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15 Reasons Bankers Are Struggling to Innovate

Why are bankers struggling to innovate? Money concerns, regulations and vendor restrictions, to name a few of the reasons cited by American Banker readers.

An American Banker video last week launched a social-media debate about why bankers are struggling to innovate. Bankers, venture capitalists and other financial technology experts weighed in on Twitter, debating the industry's record and offering suggestions about how their companies could better embrace new things. Here's what they had to say.

Some readers offered the most fundamental of explanations:

That launched a lively debate over the importance of financial investments in innovation. Some experts argued that organizational support for imaginative thinking could overcome budgetary restrictions:

The venture capitalist Matt Harris, a managing director at Bain Capital Ventures, argued that financial support for trying new things is important but only a first step:

Community banker Jill Castilla, Chief Executive of Citizens Bank of Edmond in Oklahoma, said small banks like hers are more constrained by their reliance on outside vendors than they are by regulations:

But some blamed banks' general risk-aversion, as well as the fear of drawing regulatory ire:

But it was hard to avoid coming back to money. As one reader pointed out, and as American Banker has reported, big banks have helped kill efforts to speed up money transfers, in part because of the costs they would incur to update their systems:

What do you think is holding banks back from embracing new technology and other types of innovation? Weigh in on Twitter, in the comments or in our current website poll (on the right-hand of the homepage).


(1) Comment



Comments (1)
Just an observation on obstacles and innovation: These conversations took place on Twitter, an innovation for connecting and communicating. It doesn't cost anything, no regulations are stopping communication there, it doesn't matter how "small" your organization is and it didn't require a vendor to create something new. Opportunities for innovation are everywhere we just have to be looking for them.
Innovation stops when we focus on obstacles instead of opportunities.
Posted by adamkshiflett | Wednesday, April 09 2014 at 2:00PM ET
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