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For many years, in both academic and business circles, banks have been considered black boxes. Many have studied complex finance but few showed an interest in the way banks work. Andra found this intriguing and as a consultant and later on architect she used every single project within a bank to put together the puzzle of how a bank works.
As the puzzle was more or less complete, Andra witnessed how pieces of the puzzle disappeared, taken by new players, outside the traditional financial services sector. Being involved in the Fintech market in parallel with working for banks she observed this fuzzy edge at the interaction between the two very different ways of delivering financial services.
Traditionally, retail banking services are delivered by vertically integrated, fully owned, and highly concentrated institutions (retail banks). The evolution of the Fintech market players leads her to believe the industry is on the path to fragmentation on horizontal lines (e.g. marketing & distribution, transaction processing, payments, back office services). On these horizontals, the players will compete with each other but will collaborate across horizontals, delivering their services through partnerships.
As the fragmentation lines become visible, the more we know about what is inside the “black box”, the more banks and new players alike will be able to respond and develop effective solutions for our times.
Join Andra as she unravel what is “inside the box” of a typical retail bank and how the industry structure may change in the next few years, as the black box becomes more transparent and new players bring to life banking functionality using new technology and business models.
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The bank is not a black box
Andra Sonea is currently a fellow with the Anthemis Group in London, a company of investors and advisors in digitally native financial services. Her focus is on developing scalable, cloud based back office services for new financial propositions originating both from outside and inside of the incumbent financial services institutions. She worked for over fifteen years as an international technology consultant and architect with LBG, IBM, SAP, EY, Deutsche Bank and KPMG and thus gained first-hand experience of building and changing the IT architectural landscapes at some of the world’s largest banks in the world.