The potential disruption from tech innovations, particularly new payments platforms, is something that’s clearly keeping Australia’s top bankers awake at night.
Mike Smith, the CEO at ANZ, was on a study tour to Silicon Valley recently and it appears it left him pretty shaken up.
Smith’s CIO, Anne Weatherston, speaking at a conference in Melbourne, said:
“The immediate reaction was, to quote Mike Smith, terrifying.
“Terrifying because what the board witnessed was the pace of change… Much of it is being driven by small companies that are very active in payments but very well funded, and they are moving very quickly.”
The Australian reports that Smith and other ANZ leaders attended the study tour.
The banks have been talking about the threat from big tech players for some time – Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev spoke just last month about his concern over potential threats from Google.
Banks have a huge presence in the payments market but it’s starting to fragment with the arrival of tech startups offering “wallets” that allow you to use your phone to pay for consumer items, as well as emerging platforms like Braintree that make it easier for small businesses to sell products online.
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