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2.2.2 Digital Universal Banks

Worldwide we can observe the development of various different digital universal banks, who are aimed rigorously—indeed more rigorously than the direct banks, who merely use the sales channel of the internet for an otherwise conventional offer—at the behavioural and user patterns of the digital generation. They use social media much more consistently and act as a platform, for example for peer-to-peer loans or crowdfunding. Newly-founded banks in the German-speaking area include, for example, Fidor Bank, which already has more than 200,000 customers—these are registered users and do not necessarily have to open an account with a contract (Presseportal 2013). It is aimed at customers who feel at home in Web 2.0, who appreciate digital marketplaces and interacting with other users, and whose user behaviour differs greatly from those of classic bank customers (Fidor Bank 2013). An example from the United States is “Movenbank”. It strives to be a mobile bank without any bank cards, paper or branches. Transactions are concluded solely via mobile devices (Moneyland 2013). The “Simple” bank is also on the path to developing and extending this USP (Simple 2013).

2.2.3 Big Data Logic

A key element of the digital age is to hold, obtain and use data in order to segment customers and use the information where necessary for mass customisation. The idea of mass customisation is to try to achieve cost advantages and differentiation by providing customised services using the means of mass production.[1]

In the digital age, big data means that all information about the customer can be used in real time for the precise analysis of customer behaviour, to derive the correlation between results and behaviour, and thus to make perfectly tailored predictions and cluster formations by using all available data sources. Thus the needs and user profiles can be refined permanently, enabling tailored solutions that meet the requirements structure of the customer. In the medium term, providers who are able to offer these perfectly tailored solutions will gradually become trustworthy also when it comes to bank services.

For this reason, companies like Google and PayPal have also already acquired a banking license (Cash 2013). But the focus on payment transactions is also being pursued by other leading internet companies. Facebook cooperates with the Australian Commonwealth Bank to provide a bank service to Facebook members, allowing payments via Facebook to third parties or to Facebook friends. The security concept is said to be comparable with conventional online banking systems (Finews 2012). The payment system is already being tested online (Tagesanzeiger 2013). Under the name Yapital—and with a banking license in Luxembourg—the Otto Group is working on a payment solution for smartphones and e-commerce. Discussions are underway with stationary retailers such as the Rewe concern about acceptance at the point of sale (Der Handel 20.3.2012).

For industrial companies such as Siemens or MAN, in contrast, the banking license plays a role primarily in sales financing for commercial customers. With a view to the corporate banking sector, this approach represents possible competition for the established banks (FAZ 6.12.2010). In the area of payments via mobile phone, many mobile communications providers are obtaining bank licenses. One of the first in the world was Rogers Telecom, soon followed by European providers (Financial Post 3.5.2013). These include Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, who offers mobile payment methods in cooperation with Visa. The mobile provider O2 uses the MasterCard platform Paypass for its mobile payment solution. It is also interesting that in 2011 one of the largest concerns in the world, the Japanese telecommunications company NTT Docomo, purchased the publicly-listed German private bank Werther. In Japan this concern already offers payment by mobile phone at free-standing machines (Ernst & Young and University of St. Gallen 2012, p. 17).

  • [1] “Mass Customization is more than just a manufacturing process, logistics system or marketing strategy. It could well be the organizing principle of business in the next century, just as mass production was the organizing principle in this one.” (Schonfeld 1998, p. 115 f.).
 
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