Trends toward convergence between banks’ and fintechs’ methods

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While the emergence of so-called fintechs has moved the financial services industry towards a period of renewed upheaval and heightened competition, the disruption that the innovators bring to the table would actually force a convergence between the methods deployed by traditional institutions and those used by the trailblazers, according to industry professionals and observers.
In a report by Barbara Shecter for the Financial Post, finance industry players who joined a June 8 forum at The Economist magazine’s Canada Summit agreed that fintechs, which have brought new technologies to bear in the fiercely competitive industry, could pave the way for banks’ continued evolution in terms of the financial services they offer.
“There’s not going to be one winner in this game… That’s not the way this plays out in Canada,” Bank of Montreal group head (Canadian personal and commercial banking) Cameron Fowler said in the roundtable. “We feel disruption here and now.”
Fowler said that BMO is now looking into the areas where the bank can improve its services, using the advances introduced by fintechs as its models.
“We’re seeing the early stages of that,” he said, adding that while there is indeed competition, there are also ample opportunities for collaboration as fintechs can rely on banks’ networks, distribution systems, and established reputations to deliver their services.
“The pressure of an Uber moment has really transformed the banks,” IBM Canada president Dino Trevisani said. “The reality is if the banks don’t transform, they will have their Uber moment.”

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