What does a bank do if it does not longer moving forward? What when the time comes and there is no internal solution as prospect? It summons one of the Big Four. PWC, Deloitte, KPMG, EY maybe also Mc-Kinsey. Without doubt, these firms truly stand for competence, with their wealth of experience and a wide network. They are often perceived as THE experts and also quite frequently as the saviors. This might be absolutely correct, considering the challenges in the traditional and “old” financial ecosystem.
When it comes to digitization, however, they present similar problems as the banks. Highly-qualified personnel, in the fields of Fintech, Regtec, Martech, x-tech, is difficult to recruit. The knowledge in these areas is temporally very limited, fast-paced and, not least, also exposed to other cultural environments. In certain situations, others rules than the ones known by you might apply.
Again, a situation has been made known to me, which has occurred several times in other constellations. A medium-sized financial institution has asked one of the Big Four about Blockchain. Of course, the Institute has recommended hisself for the blockchain topic, and assures to have appropriate expert knowledge. One would never admit being unable to provide adequate expertise.
Thus, the contract was granted, on the other hand accepted. After about 4 months with a lot of PowerPoint slides and high bills, they has realized that the know-how was not enough. That’s why they hired a blockchain fintech. Thus, the actual project could start 4 months and several CHF 10,000 later. The consulting institute earned the cash, but the services was provided by the fintech.
Bad, expensive and it does not have to be the case. These consulting firms lack in the digital area, what banks are also missing. The access to the new ecosystems. Fintech, startups, talents, network, tech know-how, access to generation X, Y and Z and many more. This is not something one is denied per se. However, the above-mentioned are not available in the known networks, processes or partnerships.
The financial institutes, for the most part, have not found any point of access to these “new” ecosystem. The big consulting firms have, in general, one-sided interests and therefore rarely partner with fintechs.
Do they not want them or do they not know how? From my own experience, I can confirm that digital projects in the “old”, cumbersome but long very successful ecosystem of the financial industry need many times more time and money. Moreover, from a qualitative point of view, the result rarely meets the requirements (internally as well as externally). With the exploitation of the new ecosystem, financial digital knowledge, the network, the diverse agile project setups as well as their culture and closeness to the digital generation become accessible.
It is time for the financial institutes to open up to this ecosystem. Fintech and startups receive the financial institutes with open arms. They rely on partnerships and collaborations. And the fear that certain services could be divested by the banks is less likely if the bank is part of that ecosystem than to continue to move outside.
All that remains is to convince the management that the implementation of digital solutions at a lower price in less time is better than a PowerPoint marathon with renowned big consulting institutes and their own top management.