Our July 2018 fintech report stressed how traditional banks must endeavor to build service ecosystems that integrate with consumers' lifestyles, and our October report (on the influence of China in global ICT trends) showed that Chinese consumers already have such an ecosystem, which means they are close to truly having a digital lifestyle.
Partnerships or mergers with independent fintechs and agreements with the FAANG group of global tech firms (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google) are the likely path that banks will take to achieve this.
For example, Banco do Brasil now allows clients to manage cash withdrawals, money transfers, credit card requests and account balance inquiries via WhatsApp, adding to similar functionality available via the Facebook Messenger platform.
However, the FAANG companies have sufficient resources to set up their own financial services offerings if necessary, and could prove to be competitors against the banks.
Working against them is the perception that these companies cannot be trusted to respect users' personal data, but despite the bad press on this issue we have seen that the majority of users are not willing to exit Facebook, for example.
No doubt, users will appreciate the seamlessness of the digital lifestyle, but they would rather not be involved in the security measures, it seems.
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