Uber mortgages? Really? It sounds like a traditional banker’s nightmare. In our latest Insight Guide, Crediting the Future, we had some fun speculating about what the world of financial services might look like in 10 years, and it was quite scary. For both banks and insurance companies. The sector has already experienced quite a lot of disruption, but nothing as fundamental as an Uber-style bank or insurance company. Though there are a rising number of digital competitors threatening the established players in the sector.
In the Insight Guide we wanted to emphasize the ‘good news’ – the opportunities that digital technologies can bring to brands with a long history – and big customer bases. Uber succeeded because it had a simple idea: people want a cab but they don’t want to take their chances hailing one out on the street. Why not use their phone as a portal through which they could order a cab, track it, check the cost, and then review the ride?
Simple. It angered taxi cab drivers in big cities, then quickly spread out to the suburbs and undercut car-service operators everywhere. Now, Uber is both a noun and verb: shall we Uber it? You want an Uber? And the company is worth $70bn. But, financial services companies are not in the business of getting people from A to B. They’re much more serious than that. Our futures depend on what they do – and how they do it. Sure, Uber – or Amazon – can start to encroach on the financial sector, but as aggregators. Middle men. That’s happened already with comparison websites, especially in the insurance sector. The point the Insight Guide stresses is that established companies have something that new players don’t have – and can’t get – that’s generations of insight about their customers.
That data is gold. It offers the intelligence and insights needed to reach out to customers proactively, anticipate demand for traditional products and for new ones, and swiftly develop and deploy new services. But the end-to-end digital infrastructure and tools needed to do that in an agile way must be in place – now.
So, sure, the disruptors are already in the game, and more are looking to scale the walls, but traditional players already have the defenses they need to compete with them: heritage and data and relationships. Digital technologies should serve those strengths, not get in their way.
Download the Insight Guide, Crediting the Future, right here.