Amazon provides glimpse of the future of banking
Transaction automation and open banking can help banks to strengthen customer relationships, especially as fintechs are encroaching on their traditional services – but the sector has been slow to adapt.
Amazon is reportedly in talks to offer bank accounts to its customers.
The move will likely not require the online behemoth to obtain a banking licence, as account holding will be handled by JPMorgan. The company is also reported to be in talks with credit-card provider Capital One.
Bragi Fjalldal, CMO, vice-president, product and business development at banking software company Meniga, says the move could finally be a wake-up call to the banking sector.
“Amazon are about to prove that it is possible to disrupt banking without a banking licence," he says. "If Amazon asks a bank to white-label their current account on favourable terms – who is going to say no to that? If this move by Amazon is a sign of what is to come, banking may look very different a few years from now.”
The US-based online retailer has already moved into finance by offering loans to sellers on its Amazon Marketplace. It has provided in excess of $3 billion in financing since the 2011 launch.
Following Amazon’s takeover of retailer Whole Foods, more customers are conducting a variety of their purchases through the website.