It’s safe to say banking is not the same industry it was a few years ago. If you are working in a bank or any other financial institution, you will be well aware how crucial it is to stay ahead of industry trends and technology advancements. With 2018 knocking at our door, it’s time to recap on our learnings and plan ahead for the things we want to achieve during the coming year.
To get your reading list started, here are 10 books that I believe every FinTech professional needs to read in order to keep growing:
1st: Dollars and Sense by Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler
Is money hard to think about? When was the last time you bought something and considered the opportunity cost of that purchase? Together Ariely and Kreisler answer these questions and many more as they explain how people irrational behavior often interferes with our best intentions when it comes to managing finances. The book reveals the emotional forces working against us and how can people counteract them. Understanding those hidden motivations that are secretly driving people choices can truly help financial institutions retain an emotional connection with customers when communicating.
2nd: Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid by Carol Realini and Karl Mehta
About 2.5 billion people are effectively excluded from financial institutions. They are so called “financial nomads”, with no plans for their financial future. Consumers in emerging markets might see and understand how easy it is to send money to another person via mobile, but there's much less of an understanding about how to extend that technology in a broader way. Karl and Carol explain today’s banking environment in easy terms, guiding those who are financially adrift. The authors provide a vision for a better world and a blueprint to get there!
3rd: How Money got Free by Brian Patrick Eha
Brian Patrick Eha takes a very complex subject and has an entertaining look at a period of financial change that may have lasting implications for finance and global economy. He not only explains the technological nuts of how Bitcoin works, he also taps into the philosophy behind it and what’s behind the disruption of finance.
4th: The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson
64 million years ago a meteor wiped out almost all life on earth, including most dinosaurs. In situations like this, new species will grow in the space left by the extinct ones. The financial system evolves in a similar way, through market selection. The financial system is evolutionary in nature. Niall Ferguson explains the evolution of Planet Finance, mirroring human nature and therefore is deeply irrational and unequal. Nevertheless ir provides the most efficient method for the creation and allocation of capital.
5th: Open Banking Strategy Formation by Paul Rohan
By mid-2018, banks will need to be able to show what measures they propose to take in compliance with the new open banking rules. For banks to take advantage of the opportunities that they offer, a central question must be the capacity of existing banks to adapt and evolve in this new environment. Paul Rohan explains how banks can differentiate themselves from the competition and move forward with this initiative.
6th: How Women Decide by Therese Huston
We have discovered that the vast majority of women feel detached from the world of finance, its culture and jargon, putting them at disadvantage when it comes to the control of their finances and making daily decisions with a sense of security. In short, banks do not connect with women. To understand how to provide value to customers, create and innovate, banks need to put themselves next to the client, meaning men and women. In this book, Theresa Huston discusses how men and women approach decisions differently, though not necessarily in the ways banks have been led to believe.
7th: Hit Refresh by Greg Shaw, Jill Tracie Nichols and Satya Nadella
According to Capgemini, roughly 87% of companies say digital transformation represents a major competitive opportunity, highlighting the fact that “going digital” is a top priority for everyone - especially financial firms and banks. Hit Refresh is not about digital transformation within a bank, but about the individual change - how people, organizations and societies can and must transform and “hit refresh” in their quest for continued renewal.
8th: Hooked by Nir Eyal
Think about all the products your customers use on everyday basis: smartphones, must-check apps, favorite websites, Fintech solutions for particular challenges. How did these products succeed in their daily routines? Every banker wants to create a successful digital banking solution that people use and rely on frequently. This book explains the psychological processes that go into forming habits and how to connect your offering to the needs of customers.
9th: Bank 3.0 by Brett King
Everyone in banking business industry must read the book Bank 3.0 where Brett King shares his perspective on the future of banking and how technology is the key differentiation for the new banks. Brett discusses how consumers are less likely to view their retail banking provider as an utility provider. Bank 3.0 is about a new form of engagement and experiences that harness the power of internet without sacrificing the “human touch”. It is about leveraging the potential of big data for better and more personalized interactions.
10th: Blockchain Revolution by Don Tapscot
Blockchain is a technology that enables the direct transaction of rights and assets between two parties and eliminates the need for third parties and intermediaries. This has far-reaching implications for banks and has the potential to build a true sharing economy, where value is distributed in a fair manner. It’s true that Blockchain is a banking disrupter. This book explains why blockchain technology will fundamentally change what we can achieve online, how we do it, and who can participate.