FinTech is booming, no doubt – and latest developments like with the UK unicorn Powa cannot change that picture much or at all. But repeatedly the question of quick enough user adoption of fancy new stuff in the world of financial services has been raised – and rightly so. I personally always had the point of view that the good new things will be there for good when a broad cross-section of the society is adopting them. Not only in the big cities, not only the early adopters, hipsters and novelty hunters in urban environments – the young crowd of Metropolis.
A new study by Ernest & Young seems to show that yes, FinTech is booming and yes, the early adopters love it: Today, according to the study (which you can find here), 15.5% of the digital users have adopted FinTech in one way or the other – with a projection for this possibly to double within the next twelve months. When you look closer, they found, its more interesting: When you look at high-income individuals the adoption rate is north of 40% . EQ concludes, that „that some of the most economically valuable customers for banks and insurers are already FinTech customers“. For traditional banks this means that they should open their eyes a bit wider, I believe.
But when we look at this: all the people with less of a mobile or digital affinity are apparently less likely to adopt FinTech offerings – which is not surprising. They are most likely still going to their banks branch to get a loan or call their insurance broker for an updated coverage. For me, it is still a very valid and interesting question how long it will take until we have that broad acceptance of FinTech throughout the society which is necessary to make it a lasting mass phenomenon and to raise from being a (very strong, promising) trend to something to really revolutionize how the people in general do their business in finance matters of any form and shape. Many FinTech businesses, if not most, build on an economy of scale which requires just that: broad adoption of the service across all parts of the society. If this takes long, its actually looking much brighter for the banks as they will have time to pick and select and swallow. Which ultimately, lets be optimistic, would make their very traditional offering better.
It will stay an interesting industry to be in.