We've taken a bit of a hiatus from writing on this blog, but we hope to relaunch efforts to write a few times a week about issues that are pertinent to the FinTech community. In fact, we plan to begin interviewing startups and executives at Israeli firms over the next few weeks, with the hope of building up stronger content.

Additionally, we are finalizing the date/time of our next event, which will be in late November. More on that, as soon as we've locked down the specifics.

In the meantime, I wanted to share the following document, recently published by Accenture on Banking in 2012. You can download the executive summary here. An article in Bank Systems and Technology covering this document in greater length can also be found here. Both are worthwhile reads...

However, the upshot is quite simple - technology will be a major differentiator for emerging banks and bank-like firms, as well as the primary cause for the success of existing banks going forward. The consumer is changing his/her habits fairly drastically today, and is able to quickly and efficiently learn about alternative options in the marketplace and move their business elsewhere. Example -

  • Whereas a few years ago, consumer banking customers needed to sit in an uncomfortable chair, waiting for a 45 minute meeting to open a savings account, today there are numerous online only offerings, where opening the account can be done in minutes online
  • Whereas a few years ago, some brokers could get away with insisting on trades being conducted via individual brokers (read: people) without great data access (read: market research, real time data, analytics), today the average 15 year old with an allowance has nearly full access to real-time transaction, research, and analysis tools
  • Whereas a few years ago, your friendly specialist, Spear Leads and Kellogg, was the only seller/buyer of key NYSE-listed securities, today anyone with a liquidity pool can handle it (and they do in droves)

This is where Israeli companies, with their ingenuity and technological prowess (not to mention thrifty expense models) can emerge as key participants in the ecosystem. Benefiting from cloud computing, business intelligence and other efficiencies that have emerged from the tech world in the last few years, a global fully functioning financial services powerhouse can be built right here in Israel. The question is, who will build it?