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The idea of Fintechs as a threat to credit unions is somehow receding. However, emerging and existing platform companies are even more challenging for incumbent financial institutions. Some of these platform companies are capable of bridging the value chains, creating “ecosystems” that deliver new experiences, are often more central in the customer journey and increase convenience. The ecosystem economy is upon us.

Latest McKinsey Report: Remaking the bank for an ecosystem world. “Regardless of a bank’s views on the ecosystem economy, a comprehensive digital transformation is a clear “no regrets” move to prepare for a digital and data-driven world. As banks move from their traditional focus on products and sales to customer-centric marketing, they should reconfirm that their source of distinctiveness is still potent, design and deliver an extraordinary customer experience, and build the digital capabilities needed not just for the next few years but also for the longer term. With those assets in hand, banks will be ready when the ecosystem economy arrives.”

Insight: Now is the time. Either transform now and achieve a ROE of 9% or face an unsustainable ROE of 5%.

Citi Study: Only about 1% of consumer banking revenue has moved to newer digital models. However, Citi predicts that percentage will rise to 10% by 2020, and 17% by 2023. “Only a few incumbent banks will have the courage and decisiveness to win in this new field,” says Antony Jenkins, former CEO of Barclays. “We will see massive pressure on incumbent banks, which will struggle to implement new technologies at the same pace as their new rivals. That will make it increasingly challenging for them to deliver the returns and profitability that their shareholders demand. Incumbents risk becoming merely capital-providing utilities that operate in a highly regulated, less profitable environment.”

Insight: The most likely candidate to disrupt financial services in the U.S. is Amazon, Facebook not so much.

This survey supports Citi’s findings:  “The findings are fascinating: respondents trusted Facebook less than Google, and “trust” was a primary factor for individuals who abstained from using Facebook overall. Respondents trusted Amazon almost as much as their own bank. Of all the companies named in our survey, respondents were most likely to recommend services from Amazon to their family and friends.”

Insight: Amazon continues to be the biggest disruptor and people still love/admire them. And industries fear the juggernaut, just ask health care  companies.

Agile Transformation at ING. A Case Study. ‘It requires sacrifices and a willingness to give up fundamental parts of your current way of working — starting with the leaders. We gave up traditional hierarchy, formal meetings, overengineering, detailed planning, and excessive “input steering” in exchange for empowered teams, informal networks, and “output steering.” You need to look beyond your own industry and allow yourself to make mistakes and learn. The prize will be an organization ready to face any challenge.’

Insight: Transformation requires a radical rethinking of hierarchies and the daily workflow.

The bank that’s apparently so cool it has become a chat up line in London’s bars. “The Monzo machine got in the game early, and it’s in a good position to capitalize on this sea change in banking data. When asked if Monzo has the potential to be a Facebook or a Google, Startupbootcamp’s Boskovich points to the data.

“The user is really engaged with the app. It collects enormous amount of data, like Facebook and Google collect data. Monzo also sees the transaction and can overlay it with behavioural data,” she said.”

Insight: Hard to tell if it’s just another hot startup that will flame out or ultimately succeed. Still, a lot to learn from gamificiation and creating special moments. I get a badge from Fitbit every time I hit a certain artificial moment, why don’t I get a notification when my savings account hits a certain threshold?

How to be a CEO from a decade’s worth of them. A journalist interviewed 525 chief executives and summarizes what he learned. “As for life advice, my favorite insight came from Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University. Her suggestion to students:

“They should never assume that they can predict what experiences will teach them the most about what they value, or about what their life should be,” she said. “You have to be open and alert at every turn to the possibility that you’re about to learn the most important lesson of your life.”