Even banks are touched by the Amazon effect

Even banks are touched by the Amazon effect

Such is the impact of Amazon that it is even affecting what people expect from their bank.

That’s the view of the chief executive of fintech firm Avoka, Phil Copeland, who said the user experience provided by the shopping giant has fed into an expectation among consumers that you should be able to sign up for products easily and simply online.

With banks also nervously eyeing fintech competitors, the dynamic is forcing banks to sharpen their focus on “digital customer acquisition”, or online sales.

“Amazon has really changed the landscape a lot, for a lot of people. There’s an expectation that if it’s not as easy as doing business with Amazon, then what are you doing wrong?” Mr Copeland said.

In response to these pressures, banks are overhauling their systems to offer all manner of products, for both retail and business customers, on mobile and digital devices.

Mr Copeland’s Avoka is seeing the demand first hand, as a software firm that specialises in helping big banks with “customer on-boarding”.

A recent report from Avoka, which has clients including Westpac, Bankwest, Macquarie Group, CUA, Citi and HSBC, said Australian lenders were more advanced in digital sales than European and United States banks.

The report found 49 per cent of personal banking products could be opened on a mobile device in Australia, but a much lower share of small business products were available on a smart phone.

At the same time, Australian consumers are known for being fast adopters of new technology, a dynamic that makes the banks wary of fintech rivals.

A separate survey last month from European fintech company TransferWise found 78 per cent of Australians did their banking online. It also said consumers here were likely to think they would use a technology firm for their financial needs within five years, compared with customers in Europe or the United States.


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Source: Even banks are touched by the Amazon effect – The Sydney Morning Herald