Joint Value Creation in the Financial Industry: Strategic Alliances in Fintech and Banking

Andreas Martin Wiborg Rode & Jonas Vinqvist Gottfredsen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis seeks an understanding of the possibilities for joint and improved value creation through strategic alliances in the financial service industry. It takes on a sector perspective approach; acknowledging fintechs and banks as separately unified business segments. The empirical research of the thesis was conducted in the Danish financial service industry, thus making this market the outset for the academic exercise. The thesis assesses the market- and change drivers, before addressing questions of business model discrepancies, distinct value proposition offers, and practices of effective communication, to examine the foundation for mutually beneficial exchanges of core competencies and knowledge. These analyses lead to the assessment of the competitive state of the business environment. The thesis discusses the findings of the various analytical endeavours; establishing the most-likely scenario of the financial industry in the future and assessing the possibilities in strategic alliances, based on distinct differentiators between fintechs and banks. Finally, the thesis discusses the risk of collaborative structures as the basis for final recommendations for the main problem statement.
The findings reveal several change drivers in the financial landscape, including technological advances and shifting customer expectations. Furthermore, the new EU- directive “PSD2” represents a cornerstone for integration of new innovative solutions that can potentially improve value proposition delivery.
As the thesis compares business models for fintechs and traditional banks, clear discrepancies are found, as to how actors fundamentally structure their businesses and leverage key resources and activities. Banks focus on core competencies in standardized solutions, while fintechs concentrate on delivering customized services.
When assessing the distinct value propositions delivered by banks and fintechs, respectively, it seems that fintechs accommodate changing customer expectations – setting higher standards for personalization, transparency and convenience. In contrast, banks seek to leverage customer relations, as trust and customer confidence prevail in the transformative operating environment. As the two business segments possess distinct resources, capabilities and expertise, strategic alliances are likely to pave the way for improved value propositions. Nonetheless, a willingness to leverage internal and external competencies is a prerequisite for delivering new and valuable products with the potential to exceed customer expectations.
The digital customer has changed everything in respects to supply-chain - shifting to a service- and experience paradigm - businesses are moving closer to the customer. Thus, effective communication is becoming a more complex competitive area, as customers do not respond to basic promotions but want value communication, storytelling and content.
The thesis finds evidence to suggest that the financial industry will move towards an ecosystem structure with a bundle of skilful solution providers and product leaders; as banks take on the role as trusted advisors and intermediary platforms. Thus, future winners in financial services will not simply be the companies able to create superior services. Rather, the decentralized nature of the future industry will make the most successful companies those who are able to establish efficient strategic alliances and leverage collaborative efforts.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages175
SupervisorsHenrik Køhler Simonsen