The rise of fintech start-ups has startled awake the old giants of finance. The past five years have seen more progress in financial technology than even before. Far from watching idly, incumbents have indeed sped up their own digital transformation.
While they initially saw this as a threat, incumbents now support this trend by creating partnerships with disruptive newcomers and by setting up innovation teams and start-up accelerators. This has motivated incumbents to offer their services online through modern websites, desktop platforms and mobile apps. Moreover, many traditional providers have updated their branding and message to become more relatable and millennial friendly.
Still, their digital performance is not growing nearly as fast as that of fintech start-ups. This is mainly because of legacy issues and bureaucratic hurdles that slow down the application of innovation. The demographic on the boards of financial giants compared to agile newcomers might also be part of the problem. Start-ups often complain about the fact that traditional providers are advantaged in terms of customer acquisition and trust. Yet, big banks and other big players still suffer from a trust deficit derived from the 2008 crisis.
Now we see more and more evidence that suggests finance is getting more transparent, modern and customer-centric. That is why we have selected some of the prominent figures of the traditional financial industry which are leading the way to a bright new digital future. Find out the full list of the top 100 digital finance providers in Origami (Autumn 2016).
Since the 2008 crisis, Barclays’ CEO Anthony Jenkins has stirred the ship into the direction of customer engagement through technology. Barclays’ internet and mobile banking services have been brought to a stellar standard thanks to the talented innovation team. Its Innovation Lab has also allowed it to the lead in the UK for digital banking.
This global giant has been leading the way in digital insurance. The platform MyAviva for instance allows users to access and manage all their policies from their desktop, tablet or phone. Aviva is also an active supporter of the growth of fintechs through its collaborations with innovative start-ups, its innovation labs and its fintech hackathons.
Founded in 1974, IG has become a world leading trading platform for CFDs and spread betting. Present in 15 countries across five continents, it provides access to 10,000 markets. Although it is ancient compared to most trading fintechs, the company has always kept up with the technological trends, building award winning trading apps for mobile and tablets.
Asset Management: BlackRock
BlackRock is trusted to manage more money than any other investment manager in the world and is leading the way in digital asset management. By acquiring Barclays’ iShares platform in 2009, BlackRock also became a leader for online ETF investment management. Moreover, all its services are backed by a powerful proprietary intelligence platform, Aladdin.
Advisory: Hargreaves Lansdown
Hargreaves Lansdown is a FTSE 100 company with 35 years of experience in investment advisory. Its award-winning website and apps give people access to their investments on the go, along with a wealth of information and tools. It has also created a rich community with diverse portfolios who regularly share on the platform their insights and advice.
Although this is a relatively new provider, Zopa is part of the big league as the UK’s top crowdlending platform. Harnessing the power of big data, it has allowed more than £1.83 billion of peer-to-peer loans to be granted in ten years. It has also been voted ‘Most Trusted Personal Loan Provider’ in the Moneywise Customer Awards for seven years in a row.