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Alternative facts of banking

Lars Markull
Lars Markull
2 min read

I’ve aimed for one blog post per week and have already missed out the second week. Cannot say it was the best start. Even though I can blame my first winter in Berlin that caused my illness, rather I will keep up to my promise and write an additional blog post this or next week.

I was wondering what to write about in my first proper FinTech related blog post and was hoping for some inspiration in the news but thanks to POTUS #45 there is just one discussion happening: is this the end of the world as we know it?

Nevertheless, the discussion around the newly coined term “alternative facts” from Kellyanne Conway was quite interesting – and not just from a political point of view. One statement and two groups of people (aka bubbles) with two extremely opposite interpretations of it: correct statements vs blunt lies.

While thinking about this I was wondering: do we also have alternative facts in the banking industry? Since the people in innovative FinTech and traditional banking are probably more different than Democrats and Republicans – there should definitely be at least a few statements that are seen as facts by the one side and lie from the other.

My favourite “alternative facts” in the traditional banking industry (in no specific order):

  • Hackathons are just milestones
  • Open innovation hubs are pure marketing
  • Our bank is innovative – we even have a department for that
  • Open banking is pure risk – no upside for banks
  • The concept of Bank-as-a-platform requires banks to change ‘everything’
  • With finally offering an API, developers will love us
  • Working with FinTech companies is like hiring contractors
  • Mobile is an interesting additional channel
  • Voice banking solutions are far fetched future
  • Identity is something for governments, but not for banks

Do you agree or do you have other ones to add? This list is surely subjective but I assume there will be plenty of people to agree.

And please don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to compare traditional banking with the politics of DJT. But in a world where your point of view is changing the way you see facts, this cannot be ignored as the one who can play this game will win it. Personally, I believe this might especially be the case in FinTech and traditional banking.

And yes, there are also plenty of “alternative facts” in FinTech companies – but that might be something for another blog post…



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