Sibos 2019: Watch out for Asian big techs like Alipay, Accenture warns banks
In Japan and China, big technology companies have been quietly accumulating lots of data and have secured a huge market share in their respective countries, giving them the power to tap into huge demographics with their products.
Leruste uses the example of China, where firms have tapped into the unbanked SME market. Only 27% of those living in Southeast Asia have a bank account according to KPMG, leaving opportunities wide open for fintechs and ‘bigtechs’ to deliver mobile banking, short-term loans services and basic analytical data to consumers.
Ant Financial, formerly known as Alipay and affiliate to Alibaba, revealed in June 2019 that Alipay and its local e-wallet providers served 1.2 billion customers around the world in that month – a 20% jump from the six-month period which ended in December 2018.
In Leruste’s opinion, it seems to be an attitude problem. Bankers still discern themselves from technology companies, she says, “but banks are actually becoming technology companies themselves”.
This IT-banking divide could go on to shape the competition, as Leruste observes “the strongest competition lies with the bigtechs”.
But banks like Standard Chartered in Asia are leading the way in positive social impact and “trustability of goods”, says Leruste. She talks about the circular economy, and how a select few have “taken the bet” and “invested in the approach”, looking into things such as reducing waste.
And when it comes to blockchain, banks are beginning to innovate in new ways. Not naturally software houses, established financial institutions are “learning while walking”, says Leruste.
This year Sibos has been much more promising for Accenture, who are seeing “less denial” and more talk around leveraging compliance for good.