Slideshow 'Thiel v. Reality': Comments of the Week

  • November 04 2016, 7:30am EDT
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American Banker readers share their views on the most pressing banking topics of the week. Comments are excerpted from reader response sections of articles and our social media platforms.

On PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel faulting both major political parties for letting recent financial bubbles occur under their watch:

"I know that we're all supposed to be afraid of Peter Thiel now, but in the battle of Thiel versus, you know, reality, I'm going to going ahead and favor the latter."

Related Article: Thiel Blames Financial Bubbles on Clinton and Bush 'Dynasties'

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On bank tech execs discussing how software will reshape banking in five years:

"Nobody really knows what banks will look like in five years any more than five years ago nobody could have predicted the technologies that are on line today. What we know for sure is that banking will be very different. Even the term 'bank' will have a much different meaning in five years than it does today."

Related Article: What Will Banking Look Like in Five Years?

On whether banks should focus on developing their products or their distribution channels:

"You can have the products and the distribution network but that doesn't guarantee success. Real success comes from listening to customers. Listening should be the basis for all products, distribution, marketing and customer service efforts. We simply don't listen enough."

Related Article: Banks Overemphasize Channels, Neglecting Product

On a call to let consumers pick the gender of their bank chatbots:

"Oh the humanity! Cue the violin music and fake tears. Of all the challenges and problems in the industry, I would have never thought about this one. Come to think of it, I still won't."

Related Article: How Can Chatbots Be the Future If They Are Stuck in the 1960s?

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On the need to fund more female fintech entrepreneurs (via <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>):

"YES! On. Every. Single. Point. @AmyNauiokas nails it. People power tech, people power transformation. And 50% of them are women. Fund them."

Related Article: Reinventing Banks Isn't Just About the Technology

Skepticism about payments innovations for business customers:

"When going to the 'digital era,' banks should take the best and leave the worst behind. In most cases, 'digitalization' means poor business practices. Revolutions are not pretty and despite all the romantic notions of overthrowing corrupt regimes the average person prefers crooked-stability over chaotic-justice. Financial innovations should not be disruptive and must be evolutionarily justified. The average consumer doesn't crave new currencies; even if they promise deflationary benefits. No one cares that payments and currency became one on the blockchain. People still like their dollar and their flag."

Related Article: Banks Tinker with Ways to Push Business Customers into Digital Era

On why banks are testing bitcoin's blockchain:

"'Change everything,' 'revolutionize,' and other loud words do not seem to describe the situation well. Working in the Bitcoin field, I more and more tend to think that banks will just exploit public blockchains. Sort of become parasites. It has been quite some time since anonymity, one-layer p2p, or even immutability were considered the most important attributes of an innovative payment system."

Related Article: Why Banks Are Testing Bitcoin's Blockchain (Without Bitcoin)