There's hardly a week that goes by without a fresh perspective on how millennials are changing -- if not disrupting -- a legacy industry. From where I sit -- as founder of a fintech company that has a large and diverse following (not just millennials) -- there are at least three reasons for this. First, as a recent study by Pew Research reported, millennials are now America's largest generation, outnumbering baby boomers who have long been the priority of marketers across all consumer sectors. Second, millennials are the first generation that truly "grew up digital," forcing businesses to rethink the user experience that defines their products and services. But third, and perhaps most important, millennials are not alone in demanding a better and more digitally-informed experience from the businesses that serve them.
The global banking sector is becoming both more strategically focused and technologically advanced to respond to consumer expectations while trying to defend market share against an increasing array of competitors. A great deal of emphasis is being placed on digitizing core business processes and reassessing organizational structures and internal talent to be better prepared for the future of banking. This transformation illustrates the increasing desire to become a'digital bank'. The importance of innovation and developing new solutions that take advantage of data, advanced analytics, digital technologies and new delivery platforms has never been more important. We are seeing organizations innovate in targeting, expanding services, re-configuring delivery channels, delivering proactive advice, integrating payments and applying blockchain technology.
Over the past few years, consumers have gained more control than ever over their financial lives. This is largely thanks to the emergence of a technology ecosystem focused on improving financial services. For example, people today are better equipped to invest with fair fees using Betterment, prepare for retirements with innovations like Guideline, settle debts with friends with Venmo, set savings goals -- and actually meet them -- with Digit and Qapital, and get fair loans with LendUp. These applications represent just a handful of the applications that have emerged in the last few years to help better people's financial lives (note: These companies use my firm's API solutions). And this is only the beginning of a technologically-reimagined suite of financial services.
Below is an excerpt of the upcoming Digital Banking Report entitled, '2017 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions', with insights from a crowdsourced panel of close to 100 global financial services leaders and the results of a global industry survey. For the sixth consecutive year, we have surveyed a panel of over 100 global financial services leaders for their thoughts on retail banking and credit union trends and predictions. For the first time, we also surveyed the industry, including banks, credit unions and solution providers (suppliers) worldwide to allow us to prioritize the trends identified. Our global market survey of over 900 organizations also provided an opportunity to review last year's projections to determine importance. Finally, the global survey collected insight into strategic priorities for 2017 and the fintech players that the industry believed would have the greatest impact in the upcoming year.