Capitalizing on FINTECH innovations
Two of the most common questions we hear from our clients are: “How is fintech going to impact what we do?” and “What should we do to prepare for the disruption from FINTECH companies?” To these, we would add a third: “How will technology innovations developed by these new companies benefit my firm?”
In this report, we attempt to answer these questions by disaggregating the impact of FINTECH in 6 areas within financial services and across 6 business dimensions.
We wanted to understand this impact in a more substantive way to be able to offer some action steps for traditional financial services firms. Therefore, we purposely chose to use the incumbents’ lens. This focus was important because much of the attention to date has been on what FINTECHS are doing to disrupt financial services rather than the precise effects on incumbents.
Simply put, our message is this: FINTECH disruption doesn’t have to spell doom for traditional firms. Indeed, the influence of fintechs can be a net positive for the incumbents, particularly those who are able to make the right strategic choices with passion and urgency. Incumbents can indeed thrive in a disrupted world. They can learn from history and be proactive in managing the change instead of being passive participants. But first they need to understand how fintech effects them before taking advantage of all the potential benefits FINTECH offers.
In doing our analysis, we relied on the framework developed by the World Economic Forum, “Future of Financial Services: How disruptive innovations are reshaping the way financial services are structured, provisioned and consumed.” We chose to leverage the rigorous research that was done for this report in disaggregating the impact along multiple dimensions.
Our analysis suggests the following five takeaways for financial services executives to consider:
- A new level of personalization comes to retail financial services products, breaking the grip of stagnant, standardized products that have been the norm.
- Even as technology forces narrowing margins in many traditional businesses, new markets will open up, offering opportunities to develop new profit pools and forcing some incumbents to “move upstream” to serve more sophisticated and profitable cohorts.
- Incumbents will use online social norms and platforms to do to financial services what “Web 2.0” did to the internet: allow users to take control of aspects of the financial supply chain, from decision support to financial intermediation.
- The playing field will level as firms of all sizes take advantage of emerging networks and platform-based services to lower cost, improve compliance, and focus on markets where they have true competitive advantage.
- Although new sources of data will continue to emerge and analytic sophistication will likewise advance, the value of the unique capabilities of humans will not be lost, and firms will need to adjust their talent strategies as a result.