Four years ago, I asked some investment bankers about fintech supplanting their businesses. They laughed and opined that there's too much personal interaction, the human touch is key they said for their businesses to operate. I recall hearing the same thing from car dealers a bit more than a decade ago (shortly before I bought my current car—a Honda Civic with 110,000 miles under the hood (ain't stick shifts great!)) and they insisted that people needed to see and touch a car to buy one. Then there were realtors. I'm not sure that real estate has quite reached the stage that car buying has, and the need for in person inspections prior to signing the paperwork will likely continue for sometime, but there may be some improvements.

Looking at successful internet companies like Facebook or LinkedIn suggests that they owe their success in taking a key human activity and digitalizing it. Banking beyond loans or brokerage-related activities would seem ripe for such exploitation. There are already such efforts moving forward in the VC space. In Africa, mobile banking of all sorts is the growth sector of the banking industry. But I know of no investment banks that have been digitalized, never mind successfully so. Does anyone know of any instances of this?

"Bitcoin is the 'Napster' of finance — and there'll be an iTunes"


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