It’s conference and presentation season again, so I’ve been on the road speaking to a lot of clients and industry players (banks and service providers), both heritage organizations and younger firms. I’ve been struck by the critical importance of brand. For established companies it’s a blessing and a curse; for newer ones, it’s a crucial hurdle.
Incumbent banks are often caricatured as slow, risk-averse, and out of touch. Yet a recent report from Stephen Greer on mobile account opening showed the big four US banks to be among the best performers in this emerging area. While their brands may not necessarily be perceived as cool, they’re nevertheless powerful. When Chase was piloting its new bank, it originally tried the new name as simply “finn.” That didn’t work; it’s now “finn by Chase.” Look, too, at “Marcus by Goldman Sachs.”
Incumbent vendors have a similar issue. I’ve spoken in the last week to three large companies entrenched in the highest echelons of global finance. They’ve all lamented the fact that they can’t get onto the stage at Finovate or Money 20/20 because “you’re a public company,” or that they aren’t even asked to participate in beauty contests because the requestor doesn’t even think of them, or their name is so closely associated with the technology that they started with that no one even considers all the new solutions that they’ve developed.
IBM Watson is an interesting attempt to solve this conundrum. IBM is present, but there’s a whole new sub-brand. Might other heritage vendors look to banks and launch some of their newer products, whether in regtech, cloud, or APIs, with a “New Brand by Established Company” construction?
On another note, artificial intelligence is a hot topic across the globe. In Latin America, institutions are evaluating investments into the technology. Recently, Stephen Greer and Juan Mazzini published a report titled Understanding the Investment into AI by Banks in Latin America. On November 15, they will host a webinar that will explore the results of a recent Celent survey of institutions in Latin America, digging deeper into the views of AI, investment priorities, and current impact in the region.
Several vendors across the banking technology spectrum have chosen to list their services on our new platform VendorMatch. VendorMatch helps you to discover new, exciting, and relevant commercial technology solutions, allows you to evaluate partners for future projects, and saves you time and money in the process.
We are not stopping there! We will also use VendorMatch internally as a mechanism for our own research and plan to deliver the bulk of our vendor-related research through the platform. We’ve got an ambitious digital roadmap ahead of us, and I look forward to hearing your feedback as we continue to launch our new digital services.
As a reminder, the nomination window for Celent’s Model Bank Awards is open and the deadline is coming up in just a few weeks on November 16. Here’s how you can apply.
With all best wishes,
Senior Vice President