Fintech vs The Banks: The Disruption Is Real

Netflix. Uber. Amazon. All three companies permanently disrupted their industries with a more convenient experience and superior value proposition (better product, lower cost) through technology. In each company’s history, there was a point at which they went from novel concept to innovator to major threat to the leading solution. Along the way, there was an oh sh*t moment for the incumbents.

This is happening today in financial services through technology, as witnessed by the massive global growth in the number of fintech companies and capital being raised. (For example, U.S.-based Sofi recently raised $1 billion.) Now we are seeing third-party validation that shifts the debate from if disruption will happen to how big this disruption will be, including the extent to which the banks and their massive profits will be affected by fintech companies like Mogo. Some evidence:

1. The smart minds at McKinsey, in their recent report on the global banking industry, concluded up to 60 percent of the banks’ consumer finance profits (the core business of deposit taking and lending) are at risk in the next 10 years from fintech. Yes, 60 percent! The report highlights that the threat isn’t just the financial impact; it’s that new players will take over the customer relationship. If you remember, we mentioned this in our earnings call.

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2. At recent investor events, the Canadian banks have been talking about the trend toward digital banking and they have been touting their innovations in this area. Many of the analysts are not buying this story. One recent Financial Post article summarized this nicely: “Fintech poses a ‘long-term and dangerous’ threat to golden goose of Canadian banks.” I recently talked with a long-time analyst who admitted the lightbulb had only just went off. He now sees how a new brand could build relationships with the banks’ customers through a convenient digital offering, continue to broaden the offering, and end up owning the customers.

A lot has changed in the past six months. Now, we are not the only ones endorsing the position that the financial services industry is undergoing a fundamental, long-term digital transformation. Mogo is well positioned to be a winner in this new world. With more than 100 of our employees focused solely on building a digital financial platform, 135,000 members, and over 1 million loans originated, Mogo is leading the shift in Canada as consumers move away from traditional banking services toward a fully digital experience. Want to know how we're doing? Listen to our latest earnings call.

[In my next post, I’ll talk about the power of a fully digital experience in contrast to the current online experience.]


Dave Feller is Mogo's CEO, finance visionary, and Fitbit master. He had a horrible experience with credit cards when he was younger, realized that there's no such thing as free money, and decided to start a company that would transform the way people manage their money—and help them get out of debt. And that's how Mogo was born.

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