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It's obvious that gamification is a game changer - apologies for the pun.
Gamification is huge.
The games industry is bigger than the movies these days, with Call of Duty, Halo and World of Warcraft, leading the charge but we must not forget Angry Birds, Candy Crush and the range and reach of Flappy Bird.
The gaming industry generates around $100 billion revenues per annum (dependent upon whose figures you look at, and how the stats are calculated), and is being pushed hard by mobile gaming (around half of games are now played on mobiles).
This is why banks need to put games high on their priority list for retail consumer banking but, unfortunately, most banks do not have such things high on their agenda.
I was surprised the other day when Financial Newsnamed me as one of the top 40 most influential innovators in financial technology, alongside friends including Sean Park, Matteo Rizzi and Nektarios Liolios. It is gratifying to get recognition, and places me amongst 30 London-based influencers of note.
It is this latter point that is worthy of further debate.
As mentioned yesterday, banks are not sleeping ostriches but are very awake to the digital revolution.
In fact, many are investing in that revolution with four incumbent banks standing out on my radar for their investments in these efforts.
The first of these is Sberbank, mainly because two friends of mine are running their venture capital fund: Mircea Mihaescu and Matteo Rizzi (Mircea is our guest at the next Financial Services Club meeting in Warsaw).
In late 2013, we researched the views of how payments markets are responding to change. The results are intriguing, so here's the management summary. If you would like a free copy of the report, just download here.
I was watching this great advert documentary about Amazon on the BBC this week.
It’s a rocking organisation that most of us mere mortals watch with wonder.
From packing and selling books in a garage over the internet, it’s become a global behemoth (although Alibaba is bigger in China). Amazon generated almost $75 billion in revenues in 2013, up 22% on the prior year. Just here in good old blighty, every person in Britain spends over £70 a year on Amazon. And with Amazon Prime, Instant Video, Kindle Fire, Amazon Web Services, Cloud Player, Mayday and more, the innovations and growth seem to just keep on going.
For some years now, banks have been grappling with the idea of cloud.
A bit like Big Data, ‘cloud’ is this amorphic term that offers a panacea of solutions and nothing specific.
This is not actually true, but the wide-ranging breadth of cloud and few and far between examples of depth, make it a term that does not sit well with most in the financial markets.
For those who are uninitiated it means outsourcing your data or losing control, and hence it is resisted heavily; for others, it means agility and the ability to react to any processing needs; whilst for a few, it means saving huge amounts of cost on infrastructure and processing.
The core challenge is defining cloud, as few have.
Talking of a two-stream market divided between Political and Economic change and Social and Technological change, there are other undercurrents that ripple in these waters.
For example, why is it that most bank conferences are either about regulation or innovation? Because one forces change to happen whilst the other offers the opportunity to change? Or because regulation is political and economic whilst innovation is about the customer (social and technological)?
Why is it that banks only ever respond to two forces of change: regulation and competition? Because one is political and economic whilst the other is normally social and technological.
Another presentation that surprised me in Oslo came from Tor Jacobsen, CEO of TSM Nordic.
It surprised me as I had no idea about TSM, a mobile wallet provider owned by Telenor and DNB – Norway’s biggest mobile network operator (MNO) and biggest bank – and will launch in the Norwegian market later this year under the brand name ValYou.
This video provides a brief overview of how it’s being promoted:
I’ve been thinking about the new providers of bank services a lot lately. The guys who are innovating using mobile. The Breeze’s of this world from StanChart, the mBank’s, the Simple’s and more. One thing that is common to all is the turnaround of thinking. All of them work with a different view of the customer. All of them believe that other banks get things wrong, and need to change.
It is a fundamentally different business model to every other bank and one that sets them apart.
What is it?
What is this elusive thing that is hard for so many others to achieve?