Digital Denial, Market Advantages

When Chris Skinner talks about the forthcoming challenges that are ready to greet banks and financial institutions, most people in the industry know to listen up.

Skinner, author of Digital Banking a regular commentator on BBC News, CNBC and Bloomberg, recently spoke at the Money20/20 FinTech conference and exhibition in Las Vegas.

“Banks are in denial,” Skinner said. “They don’t believe digital is a transformation program, it’s just a project.”

Skinner said that just won’t cut it. Banks need high-level digital leadership if they want to remain on the cutting edge and keep their marketshare moving forward.

“Digital first is the way to go,” Skinner said. “Redeveloping the bank for the digital age is what it’s all about.”

However, Skinner noted that FinTech is still a very small portion of the marketshare compared to banking overall. And despite some early predictions, large banks have actually increased their market share since the rise of FinTech firms.

“Banks are not going to disappear,” Skinner said. “Right now, we’ve got about 40 brand-new banks launching in Britain. We don’t need that many.”

We’re entering a digital age, but Skinner understands that it’s still extremely hard for FinTech startups to make waves.

“The challenge is, when you’ve got no customers, no history, no brand, and little accountable, how do you challenge banks that have billions of accountables, millions of accounts, and centuries of history?” Skinner asked.

It’s a good question, and it’s still up for debate.