Interview – Mobile Banking Revolution: Chris Skinner über Zukunftsentwürfe ohne Bank
Sein Business-Weblog ist eines der herausragenden in der internationalen Bankenszene, angereichert mit einer würzigen Prise britischem Humor und Understatement. Die Rede ist von Chris Skinner und „The Finanser“ http://thefinanser.co.uk/fsclub/ – ein regelmäßig vom Autor aktualisiertes Internet-Tagebuch, das sich insbesondere an Führungskräfte und Mitarbeiter in der Finanzindustrie und Bankenwirtschaft richtet.
Im Gespräch mit Social Banking 2.0 erläutert der renommierte Bankenexperte, Buchautor, Redner und Marktanalyst, an welchen neuralgischen Stellen sich Innovationsspielräume im Geschäftsmodell der Finanzindustrie künftig verorten lassen. Oder einfacher ausgedrückt: Geht die Neuerung und Veränderung, in welche Richtung auch immer, eher von der Technologie aus oder direkt vom Nutzer, oder möglicherweise sogar von beiden?
Viele Fragen, die sich vielleicht auf einen zentralen Aspekt reduzieren lassen: Wie sieht die Bank der Zukunft denn aus? Darauf hat Chris Skinner zweifellos ein paar spannende Antworten. Der Einfachheit und globalen Lesbarkeit halber hier das Interview in englischer Sprache in etwas gekürzter Form:
Social Banking 2.0: Chris, what does Social Media in Finance Sector mean to you. Do you see some Best Practices?
The first part of the question, the relation between Banks and Social Media, the answer is not a lot. There are a few examples of Innovaters doing interesting things, such like First Direct, where there allow transparent Comments of the Users about their services, (view f.e. http://www.newsroom.firstdirect.com/press). They publish also negative comments, which is quite interesting, towards gaining trust. But most activities in Banks and Social Media are focused on the Corporate Customers. Especially Small Business Users need somewhere to go to get some advice, for example they go to the Small Business Community Website from Bank of America (http://smallbusinessonlinecommunity.bankofamerica.com/index.jspa) or the Bench which is beeing run by SEB Bank in Sweden. www.seb.se But apart from that there is very little.
Social Banking 2.0: And the private users and consumers?
The best example is BBVA’s service (view Chris Skinner here: http://thefinanser.co.uk/fsclub/2008/07/bbva-the-first.html or http://thefinanser.co.uk/fsclub/2009/02/baas-banking-as-a-service-presentation.html) , which allow the users to break the Bank down into Widgets or functionalities, so I could plug those widgets into any form of home page, so potentially I could mash up my „banking pieces“ into for example My iGoogle Page. That could be a concept how to integrate payment services and combine it with intelligent IT-Services, like local Google Maps etc.
Social Banking 2.0: Does that also mean that Personal Finance Management will be the trend, to bring more transparency into the Online Banking Business – or is it just a nice tool?
It is an evolution from what today most banks offer, which is just simple secure log on – and replace is with something much more customizable and personalized. But the revolution has much more to do with Mobile Banking, considering the Report of a 15-year old Boy for Morgan Stanley (view: http://media.ft.com/cms/c3852b2e-6f9a-11de-bfc5-00144feabdc0.pdf – It is amazing how rapidly our world is changes, the movement from mainframe age (in the 1970), Web 2.0 to Mobile Interet is becoming more and more ubiquitious. It is a complete revolution. Banks have not even worked out, what that revolution does mean. If everybody has a Bank in the pocket, the relationship with Banking and Money changes fundamentally. If you take the iPhone and 24×7 Banking Services into account, Microtransactions become much more common, for example in terms of virtual gaming. The Mobile Internet will dynamically shift us away from thinking of Banking and Money has something to do in a physical sense. Everything could be invisible in an electronic way, that is a very exciting revolution.
Social Banking 2.0: Could Banks be in a middle term prospective be replaced?
You could easily replace the chip in your credit card by integrate a chip in your mobile phone. You could roll out that transition within three years.
Social Banking 2.0: We have nice buzzwords like Croudsourcing, Croudfunding and Mass Collaboration of Consumers, how do you see that, is it also influencing and changing the world of Banks and their core business?
We went already from the iPod to the iPhone, this is blowing away, if you see the number of downloads. From the consumer prospective there is an amazing demand for Mobile (Internet) Services and Products, that is the what the evolution is like.
Social Banking 2.0: What about Banking and Social Media in Germany?
The strange thing is, the largest Community in Second Life was the German middle aged female User. Generally I can see a revolution taking place now, and I don’t think that the financial system is keeping up with it.
Social Banking 2.0: Is it also a slowly revolution, that users organize money in communties and financial social networks , for example through Peer-to-Peer-lending?
I don’t think, that by the moment this is a strong alternative. Social Lending is still a small market, which has to proove that it can be a real alternative. The one bank who presented an interesting hybrid banking modell is Caja Navarra in Spain, integrating Social Lending or Civic Banking. The problem generally is the lenders part, the critical mass of people who are willing to give more money to feed the system.
Social Banking 2.0: But the problem to trust the traditional banks could cause more problems and raise the demand for Social Lending, where do you finally see the revolution in Banking and IT-Services?
The Banks will continue to track the trends and changes within commercial and retail Banking customers. Most banks will not respond to the changes happening, because they don’t need to change so quickly. They don’t want to move the customer away from them. Also we have to consider that other alternative protagonists will have some difficulties to get some new banking license. The real innovative players are not trying to steal the banks customer. What fundamentally is changing, is that if you put a layer on top, which removes the traditional relationship between customer and Bank.
Social Banking 2.0: Can you give us an example?
The best example is Paypal. They don’t try to steal customers from the banks, but they say, we are just a layer above you, rather than being a substitute for your bank. Paypal could upscale their services easily and add new functionalities. They do have the critical mass.
Social Banking 2.0: Which IT-Players could be the ones, who are leading the technological transition, removing banks from the top of the hierarchy to the background of the Business?
Paypal and Amazon are probably the two Players to remove Banks and practically to get rid of them.
Social Banking 2.0: You update very regularly your Weblog Financial Services – what was the motivation to start with Blogging?
Most of my life I dealt with the Banking Industry. I worked as an Analyst and started writing for a financial Magazine, which launched a Financial Blog. So there it started more as a hobby. But there was no point and sense, just blogging once a month, you should do it regularly. Then I decided to use my blog as a voice to the financial industry. I was wondering how much users are coming.
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