More in Finance


2 months

Welcome to the Digital Era

Mobile use is exploding in the banking scene. If you are a retail bank today in the developed world and you don’t have an app for your customers, you are increasingly becoming an exception. Certainly almost every bank in the world today has some form of Internet website and Internet banking capability. However, for most banks, the web and mobile are considered costs – platforms that certainly improve service levels, and lower costs of servicing customers, but that are a net cost to the business. Where’s the revenue going to come from?

2 months

Why Kids Don't Sign, and Banks Shouldn't Either

In a recent UN/ICAO commissioned survey on the use of signatures in passports, a number of countries including the UK recommended phasing out the long held practice because it was no longer deemed of practical use. More significantly, however, is the emerging trend that has some parents, educators and lawmakers espousing their concern – when asked to sign most kids these days are simply writing their name – the art of the signature may soon be a lost art. A recent report in Gulf News disclosed that this is a global problem with kids in Canada, Tokyo, Hong Kong and elsewhere moving away from written signatures because they live their life through technology, but without the need to sign.

2 months

Branch of the future is an Utopia

Whether it is Bank of Queensland with their Hipster Branch launch, Citi’s famed Apple Store Branches NAB’s Crowd concept, Unicredit “Branch of the Future” in Italy and Bulgaria, PNC’s Tellerless Branches, smaller regional players like South Shore Bank and Conestoga Bank Werx, or the launch of Video Interactive Teller’s for TEB, Ion Bank, Banca Popolare and others, we seem to be hearing about new ‘Branches of the Future’ constantly. However, with declining branch activity across the board in developed markets, is the very term branch of the future part of the problem? When BankWerx launched their new ‘branch of the future’ the press reported that they were offering free Wifi, phone charging stations and free coffee to engage prospective customers. Then other banks opened up next door.

2 months

The Debate on the Future of Banking is Not Over, But it Will be Soon

How does one predict the future? Admittedly it is easier to predict what will happen 5 or 10 years from now, than 50 years, but at the same time, we’ve got trouble predicting what the stock market or weather patterns will do a few weeks from now, let alone the banking system. However, when we look at long-term trends a few things are abundantly clear.

2 months

Advice and Paper Pushing in Banking will be Killed by Artificial Intelligence

For over 100 years employment has been shifting out of big industry and into services. Whether agriculture, fishing, mining or in the last 50 years manufacturing, as processes become automated, we’ve shifted to jobs where humans matter. But in a world where the ability of a human is surpassed by artificial intelligence, there is a real risk that many humans will lose their jobs.

2 months

The Rise of FinTech and Death of Traditional Banking

Traditionally, if you wanted to move money around, save cash, pay a bill, purchase something at a store, or otherwise have some sort of systemic access to your cash as you moved around – you needed a “bank”. In fact, you couldn’t do any of these things in the past without a bank. Despite the fact you might have opted to just use cash and stay ‘off the grid’, at some point to do a significant transaction you needed a ‘bank’.

2 months

Financial Planning Analysis vs Business Planning Analysis

Maybe it is the nerd in all of us, but one of the topics I witness financial planning and analysis (FP&A) professionals discussing with the most passion is whether their positions should be called FP&A – or would a better descriptor of their jobs be BP&A (business planning and analysis)? I can honestly say I’ve seen the discussion of this issue get quite heated (though still polite and civil). At roundtables that I have hosted, whether in New York, New Delhi, or New Zealand, this debate usually comes up.