Why banks will be losers to mobile and ecommerce leaders

by. Haydn Shaughnessy

If your day job involves the smartphone sector then you know all about patent disputes. It’s not just about Apple v Samsung. Patent battles are a part of the lifestyle of what is, in reality, a highly collaborative field. Every smartphone maker uses somebody else’s technologies and IP at the core of their products.

In future smartphones will matter, at least devices will matter more and more, because so much human activity will be mediated through a piece of hand-held or body-worn technology. We already read books that way, buy more and more products, watch ads, find our way around, track our bodies, establish and maintain our networks, and transfer money.

To own a part of this action you need a good IP strategy. IBM, Samsung, Microsoft, these are all companies that register thousands of patents each year. They are global players, enforcing their IP rights wherever the opportunity arises. Last year he USPTO awarded Samsung over 5,000 patents.

So what about banks or, more generally, financial services companies? Increasingly e-commerce will flow through the phone, even if only as a messaging channel. Companies like Alibaba have already become banks in the making. Alibaba now offers small loans, securities investments insurance and payment services, and is exploring wealth management, direct banking and credit card services. Google’s purchase of Lending Club promises some action in peer-to-peer loans too. Amazon can’t be far behind.

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