point of presence, pay when you need it, think supermarket you pay for it when you drop it in your cart versus standing in line.
Paying providers, business networks the supplier, and service circle (think travel business, commissions, taxes, and fees for world travel with commissions returning to host country).
Utilizing purchase points anywhere. Consolidate all your airline miles and credit card discounts one-stop access whether online or in-person, you can apply a percentage to the purchase price or use all your points, it is a currency that today represents tens of billions that if utilized could accelerate sales. Amazon is leading in this and is using this tool as a primary driver to its dominance. Shoppers swear by it.
The theme is utilization. All FinTech providers are focused solely on utilization and adoption; they are willing to pay a lot to acquire customers whose lifetime value to exceed the cost of acquisition will take more years than they can fund. The inflection of consolidation versus investment is what we should be watching for. Because in this game, to scale is the only way you win.
Dr. Dirk Friederich (Germany): Regarding the need for a categorical focus on customers, banks and FinTechs are mostly in agreement. This unity makes successful cooperation possible, which we are currently seeing increasingly, that is, cooperation between banks and FinTechs and not a fight against each other.
In summary, the following skills will be increasingly needed in banking in the future:
Technological and innovative skills
Work culture and working atmosphere
In times of artificial intelligence or advanced automation and machine learning, it is not surprising that classic customer service in local branches is an outdated concept. Even if this has been proven many times, other forms of customer contact must now be found in order to continue to work efficiently. The fact that in many cases this can be supported very specifically by technologies or even completely replaced also implies the realization of many FinTechs that specific know-how and the industry expertise of numerous consultants will no longer be necessary.