From What's Next: Top Trends:
So, the future of banking. Or is it the future of banks? This is the question.
Either way, it’s always dangerous to suggest a singular future, because in my experience events have a nasty habit of tripping up even the best laid plans and predictions. I prefer scenarios as a way of hedging strategy. Case in point is Greece. Back in early 2007 I wrote a blog post about the end of physical money. It was partly based upon my experience of going to the small Greek island of Hydra with pocket full of Euros only to find that nobody wanted them. It was essentially a cashless economy with one ATM that hardly anyone used.
But I returned to Hydra a year later, in 2008, and the situation had reversed. All anyone wanted was cash and the single ATM on the island had a permanent queue beside it. Why?
The reason was the GFC. Trust had evaporated from the island economy.
For me, this illustrates how the future is scenario dependent and how making big bets on any one future needs to be considered carefully. A variety of non-technological factors also need to be taken into account, ranging from the health of the economy, to regulation and most of all people – all of which, especially people, can and do change direction.
Bill Gates once observed that banking is essential, but banks are not. Or as I observed in my book Future Files eleven years ago, if everyone from supermarkets to car companies is offering financial services, where does that leave the banks? I think we’re still trying to figure this out in 2018.
The most likely future for banks is that some become platforms while others become pipes.If interested see also his Feb. 28: Bye-Bye Banks?
The platform future is highly credible, partly because people tend to trust banks with their money, especially large amounts of it, more than non-financial organisations. But again, this is scenario dependent. If the economy is strong, and people feel confident about the future, I think they’ll consider all kinds of things including peer-to-peer lending and cryptocurrencies, but if the economy tanks I think people will stay with whom and what they know best....MORE