What is Fintech? [Attempting] A Definition

What_is_Fintech_A_DefinitionIncreasingly often I am being asked by students, colleagues, investors, even friends and family “What is Fintech?”. I then typically answer “Fintech is an industry made up of organizations using novel financial technology to support or enable financial services”. And then, to avoid misunderstandings I add “A Fintech is an organization that uses novel financial technology to support or enable financial services”.

Yet, what sounds like a pretty straight-forward answer, was a hard nut to crack. In fact, the term Fintech is so often and widely used that some people even increasingly shun using it altogether.* To them the concept of Fintech has become too comprehensive and too ubiquitous to have any conclusive meaning any longer. For me it required quite a thought process to come up with a telling definition. This is due to several reasons.

Definitions are never true or false

First, a definition is never true or false per se, but more or less useful in a specific context. For instance, think about the term “power”. How would a physicist define it? How a politician? Which definition would a judge provide? Which explanation would an athlete give? Moreover, even within the domain of sports you are likely to receive different answers, depending on whom you ask. A weight lifter will most probably provide you with a different answer is than the fellow athlete from the same Olympic team who competes in synchronized swimming. Hence, we have to accept that – contingent on the counterparty you ask – one may well receive varying answers on the identical question. The same applies to the expression Fintech.

Looking at the most popular encyclopaedia of our times, Wikipedia, we can read that “[f]inancial technology, also known as fintech, is an economic industry composed of companies that use technology to make financial services more efficient.” (Wikipedia, 2016a). Conveniently enough for the reader, Wikipedia also provides us with the source for their definition. Wikipedia refers to the Wharton FinTech Club which provided this definition (Wharton Fintech, 2014). In a similar vein Susanne Chishti and Janos Barberis state in their landmark book on Fintechs that “Financial Technology or FinTech is one of the most promising industries in 2016” (Chishti & Barberis, 2016, p.5). The Oxford Dictionary tells us that Fintech is a mass noun (Oxford English Dictionary, 2016). More specifically this most authoritative source for British English suggests that Fintech are “Computer programs and other technology used to support or enable banking and financial services: fintech is one of the fastest-growing areas for venture capitalists”. In this context it may also be noteworthy that the most widely used dictionary and thesaurus for American English, Merriam-Webster, does not offer any definition for the term (Merriam-Webster, 2016).

On one popular Web sites in the Fintech sphere one can find the following definition “Fintech is a line of business based on using software to provide financial services.” (Fintech Weekly, 2016). Interestingly enough on that very Website reference is made to Wikipedia which – at least today – provides a different definition. On another blog from the finance world one can read a definition provided by Harry Wilson of Claro Partners: ”FinTech is an ecosystem of startups” (Wilson, 2015).

We could almost indefinitely continue this exercise of extracting definitions for the term Fintech from various authors. Yet, already from this very short although not representative selection of definitions, we can conclude that there is a vast range of meanings of the word Fintech: from “computer programs” and “other technologies” over “line of business” and “ecosystem” to an “industry”. This plethora of connotations makes it hard, if not impossible, to distil one commonly accepted explanation.

Interestingly enough even some of the biggest consultancies which certainly employ some of the smartest minds on the planet shy away from defining the term Fintech. Regularly one can find reports on Fintech related topics which do not provide any definition of the term Fintech itself; see for instance the McKinsey report on the effects of Fintech on banks by Dietz, Khanna, Olanrewaju & Rajgopal (2015) or the BCG report on the opportunities Fintech provides to corporate banks by Dany, Goyal, Schwarz, Berg, Scortecci & Baben (2016).

Definitions change over time

The second reason, why it is so inherently difficult to define the concept of Fintech is because definitions change over time. Also here we have some analogies. As an illustration think about the expression “information technology” (IT). In the early days of computing IT stood for items such punched tapes and cathode ray tubes. Today, however, we much rather associate things such as Motion User Interfaces, Bots and the Internet of Things with IT. Consequently, it is also safe to assume that the expression Fintech undergoes change. The definition provided by Investopedia pays tribute to this fact: “Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes an emerging financial services sector in the 21st century. Originally, the term applied to technology applied to the back-end of established consumer and trade financial institutions. Since the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the term has expanded to include any technological innovation in the financial sector, including innovations in financial literacy and education, retail banking, investment and even crypto-currencies like bitcoin.”  So, for the authors of Investopedia, Fintech was originally an expression describing banking backend technology, but widened over time to also encompass technological innovations in financial services and related areas (Investopedia, 2016). Following the authors of Investopedia Fintech is not just a mere industry, but also a technology and an expression for innovation.

The big difference of a small article

So far we have been talking about “Fintech” – without prefixed article. However, during conversations, but also in texts one also regularly encounters the expression “a Fintech”. Is there a difference between “Fintech” and “a Fintech”? If so, what is the difference? To my experience people typically refer to a Fintech company or more specifically to a Fintech start-up when they talk about “a Fintech”. Hence, the difference is the “level of analysis” as the scientist would say. As explained above “Fintech” without article typically relates to an entire a group of objects whereas “a Fintech” is just one single entity. This apparently small difference by the prefix “a”, can give rise to serious misunderstandings. To a politician, for instance, it will make a world of difference, whether he or she is asked to support creating an industry cluster or even entire industry or just one single firm. The same goes for a venture capitalist albeit with opposite signs.

Definitions vary across languages

Fourth and last, confusion about the term Fintech emerges from the fact that definitions can vary across languages. To illustrate this fact, I recommend to take a look at the various definitions of Fintech provided by different language versions of Wikipedia. The Italian site, for instance, states that Fintech is the “provision” of financial products and services using information technologies [“La tecnofinanza, o tecnologia finanziaria (in inglese Financial Technology o FinTech) è la fornitura di servizi e prodotti finanziari attraverso le più avanzate tecnologie dell’informazione (TIC)”] (Wikipedia, 2016b).

By contrast, the German Wikipedia definition of Fintech suggests that Fintech is an umbrella term for “modern technologies in the area of financial services” [“Finanztechnologie (auch verkürzt zu Fintech bzw. FinTech) ist ein Sammelbegriff für moderne Technologien im Bereich der Finanzdienstleistu ngen”] (Wikipedia, 2016c).

The French Wikipedia version is much closer to the English one, yet it does not define Fintech as an industry, but more loosely as an “area of activity” [“La technologie financière, ou FinTech, est un domaine d’activité dans lequel les entreprises utilisent les technologies de l’information et de la communication pour livrer des services financiers de façon plus efficace et moins couteuse”] (Wikipedia, 2016d).

Hence, just by comparing across languages one can already fathom the potential for misunderstandings. While the Frenchman may be talking about Fintech as a business segment, the German may be speaking about technologies, the Italian about a delivery channel and the native English speaker may refer to an entire industry. Being aware of potential pitfalls is all the more important as the term Fintech is derived from the English words Financial Technology and also used as such in various other languages. Thus people may automatically assume that they talk about identical things whilst they are not. In addition one should bear in mind that Fintech is a global phenomenon. Running into questions of semantics across languages may happen easier than anticipated.

Coping with ambiguity

However, we can live with this ambiguity in definitions. In fact we have been living with this ambiguity for years, if not decades, in other fields of business and academia. For example, think about the term “strategy”, “innovation” or “business model”. We use them on a daily basis, yet we have not established one common definition for any of them. Hence, having not one single definition for the word Fintech has not and should not prevent us from using it. However, when talking about Fintech we should make clear to our audience what we mean by Fintech. Providing a little explanation for our audience may therefore significantly improve the efficiency of communication and reduce the potential for misunderstandings. If you want to be extra polite you may also want to explain to your vis-à-vis why you use one specific definition and not another.

Once more I want to stress that none of the definitions provided above are right or wrong as such. Rather than that they are more or less useful in certain contexts. The definition I provided above, “Fintech is an industry made up of organizations using novel financial technology to support or enable financial services”, is very similar to the one provided by the Wharton Fintech Club and which is being promoted by the English Wikipedia site. Yet, I prefer to use the more broadly defined word organization instead of company. Companies are typically profit seeking and hierarchically organized. More and more often, however, we see non-hierarchical organizations such as The DAO to play a major role in the Fintech domain (The DAO, 2016). I purposely want to include these organizations in my definition. What is more, I tightened my definition in comparison to the Wharton definition by extending it for the word “novel”. I did this because otherwise the more comprehensive Wharton definition would also include just any incumbent bank running on Cobol-coded host systems as they are using this (admittedly ancient) technology to be more efficient. Lastly, I added the verb enable to my definition of Fintech as I am convinced that Fintech is not just about enhancing efficiency, but also more fundamentally about enablement. The distributed ledger rendered possible by Blockchain technology or micropayments made available through telecommunication systems are just examples for theses empowering technologies. Attention should be paid to the fact that innovation emanating from Fintech can be anything from purely complementary to highly disruptive. If the innovation is barely supporting an existing business model in financial services it is likely to be complementary, whereas it will receive the label disruptive if it jeopardizes existing business models.

I am well aware of the fact that the definition I use is far from perfect. For instance, it does not provide definitions for its components. Hence, one could rightly ask, “So what do you specifically mean by  ’industry’ and what by ’novel’”? And how do you delineate ’industry’ from ’ecosystem’?”. Moreover I am certain that also the definition I use nowadays will change over time with the advancement of technology and the evolution of business. Last but not least, there are many terms up and coming that constitute for spin-offs of the overall Fintech theme. Among those are “InsurTech”, “WealthTech”, “RegTech”, just to name a few. Time will show how are they will be used.

Nicolas Steiner, one of the founding members of Level39 recently shared an anecdote about a meeting with a couple of French speaking experts from the telecommunication industry who asked him whether Fintech stood for “the end of technology”. The reasoning for that being that they believed that Fintech was short for the French expression “la fin de la technologie”. I hope by providing and spreading sense making definitions of Fintech we will encounter less and less of such misunderstandings in the future.

Spiros Margaris, who is often referred to as one of the Key Influencers of Fintech scene, once stated “Fintech will never disappear, only some fintech startups will disappear.” No matter which definition was used here, it is almost safe to say that this statement will come true.

*At this point greetings go out to Nasir Zubairi who is considered to be one of the big Fintech minds of Luxembourg

References

Chishti, S., & Barberis, J. (2016). The FinTech Book: The Financial Technology Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs and Visionaries. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Dany, O., Goyal, R., Schwarz, J., Berg, P. v. d., Scortecci, A., & Baben, S. t. (2016). Fintechs may be corporate banks’ best “Frenemies”.

Dietz, M., Khanna, S., Olanrewaju, T., & Rajgopal, K. (2015). Cutting through the FinTech noise: Markers of success, imperatives for banks. In G. B. Practice (Ed.): McKinsey & Company,.

Fintech Weekly. (2016). Fintech Definition.   Retrieved from https://www.fintechweekly.com/fintech-definition

Investopedia. (2016). Fintech.   Retrieved from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fintech.asp

Merriam-Webster. (2016). fintech.

Oxford English Dictionary. (2016). fintech.   Retrieved from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/fintech

The DAO. (2016). Overview.   Retrieved from https://daohub.org/about.html

Wharton Fintech. (2014). What is FinTech?   Retrieved from https://medium.com/wharton-fintech/what-is-fintech-77d3d5a3e677#.kczb2jawk

Wikipedia. (2016a). Financial Technology.   Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_technology

Wikipedia. (2016b). Tecnofinanza.   Retrieved from https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tecnofinanza

Wikipedia. (2016c). Finanztechnologie.   Retrieved from https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finanztechnologie

Wikipedia. (2016d). Technologie financière.   Retrieved from https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technologie_financi%C3%A8re

Wilson, H. (2015). The new shape of FinTech is making the world a better place.   Retrieved from https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/11518/the-new-shape-of-fintech-is-making-the-world-a-better-place

Professor Dr. Patrick Schüffel
patrick.schueffel@hefr.ch

Haute école de gestion Fribourg
Institute of Finance
Chemin du Musée 4
CH-1700 Fribourg

[posted on LinkedIn on July 20th]

 

Doing Away with an Urban Myth

Banking is necessary Banks are not

Who truly coined the phrase “Banking is necessary. Banks are not.”

Personally, I give Bill Gates credit for many a thing. Without his technology vision and his business acumen our daily lives would look totally different today. Yet, despite many sources on the Web claiming so, I give him no longer credit for the statement “Banking is necessary. Banks are not.”. After some tedious research on the Internet as well as in literature data bases the most convincing source of this quote became for me the former chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo, Mr. Richard M. Kovacevich. See Nocera, Joseph (1998): Banking is necessary-Banks are not. Fortune. May 11th, Vol. 137, Issue 9, p.84.

However, should you have any hard evidence proving the opposite, please do drop me a comment. Thanks!

Dr. Patrick Schüffel, A.Dip.C., M.I.B., Dipl.-Kfm.
Adjunct Professsor
Haute école de gestion Fribourg
Chemin du Musée 4
CH-1700 Fribourg

Reflection Time: Innovation in Banking

What hampers Innovation in your bank

 

Innovating is intrinsically difficult. Coming up with an idea for a new service or product is just the mere beginning of what oftentimes turns out to be an extremely cumbersome journey. Moreover, the banking industry in particular is not especially innovation friendly. Being aware of obstacles on the road can help to clear those hurdles. So, whenever you enter on an innovation journey, spend a few minutes thinking of potential causes for troubles.

Dr. Patrick Schüffel, A.Dip.C., M.I.B., Dipl.-Kfm.
Adjunct Professsor
Haute école de gestion Fribourg
Chemin du Musée 4
CH-1700 Fribourg

 

What would happen if Google was to found a “Google Bank”?

GoogleBankWhy it could be worthwhile to look at the banking world over the rim of one’s tea-cup

Most likely the music industry would have never dreamt of Apple becoming their biggest competitor. In a similar vein established mail order businesses had never imagined that the auction house Ebay and the book store Amazon would suddenly pull the rug from under their feet. And the camera manufacturers of this world carefully watched each other’s every move but obviously lost sight of the digital competition. For Kodak this ended deadly.

But how about today’s banks? What would happen if an industry outsider would enter the banking industry and would pose a serious competition for the established players?  For instance, what would happen if Google would decide to setup a bank?

First of all it should be noted that the necessary cash is available. With approximately 60 billion US Dollar Google has a pile of cash at its disposal that is waiting to be assigned to a specified use. The entry hurdle cash is thus negligible. One could even go as far to say that Google could easily absorb a total write-off in case the banking venture should fail.

Moreover, cost advantages may arise through the technology leadership that Google possesses. Incumbent banks regularly struggle with IT legacy systems that had often been built in the eighties of the previous century. These core banking systems had not only been developed in programming languages which are hardly known these days any longer, but they are based on a process oriented approach which is antiquated given today’s object oriented program codes. Merely keeping those systems alive already eats up a fair share of the entire IT budget of many banks. Google would not have these legacy problems. Google could build a new bank based on the latest IT technology on a green field or – to be more precise – in a green cloud.

But does Google have the necessary reputation to do banking? Conventional wisdom has it that banks should be serious, conservative, maybe even a little bit outmoded. At first glance this notion does not sit well with a playful service provider whose corporate identity was coined by the colours of Lego bricks and that grew large in the Internet. At closer inspection, however, one can observe that already today clients entrust Google with almost any information. The trust in Google appears to be boundless as far was data is concerned. Why should that be different in money matters? 

But what about Google’s potential clients? Who would entrust a Google Bank with his or her money? In this context it must be noted that as of today Google has already more than 400 million clients with user accounts that source various products and services from Google, from email accounts over translation or navigation services to hardware such as the Google tablet. The list is almost open-ended. If only a fraction of these clients would become clients of a Google Bank it would mean millions.

To put it at its simplest the business model of Google consists of collecting, condensing and editing data in a user-friendly fashion. Google has honed this model to perfection. Should Google now decide to offer banking services we could also expect to see this type of sophistication in banking. As an extreme case Google could for example scan the mail box of a client (as is already happening today). If there are any indications that the client may want to purchase a house, Google could proactively offer a mortgage to this client. Google has the potential to reveal client needs and to make corresponding offers even before the client is clear on his or her need himself or herself.

Last but not least Google has an outstanding reputation as an employer. When it comes to winning employees for a new Google Bank, Google could easily keep up with incumbent banks – at least as far as the under 35 year olds are concerned. As the banking industry’s neophyte Google could differentiate itself from the alleged causers of the financial crisis. It is safe to assume that Google could fight the war for talent from a vantage point.  

If the preconditions are so favorable for Google why has Google then not long entered the banking industry? A plausible explanation could be that Google still considers the banking sector as too unattractive. But this could change soon as Google has already made first steps towards banking with the Google Wallet and by obtaining a license as an Electronic Money Institution. This leaves incumbent banks with two options in the meantime: one could be entering a partnership with Google and forming an alliance with the technology giant. The second option would be to swiftly whip finances into shape, to polish up the image of the bank, to increase the customer base, to improve client service and to enhance the relationship with the employees – quite simply to be geared to Google in these matters.

Hence, when looking at the own position in the banking industry, it could be worthwhile to get one’s bearings not solely by looking at the other competitors in the banking business. Looking at the banking world over the rim of one’s tea-cup could thus be a valuable exercise.

 

Note from the author:

This is the English translation of a German post that was published on the Swiss financial blog ‘Inside Paradeplatz’ on 04 March 2015. Due to numerous feedback on the German post, manifold requests of non-German speakers to translate the text, but also due to the fact that I attended some utmost inspiring presentations by Patrick Warnking and Sandra Emme of Google Switzerland in the meantime, I decided to also publish the English version of this post.

 

Dr. Patrick Schüffel, A.Dip.C., M.I.B., Dipl.-Kfm.
Adjunct Professsor
Haute école de gestion Fribourg
Chemin du Musée 4
CH-1700 Fribourg
patrick.schueffel@hefr.ch, www.heg-fr.ch

Innovationskultur: Scheitern inbegriffen

schweizer-bank

vom 18.11.2015, von Madeleine Stäubli-Roduner

 

Bei tiefgreifenden Innovationen agieren viele Finanz­institute zögerlich. Sie könnten ein viel grösseres Potenzial ausschöpfen. Dafür müssen sie Innovationskultur von oben gezielt fördern und Impulse von aussen einbeziehen.

So funktioniert ein direktes Finanzierungssystem mit starker Kundenanbindung zu beiderseitigem Nutzen: Die US-amerikanische Firma Loyal3 bietet ihren Kunden an, Aktien von favorisierten Unternehmen unbürokratisch auf Facebook zu erwerben. Die Kosten sind drei Klicks. Während sich die «Liker» einen Dauerauftrag für den monatlichen Aktienkauf einrichten können, bringen verkaufswillige Unternehmen ihre Apps direkt auf ihrer Facebook-Site an. Diese verblüffende Idee wurde nicht in einem Finanzinstitut geboren.

Mit den dynamischen Fintech-Firmen können Banken im Kreativi­täts-Ranking kaum mithalten. Zwar an­erkennen Finanzinstitute, dass In­no­vationen unverzichtbar sind, aber an ihren bewährten Strukturen wollen sie meist festhalten. Zu diesem Befund kommt eine Umfrage der Swisscom bei 22 Schweizer Banken. Die Gründe für Innovationsbarrieren sind zahlreich: Oft werden Projektaufträge nur vage beschrieben, sodass ein ungezielter Aktionismus entsteht. Lange Entscheidungswege bremsen die Innovationskraft. Angestammtes Silodenken, starre Hierarchien und finanzielle Anreizsysteme verunmöglichen, aktiv Veränderungsprozesse angehen und neue Strategien effizient umsetzen zu können. Banken müssten erst lernen, mit Offenheit umzugehen, sagt auch Patrick Schüffel, Adjunct Professor an der Hochschule für Wirtschaft Fribourg: «Das «not invented here»-Syndrom ist noch weit verbreitet und entstammt einer Zeit, als Banken tatsächlich einen signifikanten Informationsvorsprung gegenüber der Aus­senwelt besassen.» Die kompetitiven Vorteile seien in den letzten Jahren massiv geschrumpft.

Mitarbeiter sind extrem kreativ, wenn man sie nur lässt

Doch gerade in herausfordernden Rahmenbedingungen sei ein hohes Mass an Kreativität gefragt, betont Jens-Uwe Meyer, Innovationsexperte und Geschäftsführer der Innolytics in Leipzig. Kreativität bedeute aber nicht, besonders ausgefallene Ideen zu entwickeln. Vielmehr habe ein Erfinder wie Thomas Edison seine Erfindungen genau um bestehende Regularien herum entwickelt. Auch Marco Abele, Leiter Digital Private Banking bei der Credit Suisse, will Innovation weitreichender definieren. «Innovation entsteht oft gerade dann, wenn äussere Einflüsse einem aufzwingen, gewisse Prozesse oder Modelle zu überdenken. Innovation ist insofern nichts anderes als die Lösung eines Problems.» Ob es nun um fortschreitende Digitalisierung, veränderte Kundenbedürfnisse, regulatorische Anforderungen oder Kostenfragen gehe – das seien alles gute Gründe dafür, innovative Lösungen zu finden.

Für solche Lösungen fehlt es den Finanzinstituten laut Meyer keinesfalls an fähigen Mitarbeitern: So hätten die Mitarbeiter einer regionalen deutschen Volksbank in einer der ärmsten Regionen des Landes eine eigene Softwareplattform entwickelt. «Mitarbeiter im Bankenbereich sind extrem kreativ, wenn man sie nur lässt», sagt Meyer. Woran fehlt es denn, damit sich bahnbrechende Einfälle zu neuen Geschäftsmodellen entwickeln können Als zentrale Faktoren nennt Meyer die Führungskräfte: Sie sollten ihre Mitarbeiter ermutigen, neue Ideen zu entwerfen, auch solche, die unrealisierbar und daher als «kreative Kollateralschäden» zu verbuchen seien. Innovation müsse Chefsache sein. Es gebe zahlreiche wissenschaftliche Studien, die nachwiesen, dass Unternehmen, in denen sich die oberste Führungsebene persönlich für Innovation einsetze, deutlich innovativer seien. Entscheidend, so sagt auch Abele, sind der Mut, neue Wege zu gehen und ein Management, das Innovation vorlebt. «Innerhalb des Digital Private Banking fördern wir gezielt innovatives Denken und Handeln, und wir geben den Mitarbeitern auch entsprechende Freiräume, um Ideen anzudenken und umzusetzen.» Nach Ansicht von Dozent Schüffel muss das Management sogar bewusst das Risiko eingehen, dass eine Vielzahl von Innovationen scheitern wird.

Wichtige Impulse kommen in den meisten Fällen von aussen

Um spezifische Ideen zu evaluieren, veranstaltet die Credit Suisse etwa ein internes Innovations-Crowdsourcing. Ebenfalls wichtig sei der Austausch mit kreativen Leuten ausserhalb des Unternehmens, sagt Abele. Dies sei einer der Gründe dafür, dass sich die Credit Suisse am Impact Hub Zürich beteiligt habe. «Dort werden einige unserer Mitarbeiter regelmässig tätig sein, sich vernetzen und an Projekten mit Start-ups und anderen Partnern mitarbeiten.» Dabei gewinnen sie laut Abele Freiheit, Raum und Nahtstellen zu anderen innovativen Organisationen, wodurch Innovation entstehen könne. Auch Hochschullehrer Schüffel ortet grosses Potenzial ausserhalb der Institute. Sie könnten mit einem minimalen Mehraufwand ein wesentlich grösseres Reservoir von Ideen anzapfen, als dies jemals mit internen Innovationsinseln möglich sei. Die sogenannte «Open Innovation» sieht er als eine der effizientesten Methoden für Schweizer Banken. Mit dem Motto «Most smart people don’t work for this firm» werden Kunden mittels Internet-Plattformen in die Ideensuche einbezogen, denn der Kunde wisse, wo der Schuh drücke.

Schüffel hat mit einem Team die erste internationale Open-Innovation-Plattform für Finanzdienstleister entwickelt. Die Resonanz von Seiten der Schweizer Banken sei «bisher sehr zurückhaltend gewesen». Sie hätten wohl Interesse an der Plattform geäussert, jedoch keinerlei Projekte angestossen. Immerhin bauten grosse Bankinstitute immer öfter eigene Innovationsabteilungen auf und seien daher über die Thematik unterrichtet. Nun erwägt Schüffel, die Plattform im ersten Schritt nur firmenintern zu nutzen. «Wenn man bedenkt, dass Banken mitunter auch Tausende von Mitarbeitern in verschiedenen Ländern beschäftigen, könnte eine firmeninterne Verwendung ein grosser erster Schritt in Richtung Open Innovation sein.»

Solche Konzepte sind laut Meyer in vielen Banken noch nicht verbreitet, denn: «Die Angst, sich dem Kunden gegenüber zu öffnen, ist aktuell noch zu gross.» Ein Forschungsprojekt der Hochschule für Wirtschaft Fribourg ortet als hemmende Faktoren einen eklatanten Mangel an Wissen über Innovations-Management-Techniken und fehlende Offenheit für neues Wissen aus neuartigen Quellen. Entscheidungsträger in der Bankenbranche orientierten sich gerne an Peers und fühlten sich damit bestens informiert. «Dabei wird regelmässig übersehen, dass massgebliche Entwicklungen zunehmend ausserhalb der Bankenbranche stattfinden beziehungsweise im Fintech-Sektor», sagt Schüffel. Auch Abele ist überzeugt, dass Banken von Fintech- und Technologieunternehmen lernen könnten, etwa, wie sie ihre Prozesse strukturieren und schnell auf veränderte Bedürfnisse reagieren könnten. «Wir erachten es deshalb für wichtig, auch als Grossbank nah an der Fintech-Szene dran zu sein», so Abele. Letztlich aber könne auch eine innovationsförderliche Kultur nur dann funktionieren, wenn die Führungsetage diese selbst vorlebe.

 

Source: http://www.schweizerbank.ch/de/artikelanzeige/artikelanzeige.asp?pkBerichtNr=188766