Banking 09 and Web 2.0: now for something completely different

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Just returned from two weeks in Europe and 2 days in New York City.
We (banks, citizens, employees, family members) feel as though we’re watching
a film that we know is about to become a documentary, yet no one is sure how
long that we’ll have to watch to know the conclusion, but we’re pretty sure that
no one is really going to be pleased with the impending fate of our heroes (us).

And there will be an end to this road and there will be ample opportunities to
re-orient our collective capabilities in constructive & profitable endeavors.

I was asked this week for an opinion on how the next generation of Internet capabilities,
Web 2.0, could influence the rebuilding of our financial sectors. Attached is a presentation assembled principally to illustrate what is being said and what is being perceived; what is in-process and what is imminent.

Cost-cutting is the immediate goal of banks; thereafter, integration of the new and now even larger enterprises will be a concern. How can Web 2.0 tools and techniques contribute? This may appear obvious and even not essential to the moment, but should be remembered as we/they dig our ways out of this:

– the beneficiaries of this global economic fiasco will be non-traditional financial enterprises, including those who have sought banking status and been stymied by government regulation and entrenched competition, e.g. Wal Mart (recently chartered in Canada); eBay, the owners of Pay Pal (Pay Pal yesterday announced revenue increases of 27{915b2618a7c304f461205894c34b2284541042d3c677679407e2f30838792dcd} in Q3, exceeding the revenue of the parent’s auction site for the 1st time!); Tesco, the Wal Mart and more of Great Britain; emerging peer2peer and consumer-oriented communities such as Virgin Money and Wesabe.

– establishing trust through transparency and genuine community building. The simple place to start is to offer a sincere voice to constituents. Wesabe’s site offers 5 Tips for Financial Hard Times; the major bank sites that I visit imply that nothing has changed or is changing (it’s almost insulting). The path forward will be something like the way that AP Gianini built Bank of America – bold and inspiring leadership amidst disaster (the great fire of San Francisco in his case). My guess is that customers want to know how we got here and what is going to be different going forward.