Q&A: How tech is shaking up the banking sector
Q&A: How tech is shaking up the banking sector
Banking is one area that has been particularly disrupted by technology for some time, but it was during the pandemic that customers really started to change their banking habits.
Banking over the counter in High Street branches is becoming something of a rarity. Customers are quickly becoming accustomed to banking apps and technology driven by artificial intelligence.
During the first few months of the pandemic, use of mobile banking apps and online banking grew strongly. Banking in branches, however, saw a sharp decline. This may have been due to restricted opening as part of the lockdowns. This shift in the notion of a bank being an app rather than a building has opened opportunities for disruptive technology companies.
So, what does this mean for the future of traditional banks? We spoke to Alex Tedder, a fund manager at Schroders who specialises in disruption, and Justin Bisseker, a banking analyst at Schroders.
Why is the banking sector facing such a challenge from the technology companies?
Alex Tedder said: “Consumers, particularly tech-savvy consumers, Gen-Z and Millennials, are tired of the bureaucracy, the complications and the cost of dealing with traditional banks. As a result, they are flocking to the challengers, many of which are providing an easy-to-use, cost-competitive service and doing this very effectively. It’s a similar picture in the commercial sector.
"A lot of businesses are going to migrate to the new providers, such as Square which offers not only good payment processing, but also data management and cash management services in a way that traditional banks can’t do.”
With technology companies now eating into their market share, will traditional banks still exist in the next few years?
Justin Bisseker said: “Think about how often you interact with your bank through your mobile and compare that with how often you visit a branch. Mobile banking means we are in contact with our banks more than ever and it’s opened a door for banks to cross-sell additional products such as insurance and long-term savings products at near zero additional costs.
“Although financial technology companies are on the rise, it doesn’t mean that it’s all over for the banks. Fintechs focus on areas such as payments, which are regulated. However, payments account for only about 5% of revenue for a traditional bank. Banks focus on business-to-business payments, which is a much difficult market for the fintechs to break into.”
Is so-called smart banking really the end for the traditional banks?
Alex Tedder said: “I don’t think it’s the end of the traditional banks and they are trying to react to the new challenge. They know that they have got serious competition from all these new companies that seem to have emerged out of nowhere and that are offering great service, flexible service, flexible products and products that are priced properly.
“Traditional banks are trying to respond to that, but the problem is that they have a lot of baggage. They have legacy systems that they need to update or replace and they are constantly trying to keep up with these new challengers.”
Important Information: This communication is marketing material. The views and opinions contained herein are those of the author(s) on this page, and may not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Schroders communications, strategies or funds. This material is intended to be for information purposes only and is not intended as promotional material in any respect. The material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. It is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for accounting, legal or tax advice, or investment recommendations. Reliance should not be placed on the views and information in this document when taking individual investment and/or strategic decisions. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. The value of an investment can go down as well as up and is not guaranteed. All investments involve risks including the risk of possible loss of principal. Information herein is believed to be reliable but Schroders does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. Some information quoted was obtained from external sources we consider to be reliable. No responsibility can be accepted for errors of fact obtained from third parties, and this data may change with market conditions. This does not exclude any duty or liability that Schroders has to its customers under any regulatory system. Regions/ sectors shown for illustrative purposes only and should not be viewed as a recommendation to buy/sell. The opinions in this material include some forecasted views. We believe we are basing our expectations and beliefs on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of what we currently know. However, there is no guarantee than any forecasts or opinions will be realised. These views and opinions may change. The content is issued by Schroder Investment Management Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU. Registered No. 1893220 England. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.