The evolution of bank-FinTech narrative brought us to a logical point, when FinTech is no longer perceived to be a threat to traditional banking, but rather as an instrument in re-establishing their position in the financial services industry. The narrative, however, doesn’t end there. As Citi emphasized in its March 2018 Bank of the Future: The ABCs of Digital Disruption in Finance report, traditional banking is being challenged not by small FinTech startups, but by established tech giants because of:
Large and captive user bases
JPMorgan Chase has 46.7 million digital customers, claiming to be the number one most visited bank website with the most mobile banking customers. Amazon Prime, for comparison, counts 90 million US-based subscribers. At 90 million subscribers each paying $99 per year, the company generates nearly $9 billion in revenue without those customers even buying anything on the platform. As of the fourth quarter of 2017, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users. In December 2017, WhatsApp had more than 1.5 billion monthly active users, up from over 1 billion MAU in February 2016.
It’s not just the sheer scale − social and e-commerce platforms also have the advantage of captivating ever-increasing attention of the user. The average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day. Banking apps are far from being the hottest apps on one’s phone, on the other hand.
“The Internet-based platform companies − such as Amazon, Alibaba, Facebook or Tencent − have captured an ever-increasing share of consumers’ time and attention. These platform companies view payments and financial services not as an end