Monday, July 29, 2013

Banks, Mobile Technologies and SMAC, Part 2

This article is Part 2 in a three part series (read Part 1 and Part 3)

For those that missed Part 1, Peter Abatan, my colleague at Cognizant and a banking industry and mobility expert, has been sharing his thoughts on trends in the banking industry.  The following points come mostly from his email messages to me and his blog articles.  He believes Internet and mobile banks will create increasing competition for traditional banks for the following reasons:

  • Checks are quickly becoming obsolete.  In fact, the UK plans to phase out checks by 2018.
  • Internet and mobile only banks will not issue or process checks; instead they will offer alternatives by which you can make payments. This reduces their operation costs.
  • People are carrying less cash than they did 5 ago.  That makes ATMs less important. According to the Financial Times (FT), UK consumers did nearly 10% less shopping with cash in terms of monetary value, in 2012 than in the previous year. FT goes on to say that the use of debit cards and newer methods such as PayPal are making gains compared to the use of cash. If ATMs are needed, Internet and mobile only banks can always join existing ATM networks so that members can withdraw cash.
  • Internet and mobile only banks will be able to pay more attractive interest rates because they have few or no branches and fewer employees to support.  This is a significant competitive advantage.
  • P2P banking (peer-to-peer), NFC (near field communications) and contactless payment adoptions are on the rise: The number of retail outlets that receive small payments through contactless technology is on the rise, at the same time P2P payments, using mobile apps like Barclays Pingit, are increasing in popularity and enabling users to transfer a limited amount of money to another person or business without going through a traditional bank.
  • P2P lending may become the killer app in the banking industry. This is where Internet and mobile only banks can excel. These technology-focused banks can provide P2P lending services, by matching lenders, borrowers and satisfactory interest rates, then charging a fee that will enable them to provide higher ROIs for their customers.  

Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.