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© Sculpture: Jos Dirix
© Sculpture: Jos Dirix

Banks, Fintechs and the changing landscape

Pieter de Kiewit 22-07-2021 11:20 AM
Categories: Treasury

My regular blog readers know I like to take the layman perspective on what amazes me in (corporate) treasury. I have my personal archive with relevant news we use to discuss every second week in team meetings. What currently amazes me most are the completely unpredictable developments in what used to be the banking market. Just some recent news:

  • Wise, formerly known as Transferwise does a direct listing in London and is valued at $11 billion. They will invest in further facilitating cross border payments thus offering a bank service substitute; read more
  • The competition of Wise, Revolut receives further investments and is valued at GBP 21 billion. They will establish full banking services building direct competition; read more
  • Mollie, a miniature Adyen, explicitly states that they will beat banks at their game; read more
  • One can also see banks creating their own new brands and services. ABN started Aymz, entering the niche market where RNHB and others are financing real estate in not too big tickets: read more
  • And Niels van Daatselaar, CEO of TreasurUp writes about banks and fintechs working together: read more
  • My final example is Ebury being taken over by Santander: the old world takes over the new contender: read more

A few years ago, the traditional banks had the upper hand and would buy all parties that threatened them. By now, many fintechs have a much higher valuation than banks. The extreme liquidity in the markets and willingness to invest leads to a situation that predicting what will be next is hard. I think that future winners find a right balance between applying newest technology, understanding potential clients, choose a clear strategy and move forward at highest speed. Many markets are winner takes all, making the game extra exciting.

I have not found a journalist or researcher who was able to solve this market equation and predict which of the various “eat or being eaten” scenarios will occur. The constant flow of new market entrants will continue. My expectations are that Apple, Microsoft, Google or Amazon entering this market with very substantial investments might be the next game changer. But why would I know?

What do you think will happen?

Pieter

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