A question of trust

Ahead of last week’s Money2020 event Anne Boden (CEO over at Starling Bank) has been gathering her thoughts on trust in the banking industry and the future of embedded finance.

OK, I’ll say it. A lot of people don’t trust banks. This was, in great part, a motivation for the creation of Starling. Dissatisfaction with banks was at an all time low following the 2008/09 global credit crisis.

Anne Boden, Starling Bank

On the back of account switching gains made by Starling, Anne reflects on the fact that only 29% of consumers said that they trusted their banks ‘a lot’ to look after their long-term financial well-being.

With trust in traditional banks being so low, Anne suggests that it is little wonder that many companies are looking to see what leverage they may have when it comes to offering their own financial services, suggesting that the answer is: a lot!

Capitalising on hard-earned trust gives businesses a clear financial advantage. Embedded financial services, from loans to payment cards, increase a company’s competitiveness by enhancing the customer experience and generating additional revenue.

Silicon Valley VCs Andressen Horowitz has said that embedded finance could potentially increase per customer revenues by up to 5x. In the payments process alone, those gains could come from:

  • More control over the payment process.
  • Added-value
  • Lower Costs
  • Higher Revenue

Anne concludes:

One thing is for certain: many of the innovations we are yet to see will come from existing brands that will be offering financial services for the very first time. In fact, within the next decade the largest ‘bank’ in the world may not even be a bank at all. It is, you see, all a question of trust.


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