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I was listening to a futurist talking about our planet, its
growth, its overpopulation, the challenge of feeding the planet, sustainability
and more, and in the middle of all of this he said that the future would have
I gave a presentation the other day and, as usual, concluded
that banks should position themselves as data vaults. One person then asked: what data should a bank make secure? which is a good question to
ask, as it led to a healthy debate and improvement of clarity of view.
Today, we produce exabytes of data every hour. How much data? Well, it’s hard to quantify as the data
explosion of the last decade is so immense, but this slide gives you a good
I wasn’t going to post this on the blog, as it has nothing
to do with banking, but it’s August and no-one’s bothered what I post. It does also have some
relevance as I blogged yesterday about banks being stuck with 20th century
processes. That blog entry received this response from Nick Bush: a more customer-centric approach would help. Your piece
shows that existing players have yet to fully adopt this.
Over the past few years, I’ve transitioned across to
internet banking like most. Now I also
use mobile banking, mainly for balance checks and confirmation of transactions. In fact, it’s twenty years since all of this
began and now it’s standard.
So it surprised me this week, when applying for a new
mortgage (yes, I’m moving house!) and the mortgage broker said that I had to
bring in my bank statements.
We all realise the world is changing fast when you look back
ten, twenty or fifty years. Ten years
ago, there was on iPhone or Facebook.
Twenty years ago, the end of the Soviet Union, the removal of the Berlin
Wall and the aftermath of apartheid were still reverberating around the
world. And fifty years ago, the Beatles
were enjoying their first success, John F Kennedy was dealing with the Bay of
Pigs and the Cuba crisis and the Great Train Robbery takes place in Britain.
Like others in the conference hall, I felt a sense of awe as
the world’s greatest living explorer, Sir Ranulph ‘Ran’ Fiennes, took to the
stage to recount some of the stories about his life and travels, including the day he was in court over trying to rob a bank.
I must admit, having listened to Jeremy Roe regarding banks mis-selling swaps contracts along with Which? and the leader of bank employee union Unite talking about how general staff and customers feel about mis-selling, I’m a
little bit cynical.
Have banks behaved badly or are customers a little bit
There's a theme that keeps cropping up at most conferences I attend around the remodelling
It came up again today in a discussion about data leverage
at the Asian Banker Summit, and it occurred to me again recently, when I chaired the future focused day at IPS 2013.
The theme is how do you turn a vertically integrated
business that owns the customer process end-to-end and organises itself around
products and channels, into a horizontally structured business that wants to
provide functionality to the customer at their point of need and organises
themselves around the customer’s data.
That’s a long sentence and, for those who get this, it will
make perfect sense.
This is why I wouldn’t bother writing anything further, except
that this is so fundamental to the dialogue we’re having that I feel the need
to break it down step-by-step.
There’s an old saying that cropped up the other day in
respect of Margaret Thatcher’s son, Mark. It was a joking reference by
Margaret that her son was so clever he could sell “snow to eskimos or sand to
Arabs” or, as one wag put it, arms to anyone.
Anyways, it’s a message worth remembering as most fintech
companies could not sell sand to eskimos, snow to Arabs or guns to anyone, as
they have no idea how to market or sell their wares.