Big banks think new furniture is innovation, but they are wrong

When banks finally come to improve their technology experience, they go no deeper than changing the front end. They’ll make a button blue instead of green or create rounded edges on buttons instead of square ones. They think in terms of their interfaces, not the back end. If a bank were to truly innovate its technology, it’d dig deeper into the back end and transform its legacy technical infrastructure, which has been the same for decades. Few today even know how to work on those old programming languages of yesteryear, such as COBOL, so they’re stuck with upgrades that turn the software into a Frankenstein-esque abomination.

The big banks don’t do innovation in house. Big tech conglomerates don’t even innovate. They acquire new ideas, innovations and teams that have done the innovation already. When they want a new, undeveloped technology as part of their internal technology portfolio, they sometimes speak to journalists about it so that they start covering it, which gains interest from the market. And then startups begin working on the problem. They see the opportunity and start raising funds in an attempt to execute, and big tech companies just observe. And then, one or two years later, they acquire the best company in the space and make it a part of their conglomerates.

Roman Potemkin is the founder and CEO of Trastra. Over the past 15 years, he has been known for successfully launching tech-first, user-friendly digital banking products that are currently used by millions of people.