#1 Challenger Banks challenged
Big banks getting traction with their digital only services make investors nervous about the thesis that being digital only is enough to create sustainable competitive advantage. A few challenger banks (aka neobanks or full stack Fintech) will do well based on great execution (Nubank in Brazil is an example), but we will see high profile blowups as many fail to get follow-on financing.
#2 Bitcoin-first payment moves from Darknet to Clearnet
Bitcoin got early traction for illegal online transactions, made (in)famous by Silk Road. This got media attention and confirms the old saying that, “there is no such thing as bad press”. In 2017, we will see more of the transition to Clearnet, legal transactions where Bitcoin is not just one more payment option, but is the primary payment option (Bitcoin-first payment), as it is on the Darknet. This will happen first with micromultinationals (who cannot afford expensive multicurrency solutions), selling digital services (no charge backs needed) to customers who are already comfortable with Bitcoin.
#3 Mobile cash tipping point in India
Mobile payment was already getting a lot of traction in India, but demonetization just gave that a huge boost. It is still early days, with paper being at least 95% of transactions, but this can change fast once we hit the tipping point which we expect in 2017.
#4 Bank licenses become easier globally
This is already happening in America and Switzerland. The question is who will want to be licensed? Many companies will prefer to stay as Tech that enables Fin. But TechFin – tech driven financial services – is the end result of the Great Convergence between Tech and Fin that started in 2016. Consumers get comfort from a regulated entity. So we expect a big take up of these easer licenses.
#5 Rebundling on top of PSD2
This started in Europe in 2016 and will pick up steam in 2017 and we may see similar regulation in America and Asia.
#6 Cross selling in the spotlight
Wells Fargo proves a) that good cross selling is a grear driver of growth and b) bad cross selling (fake accounts) can destroy value very fast.
#7 Branch closures reach tipping point
We will see this first in high cost countries such as Switzerland and urban centers with both high costs and a large millennial population. This will reach a tipping point as consumers and merchants grow accustomed to doing their daily business without having a bank in the neighborhood.
#8 Refugee banking starts to emerge
From a conceptual dream a few years ago, we will see entrepreneurs, banks and regulators grapple with both the challenges and the opportunities of doing this right.
#9 Next generation ATMs
This is a consequence of branch closures reaching a tipping point. Banks will offer next generation ATMs that can do a lot more than deliver cash. They will be real Teller Machines and not just Cash Machines. This will be a transitional phase to a cashless society, but a transitional phases are critical and usually last longer than futurists think.
#10 New guards against cyber thieves
Keeping money safe from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was the original job description of a banker. As the thieves now use hacking scripts more than guns, the job description changes, but the objective remains the same. The key driver for change is convenient multi-factor authentication via FIDO Alliance.
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