Can Banks Innovate Like Startups? Should They?

Can banks innovate like startups

This week I have been asked to contribute to a crowdsourced book on fintech (insurtech, regtech and wealthtech to be more precise).

I have submitted my 3 abstracts and now if they get enough votes I will get to write full 2,000 pieces and get them published.

I have a big ask – could you please cast your vote for my pieces if you like them, and even if you don’t, be honest 🙂

To do that you need to register on and click voting, you can find me if you filter for authors in top right corner of the screen under name Alex Nechoroskovas. I have submitted abstracts for all 3 books. I am incredibly grateful for your support!

Thanks for reading; YOU are awesome! Just hit reply if you want to get in touch 🙂

Have a wonderful week,


Are You Sure You Want To Innovate Like A Startup?
By Pascal Bouvier

As corporations reinvent their innovation processes, they have lots to learn from startups, but must realise that lean startup wasn’t designed for their context. They have different goals (serve a mass market, rather than a niche), different risks (a reputable brand, rather than the flexibility to start over), different constraints (legal regulatory, ownership) and of course, an ‘unfair advantage’ of resources to put to use – none of which is suited to lean startup. This institutional nature, which makes decision making slow and risk aversion high, busts the idea of lean. In all the enthusiasm for the startup ecosystem, we need to re-address how corporations are using this for their own innovation. Now’s the time to create an optimal new approach.


The Power Of One Sigma
By JP Nichols

Lean and Six Sigma programmes work well when there are identical operations and repeatable processes in large volumes, particularly when those operations can generate a lot of accurately measured data. When administered properly, they also focus on creating real value by improving quality, cost and customer satisfaction. But what happens when you perfectly execute the wrong priorities? Kodak was arguably the best manufacturer of celluloid film in the world (although Fujifilm might argue that one). Nokia was the world’s leading maker of mobile phones, with 48.7% market share in 2007. The quality of their operations was admirable, and not what turned out to be the Achilles heel for those companies. New technologies and new business models regularly disrupt the status quo. Blockbuster beat all comers in the business of operating video rental stores. It executed the standard business model of its industry better than anyone else until Netflix showed up. Netflix didn’t beat Blockbuster at its own game – it changed the game.


Banks – Big, Binary And Beyond Redemption
By Gary Schwartz

The bank’s service ladder is losing its rungs and is being pulled (kicking and screaming) into a marketplace where the consumer is in control. A customer walks into a bank and asks for money. She will either hit the magic 700 FICO score and walk out of the branch with a cheque, or she will not. There is little fuzzy, human logic below this presumptive line. Banks are binary, very linear and often lack the necessary 360-degree view of their consumers because they have never been challenged to develop these tools. With customers looking for alternative solutions to the yes-or-no culture, can banks adapt? Can we learn from other industries such as retail, that have been rudely disrupted over the past decade? Can banks learn to adapt and move towards a customer-centric business that allows for just-in-time services, information and access in a frictionless and seamless way? The answer is no.


The Great Distribution in Finance
By Markus Lampinen

We’ve grown up with the belief that we need a bank account to store our capital. At the same time, modern technology and FinTech innovation have made it possible to create complex products and services at very little cost. Do we need a bank account or do we only need some place to store our money? And even further, with the proliferation of technology tools, specialist services, open interfaces, and a rising global computer literacy, is there any stopping the global emergence of new types of services that offer that exact service in a new way?  We’re going to see a distribution in financial services due to changes in technology. So why would you want to have your money with a bank? Because the bank’s name still carries weight and makes you sleep better at night, whatever complaints you might have during the week but this might change.

Also published on Medium.

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I'm a #26 Global FinTech influencer. An Economist by profession, I have worked on both sides of the table - tech startups and global financial organisations. I love football, technology, travelling and photography.