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10 July 2015


  • It is almost inevitable that banks will lose the customer-facing front-end. Once they provide (kicking and screaming) API access into their customers' data and transaction suite, they will have lost the customer's attention. PFMs and other aggregation portals will intermediate to own the customer with a rich and consistent experience across all channels (not necessarily just digital), while the banks will be left competing with each other to provide commoditised back-end products on a wholesale pricing basis. This is already happening in commoditised products like short-term insurance and homeloans, not to mention p2p lending where the bank is not even needed in the background anymore.

  • Thanks for developing the thinking on this Gareth. I didn't mean to imply that the neo-bank or iso-bank connect to only one back end. I think they will both connect to multiple financial institutions. In my head I was thinking more about what it looks like to the customer. Does it look like a bank or does it look like something else but nevertheless does what a bank does? Will go back and think about this some more!

  • Theo
    Thanks for your comment. I'm not sure all are quite so bullish as you are, but it's certainly a threat.

    One personal opinion - I'm sure some of my Celent colleagues might disagree! - is the business case for PFM led propositions, particularly in markets like the UK. Until free banking disappears, I suspect it's going to be difficult to convince people to pay for such a service, with so many payments automated.

  • No problem - I know you didn't, but the examples you gave fitted neatly into that categorisation. You raise another important point, implicit in your post but worth being explicit - the view/terminology is likely to differ depending on the constituency, and some other discussions (not these ones!) haven't always distinguished between functional components and what it looks like to a consumer. I think this matters because I'm not sure that that consumer understands and may not necessarily make the choice the regulator assumes they will.