Kapronasia, Ant Financial Talk Collaboration in Mobile Payments, Fintech, and Beyond

January 28, 2020         By: Steven Anderson

Teamwork! It’s one of the great buzzwords that make things like Dilbert comics as hilariously realistic as they are, and new word sent our way from Ant Financial—the folks behind Alipay—suggests that we’re going to see a lot more of that in the future. A report generated by Ant Financial, backed up by Kapronasia, suggests that the market may well belong to those who most practice teamwork in the future.

Left with a growing gap as tech firms poach business formerly the province of banks, many financial firms backed technology firms to give them access to the tools their customers wanted so clearly. With a hefty number of customers operating as either “underbanked” or outright “unbanked,” it’s a major potential source of revenue for firms to access, and one that may leave current financial institutions in the lurch.

Thus, we’re seeing some of the behaviors we’ve been seeing for the last couple of years now; instead of blowing huge resources to wander into unfamiliar areas, banks and other financial institutions are putting up a little cash—and a whole lot of reflected goodwill—to let technology companies build the tools they’ll use to get their customers—and perhaps a few new ones—in the fold.

One such venture the report cites is Citi Ventures. Citigroup’s Ramneek Gupta, who serves as managing director and co-head of global venture investing with Citi Ventures, noted that bank-fintech cooperation
has been on the rise for much of the last decade, and Citi has been actively working to build its approach to fintech with structure in mind has kept disruption to a minimum.

Thus, we find that cooperation will likely be key going forward. It’s essentially too late—and may have been too late for years now—for banks to compete with tech firms on their own. Banks commonly do not have the necessary expertise to build apps, and so, they need to make inroads with tech firms that can build apps in rapid fashion. However, tech firms need a way to compete here as well, and by using the halo effect banks offer, they can offer their technology under the banks’ banners, and automatically pick up a little extra credibility ahead of release.

The value of a bank / tech connection is hard to understate. It will likely propel the mobile payments field—not to mention mobile banking and the like—forward for some time to come.