Banks should be afraid, very afraid, says Barclays’ chief

antony jenkins

The days of coasting are over for the banking sector as payments innovations and technologies rapidly gain traction with consumer and business customers.

Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins warned London conference-goers that the banking sector has not yet felt the “full disruptive force” of technology – but it will.

Citing some of the ways that new technologies have forced other consumer-facing industries to completely overhaul their models, Jenkins suggested that it is only a matter of time before banks feel the pressure to catch up in order to compete.

Customers increasingly demand rapid access to more complete data and disintermediation and this will “be felt with increasing frequency across all sectors and all geographies,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, Jenkins suggested that Barclays leads the way on the innovation front, pointing to its new mobile loans application feature, instant payment “Pingit” app and forays into wearable technology. The bank is seeking the “triple win” of “removing costs, improving control and enhancing customer and client experience,” he said.

Jenkins’ warnings reflect a growing concern among financial institutions that faster, cheaper payment systems will start to seduce their consumer and business customers in the coming years. However, some have warned that, with cyberattacks on the rise, these organisations will be unable to fast track changes without putting customer data at risk.