Is the Next Big Bank a Bank?

Amazon recently announced that its Amazon Lending service surpassed $1billion in small business loans over the past 12 months.

Wait, Amazon? Small business loans? Amazon isn’t a bank, but that doesn’t seem to matter. And that got me thinking, could Amazon be a bank for consumers, too?

Most likely, yes. Trust is the foundation of any relationship, especially when money is involved. Market Strategies’ financial services market research reveals that half of consumers would trust a company that does not specialize in banking to provide their banking. Of those, 26% would trust Amazon, 22% would trust Apple, 21% would trust Google and a whopping 63% would trust PayPal. Not surprisingly, younger consumers (58% of those 18-34) are even more likely to trust a non-bank to provide their banking.

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Build Your Utility Brand or Be Left Behind

Recently at CS Week, Lynn Good, CEO of Duke Energy, delivered the keynote speech based on a simple new reality of the energy industry: Utilities must reinvent themselves as value-added companies that do more than answer the phone and respond to outages or safety events—they must become brands that mean something to individuals.

“We provide our customers an extraordinarily vital service…and the delivery of that service is undergoing dramatic change,” explained Good. “If we don’t transform, then I believe we’ll be left behind as an industry.”

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