Tag Archives: innovation

It is a kind of cliché to state that the financial services industry landscape is changing rapidly, continuously and often unexpectedly. Customers don’t seem to care about those incumbent financial services firms that are not responsive to their needs. Although there has been a constant stream of assurances from various banks, wealth managers, and insurance companies that they are customer-oriented and responsive to customer needs, a lot of things remain to be done. Customer-orientation hot talk, as I call it, is a form of self-deception, and although most of the financial services companies still heavily rely on old-dated goods-dominant logic, they talk as if the reality is something entirely different. The truth is that most financial services companies are again faking true customer-orientation and this is a real problem. This is very problematic as it deceives both the client as well as shareholders (or stakeholders). Signaling, shouting out loud random words, is simple but…

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“Customer dis-intermediation is one of the biggest challenges that a retail bank must contend with when it comes to retaining its central standing as the number one go-to provider of financial services.” – Bragi Fjalldal, CMO & VP, Meniga 1)Banking Technology: “The race to meaningfully engage with customers is on“ We are living fascinating times in the world of financial services industry and institutions. As the late, great business professor C. K. Prahalad and his collaborator Venkat Ramaswamy pointed out in their magnificent book The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value With Customers (2004), the role of the consumer is rapidly changing, and consequently the traditional mindset of company-centric value creation (and goods-dominant logic) is disintegrating before our very eyes. Prahalad and Ramaswamy argue that we are now witnessing the emergence of “the informed, networked, and active consumer, combined with the convergence of technologies and industries. Driven by these two forces, the consumer is increasingly…

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Vastapaino on julkaissut muutaman vuoden kuluessa kaksi erittäin mielenkiintoista taloushistorian perusteosta. Vuonna 2013 Vastapainolta ilmestyi Lundin yliopiston taloushistorian professorin Lennart Schönin (1946-2016) 1)Waldenström, D. (2016). “Lennart Schön (1946-2016)“. Ekonomistas, 7.1.2016; Bengstsson, T., Gunnarsson, C., Ljungberg, J. & Nilsson, A. (2016). “Lennart Schön“. Sydsvenskan, 9.2.2016paljon kiitosta saanut Maailman taloushistoria – Teollinen aika. 2)Nissilä, R. (2014). “Neljän I:n selitys uuden ajan talouskasvulle“. Agricolan kirja-arvostelut, 6.1.2014; Wahlstedt, P. (2013). “Näin talouden voittajista tulee häviäjiä“. Talouselämä, 7.9.2013; Ojala, J. (2015). “Maailman taloushistoriaa pohjoismaisesta näkökulmasta“. Historiallinen aikakauskirja 113(1), s. 97-99. Schönin mainio teos löysi nopeasti tiensä myös suomalaisten yliopistojen pääsykoe- ja kurssikirjallisuuteen. 3)Schöniltä on lisäksi ilmestynyt vuonna 2000 erinomainen Ruotsin taloushistoriaa syväluotaava En modern svensk ekonomisk historia: tillväxt och omvandling under två sekel; ks. Ögren, A. (2000). “Lennart Schön: En modern svensk ekonomisk historia. Tillväxt och omvandling under två sekel“. Ekonomisk Debatt 2(8), s. 795-798; Herlitz, L. (2002). “Analytisk historia om tillväxt – reflektioner kring Lennart Schöns En modern svensk ekonomisk…

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In God we trust, all others must bring data. – W. Edwards Deming Everyone is talking about data all the time. “Data is the new oil,” is one of the most famous clichés among data-oriented people who don’t actually understand data science. 1)Listen to this podcast to understand the point. This data talk is a form of mass illusion as collecting data is very different from actually deriving meaningful and valuable insights from the data available. Many people have emphasized the importance of data for the future of insurance business, and there probably is n. It also looks like that insurance companies and their senior executives are constantly talking about business intelligence (big) data, data analytics, data mining, and data science. 2)Sure, consultants are talking about this a lot too. Every insurer recognized the importance of data management and data analytics. According to SMA’s research, over 90% of insurers have…

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There is no lack of differing opinions on the future of wealth management as everyone wants to be heard. We know for sure that the future of wealth management industry is most definitely shaped by the influx of new technologies, significant global regulatory turbulence, and various changes in the customer behavior. So what else is new? We have recently witnessed how new players have entered – with great success – to areas of the financial services industry that were considered off-bounds for innovative new entrants, and even the mainstream C-suite is constantly talking about going all digital. 1)Financial Times (2016). Barclays UK sees digital technology as crucial to its future. [Accessed 3 Aug 2017] It’s no wonder that the wealth management industry is very keen to understand how the complex equation of growth versus profitability is supposed to work in the era of growing revenue and expense pressures combined with…

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I have discussed chatbots at length in my earlier posts (see Chatbots are coming your way: Start moving now!, Chatbots for wealth management, trade execution, and portfolio management? Yes, please!, Why (chat)bots are so exciting?, and Chatbots: The future of customer service?). There is no lack of pretty good commentary and viewpoints when it comes to chatbots, and various chatbot platforms have spawned in Europe, US, and Asia-Pacific. As I have argued in my earlier article around a week ago, Facebook has played a prominent role in the emergence of chatbots. There have been some news that Facebook has recently decided to scale down their initial plans in regards to chatbots as chatbots are not living up to initial expectations. Nonetheless, it has been remarkable that tens of thousands of chatbots have been created on the top of Messenger, and Facebook has allowed aspiring chatbot designers to experiment with a variety of…

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There are certain things you learn the first day at business school: all firms compete at some level with each other for revenues and to outperform their competitors, companies need to have a competitive advantage (and sure, there are various forms of coopetition). In today’s fluid, dynamic and highly uncertain competitive environment, businesses constantly need to prop up their game to keep up with the sudden changes we are now witnessing. The fundamental question, after all, in strategic management, is not why competitive advantage is so crucial but instead how to gain and sustain competitive advantage over time (Helfat et al. 2007; Teece 2009). Competitive advantage takes various forms, but something that has been stressed over and over again in the academic literature is the paramount importance of continuous innovation to achieve sustainable competitive advantage (Lengnick-Hall 1992; Lord, deBethizy & Wager 2005; Afuah 2009; Betz 2011; Dereli 2011; Weerawardena & Mavondo 2011; Pisano 2015). The wisdom of this maxim…

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Mikko Leskelä recently asked for some recommendations on books, articles and other (digital) resources that cover design thinking and business anthropology. While I think that it’s actually much more important to get things going rather than just reading and studying them, I have to admit that the complexity of design thinking can be quite overwhelming for most of us. There is no reason to overanalyze design thinking (or business anthropology), but at the same time, things should not be done on the fly, instinctively without giving any rational thought on the things you really want to accomplish. Design thinking, thanks to the fluidity of the design itself, is not a carved in stone by anyone, and therefore it’s important for everyone to expose oneself to a wide variety of perspectives. Design and innovation companies, like Fjord (acquired by Accenture in 2013), Lunar (acquired by McKinsey & Co in 2015), Heat (acquired by…

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It’s well-known that retail payments, accounting, e-commerce solutions, merchant acquiring and retail lending are the most well-developed and quickly matured segments of the fintech industry, both regarding executed deals, the number of investments, and compound annual growth rate (see Tanaya Macheel’s post on fintech funding). This should not be very surprising as there are still various low-hanging fruits ready to be grabbed by innovative new entrants. It's important to have a plan for #fintechs. Growth is coming from #insurtech & #assetmanagement. Don't forget #regtech #finnishfintechtalks pic.twitter.com/rMDblb82UV — Thomas Brand (@thlbr) May 4, 2017 We are still waiting for similar momentum to gather pace in coming years in multiple other parts of the financial services ecosystem, e.g. corporate finance, corporate payments, SME lending and asset finance, and insurance. It’s true that from the perspective of basic banking products and services, financing and credit have already been hit hard by the fintechs on all fronts by alternative finance…

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