Banks see Technology Firms as Biggest Threat

As technology firms offer consumers financial services, banks consider Google, Apple and Facebook as their biggest competitive threat.

According to research from Infosys and French retail banking association EFMA, 45% of banks rated the threat from technology companies as "high".

Researchers questioned executives at about 100 banks around the world. The report said: "After technology companies, the most significant threat is perceived to come from telcos and startups."

The report believes that although large IT suppliers pose the biggest perceived threat, it remains to be seen whether this concern is justified.

The report added: "In spite of the fact that banks fear technology companies the most, we need to wait and see the impact of developments such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay."

The Infosys report said banks must decide how they will deal with the threat from telecoms firms: "Telcos are continuing to launch services in developed and developing markets, and banks need to decide whether they want to partner with or compete with them."

Chris Skinner, chairman at the Financial Services Club, believes telecoms firms will not try to become banks, but will revolutionise retail banking.

He said: "The core part of banking is boring for the likes of Google and Facebook - but they are perfectly positioned to provide information enrichment in financial services.

"The banks will be there to make sure the services are always available and the likes of Google will tell consumers what they need to know."

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