Applying the Model to the Mobile Financial Services Providers

The previous chapter built a framework suitable for all startups that are performing their business in the financial services industry. In order to provide general guidelines for this highly heterogeneous universe of fin- tech initiatives, the main challenges address the following critical issues (see Fig. 4.3): [1]

Fintech business model canvas

Fig. 4.3 Fintech business model canvas

The following pages detail the model introduced in this book to the mobile financial services area (see Fig. 4.3). The model identifies what can support traditional organizations and startups to set up a convenient and forward-looking business (Fig. 4.4).

Unlike the original model, built for fintech startups and new entrants, this framework is suitable for every organization that is delivering a mobile financial service to its customers. The organization’s focus should be on five elements:

  • • The centricity of customers in all aspects of the value proposition
  • • The enlargement of the business, from informational to transactional
  • • The creation of synergies between the product and other solutions, as Big Data Analytics and virtual robotics
  • • The importance of being agile and forward-looking
  • • The building of a simple but secure solution

Several fintech startups have already set the stage for being in line with future trends. A relevant percentage of them are moving in the right direction toward the ways suggested by the model.

Mobility focus in the business model canvas

Fig. 4.4 Mobility focus in the business model canvas

According to what the consultancy company EY suggests in its report “EY Fintech Adoption Index” (2016), mobile financial service apps are mostly conceived by customers as payment “facilitators”. They help in avoiding the need of visiting a branch or an agency in order to perform some basic financial transactions. Certainly, this factor has played a primary role in the past, so that, alone, it could be able to justify such a growing rate of adoption of mobility apps by “digitally active users” (Gulamhuseinwala et al. 2015).

If financial institutions do not understand the importance of change and innovation, most likely they will be missing growing and potentially market-changing opportunities. It is important that financial institutions enlarge their mobile offering in order to seize these opportunities, especially when referring to the ongoing shift in mobile financial services apps from “payment facilitators” to “digital advisors”. The accomplishment of this task is not an easy job due to a large amount of information needed and its accuracy. This is the reason why Big Data Analytics solutions are of central importance in this process.

Large financial institutions are showing a great interest in this sector. JPMorgan Chase, at the end of the third quarter of 2015, reached a mobile banking base of 22 million customers. It is planning to invest more.[2] Its path toward innovation and change should follow different dynamics than fintech startups. For big and fintech-oriented organizations, the creation of synergies with innovative startups is at the center of business plans. The startups should be focusing on marketing tools with the aim of penetrating the market as effectively as possible. This double-fold feature of the industry has a common goal: the delivery of highly customized and high-quality products to more demanding customers. The difference lies in the means used to achieve this goal due to the completely different structures of traditional organizations and startups. Certainly, merging or combining technologies with the aim of keeping up with the pace of innovation could be really challenging for large business organizations due to the complexity of their legacy ICT infrastructures. For new entrants or small organizations, more flexible by nature, the whole process is less costly and simpler to play out. Sometimes, those business ventures do not even own an internal information technology (IT) infrastructure. They can move to cloud computing without needing complex “hybrid” (cloud-onsite) models. On the other side, the cloud allows them to eliminate any geographical limitation and, especially, to get the scalability and the pay-per-use that they need (Nicoletti 2012).

Aggregations are the next step that every organization should consider in its business plans, where Big Data Analytics solutions are one of its main tools.

It is possible to look at customer centricity from different perspectives such as, for example, the ones provided by other companies, not even working in the financial services industry. Google and other successful tech giants have indeed taken on their experiences in creative ways by diversifying their business and directing it toward present and future “customer needs”. This is exactly the way that Google and Apple managed to reach unforeseeable markets, such as the financial services industry itself

(Apple Pay, Google Wallet), earning very large profit margins. This can apply also to the model presented in this book. Financial institutions and fintech organizations could provide access to the purchase of other products and services. In addition, they could facilitate or even build platforms that will be able to link their customers on common bases, as P2P networks or communities.

Chapter 10, on the future of fintech, covers more on this subject.

  • [1] Market—focus on targets 2. Products and services—focus on value added 3. Channels—focus on social and omnichannel 4. Customer experience—focus on customer-centric approach 5. Revenue—focus on customer lifetime value 6. Processes and activities—focus on marketing 7. Resources and systems—focus on technology 8. Partnership and collaboration—focus on financial institutions 9. Costs and investments—focus on risks
  • [2], Accessed 27 July2016.
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