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Could tech giants be the next banking disruptors?

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For years high street banks have been – in most cases – the only option for your day-to-day banking. Many have apps that aim to replicate existing retail functionality, and for the most part, they work. But this is all quite boring and is reflective of an industry that hasn’t really seen challenge or change in a long time, the closest consumer-facing change being the ongoing debate over whether cheques should remain or cease to exist.

Open Banking, Monzo, Starling Bank, Chip, and Plum to name a few, have all entered the market as disruptors with the aim of bringing banking in to the 21st century. But what if Amazon, Facebook, Google or Apple decided they wanted to enter this space? All arguably have the funds to do so, they have the tech expertise to avoid any systems or IT failures, and they have all become customer-centric in their approach giving ease to the whole experience. Virtual wallets are a step in this direction, currently still reliant on a bank to ‘top up’ or associate with the service – but could this be the first steps into facilitating payments without the need for a separate ‘bank’.

In a recent survey by Mulesoft, 52% of 18 – 34-year old’s said they would consider banking with a tech giant they use regularly.

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Needless to say, all of the tech giants above harvest and curate data – from your spending patterns on platform (Amazon), purchase history (Google wallet), what retail stores you pay via NFC at (Apple), and of course what advertisers you interact with (Facebook). As of today, all this forms a layer of targeting or ‘intent’ that we can trade media against both their platforms but across wider reaching networks.

What if they held even more data, they knew when your monthly salary was being paid in, when your utilities and insurance were coming up to renewal – these would be incredibly valuable signals for advertisers to up weight and target users based on, giving the platforms yet a further insight into exactly what each person’s worth to an advertiser is.

This would provide the tech giants with even greater levels of access to personal information, a move that would potentially require the provision of greater benefits for users in order for them to part with even more of their personal data to these particular cornerstones of the tech world.