Evolution not revolution: Financial services of the future


|06-08-2018 | Reuters | treasuryXL |


The story surrounding the banking battle to keep customers happy, as challenges emerge from FinTechs, is not a new one. However, Barclays is embracing this competition – not to mention the other winds of change, such as Brexit and new regulation across Europe.


Collaboration over competition

Barclays’ recent strategic partnership with PayPal is indicative of the continuing evolution, rather than the need for total revolution. It gives consumers and business customers a new, seamless way of linking their two accounts. It’s an example of how banks can transform and make their trusted brands stronger, wherein banking experience and innovation are key – this evolution isn’t a full-on collision with large technology companies.

Banks are part of the solution

“FinTechs still need banking payment rails. It’s not in their interest to completely destroy banks. There is still a need for them to be part of the solution. The more we look at collaboration, innovation will enable us to thrive alongside FinTechs,” says Martin Griffiths, Head of FinTech at Barclays. He adds, “There will be new business models – maybe it won’t be all about payments. We’ve got to be open to thinking about what consumers need, what the experience is that the end users want.”

Trust, above all

As established financial services companies strive to stay relevant in a disruptive world, FinTech start-ups would do well to draw on the histories of these corporations and learn how to build businesses that last. Security, privacy and compliance — these are core issues that are hard to replicate. “Consumers trust banks and until some of these businesses have the same scale and the same level of trust, they’re not going to be looked at as the first alternative for most consumers, for quite some time. I think the crypto space is seeing that. Who do you turn to when things go wrong? The banks have got a longstanding reputation for servicing problems,” according to Barclays’ Martin Griffiths.

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