Triggered by a short flurry of mails and tweets going back and forth in reaction to my blog “Uber and the future of banks” some time ago I started to play around with some of the basic concepts about the developments in the financial industry I have been founding my work on for the last decade or so. My brain had started to grind by then, and then grind some more and then started to polish one or two thoughts….

Without elaborating on all my deliberations and underlying thoughts these are the 4 standpoints I came up with:

  1. “Deconglomerisation”: Banks should be regard as very complex conglomerates in slow motion but fundamental “break-up” transition. “Banks” – as conglomerates – are based on economic and technical principles of the past which are challenged to their core by recent technological developments.
  2. “Societal perspective is imperative”: To create a sustainable payments landscape the societal perspective has to be taken as predominant over the FI/corporate and the “consumer” perspectives. Payments has to be considered a (crucial) utility.
  3. “The value chain relativity theory”: The wide range of services which are offered by banks today and how they relate to the development in the technical and the delivery realm needs a more accurate “value chain” model to reflect the complexities of the interconnected world. Value chains are not “static 2d serial chains of companies” anymore but have become “dynamic 3d networks of functions geared for individualized ad hoc service creation”. What is more, the network archetype of services offered in the value chain is different depending from where you look at the network: what is a platform to one observer is “just” a clip-on service/function for the other observer.
  4. “The bank account is owned by the account holder”: The “bank account” has to be logically considered to be a wallet owned by the account holder (not the bank maintaining the ledger!)