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Don't Bank On Long Term Survival

Four business models will reshape the banking industry. Will traditional banks pivot in time?


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Four business models will reshape the banking industry. Will traditional banks pivot in time?

To meet the needs of digital customers—and stave off digital competitors—winning banks will adopt new business models:

Digital Relationship Managers
deliver end-to-end customer experiences.

Digital Category Killers
identify a winning niche and focus on that one thing.

Open Platform Players
connect business partners via a platform ecosystem.

Utility Providers
offer product solutions or standardized transaction processing to other banks.

These models offer plenty of opportunities for today’s banks to thrive. Winners are making their moves now.



Customers think differently about banking in the digital age.

  • 66% execute half their banking transactions online.

  • 71% are open to automated support.

  • More customers are joining online-virtual banks (19%) than leaving them (8%).

  • 31% of all customers (and 41% of Gen Zers) would consider purchasing banking services from an online provider, such as Google, Apple, Facebook or Amazon.

To thrive in this changing environment, banks must embrace four business models: Digital Relationship Managers, Digital Category Killers, Open Platform Players and Utility Providers.

These models differ not only in the services they provide, but also their market focus, the manner in which they make money, and how they evaluate their performance. Importantly, none of these models is mutually exclusive. Banks may pursue more than one model to achieve a competitive edge against their banking and non-banking peers.


Master the “brilliant basics” to create a stable foundation from which to grow. Personalized customer service, multi-channel integration, and digital channel enhancements will be key.

Be realistic. Most banks will conclude that they should not offer universal services for everyone. Success will lie in delivering a narrower, dominant service, platform or product that meets a specific need.

Be bold and decisive. Once banks have decided the direction they want to go, they need to jettison certain lines of business or customer segments likely to be disrupted.