“Look at the retail industry today; five years from now you will see a similar level of transformation in banking.”
That bold prediction came from Ricky Knox, co-founder and CEO of Tandem Bank, during Monday’s Money2020 panel titled, “Bank of the Future: It Might Not Be What (or Who) You Expect.” To put Ricky’s quote in context consider that Sears, a retail giant that has been an American institution for over 130 years, filed for bankruptcy last week.
An overflow audience surrounded the stage where Marqeta founder and CEO Jason Gardner led the discussion between Knox, and other fellow “dismantlers” of the traditional banking status quo including Chris Britt, founder and CEO of Chime and Nicolas Kopp, the U.S CEO of N26. Also joining the panel was Ryan Gilbert, managing partner of Propel Venture Partners who is a major force funding the FinTech revolution.
Jason started the session noting that over 57 percent of people believe that traditional banks and credit unions will cease to exist within their lifetime, while also noting nearly 70 percent believe that FinTech players are making their financial lives better and improving their financial health.
Jason observed as more people become increasingly dissatisfied with traditional financial institutions, they’re migrating toward the innovative products and services offered by emerging FinTech companies. Non-traditional lenders, or alternative lenders, are rapidly gaining market share as they continue to empower customers by providing them with relevant solutions that make it easier to access funds and gain more control over their finances. Jason asked the panel for their perspective on what’s going on?
“You can look at a newspaper and see what’s happening,” said Chris. “We have reached a bit of a breaking point in fees. Consumers are not willing to put up with it.”
“Modern companies are built to solve customers’ problems; banks were not built to solve customers’ problems,” asserted Ricky. “If you can create a Spotify of banking and (it) creates a great user experience, then you are building something very different from what banks are doing today.”
When asked to point to a company that is making a difference Ryan identified Steady, a new app for workers in the gig economy. Steady claims to make “it easier for these workers to find the best work opportunities to build their careers, as well as manage and better understand their income.”
Jason then asked the panel what we can expect in banking from tech giants Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
“These guys have a lot to lose by being caught in a regulatory web,” Ricky said. “Amazon is a wild card. You got to look at it from their perspective. They are looking at every industry in the world. It’s not quite as simple as Google bank is going to smash us.”
“Amazon is here already,” said Ryan. “So many companies on the show here will not be exhibiting in the next five years.”
Jason re-directed the conversation to what’s new in payments? He asked the panel to comment on some of the innovations that are happening.
“There’s a lot of buzzwords that are being thrown around,” said Nicolas. “The most exciting one is AI.”
“AI not just in terms of recommendations,” Chris added. “Not just giving you nudges, but taking action on your behalf.”
Jason then asked the panel for their thoughts for the future.
“Over the next few years there will be several consumer brands that will disrupt (the traditional banking industry,)” Chris said, noting banking will become mobile-centric and not reliant on fee income. “You will see more advertising about ‘having your back.’”
Nicolas said to look for more globalization with customer-friendly, customer-focused banks emerging. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw banks at a scale of HSBC — but not incumbents — but FinTechs.”
With that, the panel concluded and these FinTech innovators headed to their respective booths to continue telling, showing, and shaping the future of banking.