Platform Banking in the US: Positioning to Be at the Center in Retail Banking

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8 November 2018

How can a bank position itself to be at the center of customer engagement and avoid being squeezed out by nimble incumbents, digital giants, and fintechs?

Key research questions

  • What is a platform banking strategy?
  • What will the pursuit of a platform banking strategy bring in the US?
  • What’s the end game of a platform strategy?


Platform businesses have emerged as some of the most dynamic examples of disruptors challenging the status quo. Fueled by an appetite for innovation, companies like Amazon have been able to achieve exceptional growth, leaving few industries unaffected. While platform businesses have yet to take off in banking, new banking business models are reflecting core tenets of a platform strategy.

Different forces are in play in banking. In Europe, regulatory requirements are moving the industry. Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) has defined open banking as a regulatory mandate to create platforms for application programming interfaces (APIs). In the US, in the absence of regulations, competitive pressures and clear opportunities are motivating banks to begin moving from a closed banking model (vertical integration) to an open one. Globally, this transformation is enabled by advances in APIs, cloud-based computing and data storage, more powerful data analytics, and artificial intelligence. It is resulting in a cultural sea change toward collaborative, partnership-based models.