Tech giants Apple and Google have been encroaching on all sorts of industry sectors from major retailers to niche fashion to booksellers and music publishers.
Now banks are eyeing them off too, concerned about them being able to take a slice of their business, particularly in payments clearing.
Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev said today that a raft of global tech companies had the potential to move into areas traditionally serviced by banks and he wants to make sure regulators are keeping an eye on them too.
He told the Group of 100 Congress in Sydney in comments reported by the AFR:
“Undoubtedly there is a fragmentation of value chains and whereas financial services used to be dominated by major end-to-end players, these forces give niche players the ability to play in different slivers of the value chain and payments is one example,” he said.
“In Australia we say consider we have very good competitors in the major banks, we have very good competitors in the next tier banks, we worry every day about those competitors.
“But we worry equally about the niche players, many of them well resourced, many of them international – the Apples, the Googles, the PayPals, the Samsungs, the credit card companies – who can pick particular slivers as a result of the application of technology to financial services and compete for that.”
Narev said cyber security was among his top three general concerns. The bank has recently completed a $1.2 billion upgrade of its core technology systems.