Every day we read of an emerging fintech forging an alliance with a legacy bank, and in Australia that means one of the 4 oligopoly banks.
The attraction for the start-up is plain — to gain access to the banks volumes, either customers or transactions or data. The attraction to the banks is more subtle — to gain access to the startup mindset and agility and to try and bring that into the bank.
I wonder, out loud, whether a start-up teaming with an oligopoly player is the kiss of death? Of course there are the conspiracy theories, like GM eating up the electric car startups over decades.
But putting that aside I’m just interested in the cultural possibility that the grinding megalith will always eventually exhaust the startup, not through any particular nasty plan.
Middle managers in banks must be sick of hearing about digital disruption and what it is going to do to their jobs. No matter what it means or does not mean it creates more and more anxiety, as does the presence of fintechs in their midst.
In absence of clear clues about how to adapt, the job of middle managers is more and more about just trying to keep things together, in order to keep generating profit for shareholders and bonuses for themselves.
That very likely also means resisting the ambitions of the fintechs who want to eat part of their operations.
Do fintechs have enough resources and resilience to convert or wear down the middle management?
Despite the aspirations of senior management and the enthusiasm of younger staff it is often middle management that can slowly grind the life out of threatening biospecies such as the fintechs.
What do you think, is partnering with an elephant workable — to what end?