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FinTech, Star Wars and Agile


Start Wars and the banking digital transformation

A long time ago, during the early 2000s, the banking conferences in London, in parallel with the first dotcom bubble, promoted themselves with panels such as „The end of Branch Banking”.

By the middle of 2000’ new panel titles, like „The Branch strikes back” – emerged again and everything seemed back to the old normal. Anybody who had thought even a little bit about a Star Wars analogy could read between the lines at that time.

Just as in the recent past, when the FinTech revolution started, it was quite easy to identify the fight between the fintech „Rebels” and the banking „Empire”. At least at a first glance, as by now it is quite obvious, that the struggle is rather between the Strategic Alliances formed by the fintechs and incumbent banking players.

When it comes to standalone neobanks’ business success, you always have to check out their profitability to understand how viable that solution is. However, the new entrants to the financial market, the Big Tech companies, like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, or the SuperApps launched by Chinese Tech giants will impose a real threat to traditional banking.

And by now, Agile is everywhere, from the natural way of working in lean (fintech) startups to the digital transformation of big banking organizations. Everywhere in IT development processes, and even in HR processes for organizational development. Product and service development has become faster, everything is going through a massive digital transformation, we have entered into the age of platforms and apps

… and in this new universe of financial services, market players turn to Agile, just as they could find a certain Super Power in it.

Agile and the Project Economy

Market penetration is getting much faster in the digital age than anytime in the past, and it also applies when losing a market position. As the Y and Z generations have become a real target, based on their purchasing power, they are also ready to quickly drop any provider with a low level of service or with poor digital solution. But, as the pandemic shifted consumer habits in general and millions of elderly people became digital customers in a minute, it is not a generational issue any more. Companies should pay attention to attracting and keeping clients in the digital world. The battlefield shifts more and more to the digital space for banks, insurance companies.

This is the age of Strategic Alliances and the „Project Economy”, where fintechs, e-commerce and financial service providers team up, and many other businesses go through digitisation too.

Where project managers and IT developers live in constant development portfolios, continuous increments and they have to embrace Lean and Agile. Having taken part in various agile transformation projects, I find the simple approach to Lean and Agile -  outlined by Jeff Gotheff in one of his presentations – still very inspiring and refreshing.

Common sense, data based business decisions, transparency and leadership efficiency. Transformational power and innovation generated within the organization, deriving from corporate culture itself.

As it was said right in Star Wars, the real Force power always comes from inside.


Note and Disclaimer: The author of this Blog post is Attila Takács, PMP. He is the guest author of PMI.hu. The writing reflects the author's own professional opinion, findings, and conclusions, which do not necessarily agree with the position of PMI Budapest, Hungarian Chapter, and cannot be considered as an official recommendation, resolution, or opinion of PMI Budapest. The copyright and publication rights of the writing belong to the original author.


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