INFLECTION POINTS AND NEW POSSIBILITIES
As a career banker with over 30 years’ experience, I’ve seen a fair amount of change along the way. In retrospect, major inflection points, no matter how disruptive to traditional banking methods have been positive in terms of making the banking experience better for everyone. The adoption of the Internet, evolution of the smartphone, and thoughtful application development all extended banking products and services to people who were otherwise outside of the banking system, improving access and inclusion.
I believe Blockchain and Web 3.0, although in early stages, will spur the largest and most disruptive round of innovation in the history of the financial services industry. Truth will replace trust, eliminating friction along with layers of intermediaries that slow down our systems and add unnecessary cost. Authentic ownership for real-world assets will be tokenized, recorded, and transferred on blockchain. Money will be programmable allowing for real-time, accurate execution of the most complex transactions. We will take control of our personal data, shop in the Metaverse, and the list goes on…
From my point of view, the future looks a lot like the past with new technologies presenting new possibilities. Having witnessed the unbundling of banking services and the accompanying exodus of retail customers from banks to fintechs during the last wave of tech innovation, I’m determined to put my years of experience to work instead of a being a passive bystander.
The most critical foundational challenge for the banking industry is the need to develop a method of tokenizing deposits within the existing regulatory and risk framework. By doing so, our banking system can continue to function as designed without a Central Bank Digital Currency and without the inherent risk presented by stablecoins.
The Blockchain and Web 3.0 learning curve is steep for bankers, but it’s very exciting to see interest rapidly building. Attitudes are changing within banking leadership teams, and I’m encouraged to see the number of banks now investing and partnering with technologists to evolve our industry.
As all disruptive events go, the victory will go to those who lean in, learn, and lead. Banks are well positioned to evolve and innovate using these new technologies and if done well, recapture business that was lost in the last innovation wave.
The inflection points are obvious, and the time is now to engage and help shape the future of banking.