Shaun Weston and Guy Shone discuss innovation in financial services, superficial competition, and how hard it is to get a banking licence.

In this new BankNXT Fintech Podcast, I talk to Guy Shone about the realities of innovation in financial services, increasing competition, and the difficulties around obtaining a banking licence.

Guy recently wrote ‘It’s time for fintech fight club‘, looking at how fintech entrepreneurs should think about how they can actually make incumbents “lose”.

“There’s a whole bunch of people who are enthusiastically involved in fintech, and there’s an awful lot to be proud of, but I think there are also some questions which, in the enthusiasm, are left unanswered,” says Guy. “For me, the first one is: What is the goal in terms of what’s going to happen to the market? Many people have been told that one of the main points of all this work is to increase competition in markets like banking and insurance. It seems to me really hard to spot how that’s going to happen. It looks like market share is destined to stay pretty similar for a number of years, and all the effort and work is going into what you might call product innovation.

“The other problem with that, that I’ve noticed, is that we hear a lot of what you might call self-congratulation. So those of us that are ‘in the know’, and involved in this work in some way, congratulate other people about the great ideas we’re coming up with to make things better for customers. The problem is that this part of the industry, almost more than any other, seems to be detached from the views and opinions of the tens of millions of customers whose lives we’re claiming to benefit.”

Guy goes on to explain that we’re seeing some really good innovation, but it’s impressing a certain group of people rather than what people really want.

I hope you enjoy the podcast. Please leave your comments below, or contact me on Twitter. You can listen to more episodes in this series on SoundCloud, or Acast, or subscribe to Apple Podcasts by clicking the button below.

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About the author

Shaun Weston

Shaun Weston is Senior Editor of BankNXT and Backbase, and a creative content provider specialising in digital projects, marketing and social media. He has worked with businesses that focus on editorial strategy for online or print, consumer or B2B, and his work includes The Economist, SAS, Oracle, Future Publishing, and Backbase.

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