The rise of challenger banks in Australia
Technological change and a more pro-competition regulatory regime mean that we will soon see a marked increase in the number of new entrants into the Australian banking sector. These “greenfield” or “challenger” banks often seek restricted banking licences (which came into existence last year after the Government moved to encourage more competition in banking) as a stepping stone to a full license.
Learning from the success (and failures) of challenger banks in other markets, these players seek to build truly differentiated propositions with a focus on the customer at the core. From the U.K. to China, Germany to Korea, there are lessons and insights to be gleaned from the rise of challenger banks globally – but how does this translate in the Australian market?
Many of these challenger banks have very different business models from the established banks. While some may argue that this is a key competitive advantage, others say they are too small to present any significant disruption to the incumbents. Either way, in Australia’s highly concentrated banking market, the rise of challenger banks promotes competition and improved offerings from banks, benefiting customers. What might we expect from these players in the next two to five years – and how will the market respond to their entry?