As shared in Bank Director’s current issue, peer-to-peer lenders, like San Francisco-based Lending Club, are beginning to gain traction as an alternative to banks in both the commercial and consumer loan space.
In the retail sector, well-funded technology companies like Google, Amazon and a host of others are swimming around like sharks looking to tear off chunks of revenue, particularly in the $300 billion a year payments business. These disruptors, as many consultants call them, are generally more nimble and quicker to bring new products to market.
While being “attacked by aggressive competitors from outside the industry is certainly not a new phenomenon for traditional banks,” it is fair to ask what a bank can do today. For inspiration, take a look at what Richard Fairbank, the Chairman and CEO of Capital One, had to say on a recent earnings call.
Ultimately the winners in banking will have the capabilities of a world-class software company. Most of the leverage and most of our investment is in building the foundational underpinnings and talent model of a great digital company. To succeed in a digital world (you) can’t just bolt digital capabilities onto the side of an analog business.
I thought this was particularly interesting given our editor’s take in this quarter’s issue: “if you’re a traditional banker, it’s time to recognize (if you don’t already) that a growing number of consumers — many of them young, well educated and upwardly mobile—can get along just fine without you.” Clearly, it would be foolish for any bank CEO or director to operate with a false sense of security that their institution won’t need to adapt.
So is Capital One’s “approach” to business the way of the future for many big banks?
Drop me a line or send me a tweet (@aldominick) and let me know what you think. Aloha Friday!