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Banks must get smarter ‘or lose out to techfins’

Peter Matthews, CEO, Nucleus

Banks must use their data to become customer experts or risk losing out to so-called ‘techfins’, a leading financial branding expert has claimed.
Peter Matthews, founder and CEO of brand and digital agency Nucleus, said techfin solutions – digital financial services offerings from major technology firms – are already offering the kind of highly personalised services and rich user experiences across all devices that today’s financial services consumers crave.
“The next generation of customer expectations have been set by bigtech,” he claimed. “These seamless experiences already define the expectations of millennials. Where bigtech is becoming techfin might cause problems for the banking titans, with new kinds of internet finance we haven’t seen before.”
Technology, he pointed out, has been a traditional weakness of traditional banks, with many seeking alliances with small, disruptive fintechs to try to catch up and deliver on what customers want before challenger banks can steal their share of the market.
“Banks have been lucky, so far,” said Matthews. “The challenger banks have not really challenged, instead they have stuck with broadly traditional business models and have not fundamentally reinvented the technology of banking.”
He predicted a new landscape emerging: “I see the best fintechs carving out profitable niches and nibbling away at what were once highly profitable core banking services,” he said. “Meanwhile, techfin players may enter the market with new platforms for payments, investment and fund management and even p2p debt, while traditional banks struggle to appeal to the next generation of customers. And what if a bigtech company bought a challenger bank to create a fully regulated techfin offer?”
Ultimately, he said, banks will need to think big and re-imagine a future where they can use their data to become customer experts, leveraging their insights drawn from deep data to improve the customer experience and deliver personalised financial services in real-time.

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