Author: Zofia Bednarczyk, 4CF, Poland

“Antitrendbook” is a new report on the future of banking published by First Data Poland in cooperation with 4CF, one of the partners within the before consortium. The report is based on in-depth insights gained from a group of almost 100 Polish banking industry experts who participated in the First Data Future Laboratory event last autumn. In the course of a dynamic strategic game called 4CF Stranger Futures, the experts were challenging five current banking trends in Poland, i.e.: raising cybersecurity issues, personalization and individualization of customer experience, increasing competitiveness of fin-tech companies, raising distrust towards banks, and digital transformation in banking stimulated by prevalence of mobile technologies. In the process they uncovered 27 probable events that could undermine the trends resulting in development of so called hipertrends caused by a sudden trend acceleration or antitrends that are related to rapid trend termination.

The publication describes current trends and lists factors that could possibly change expected course of events leading to disruption in retail banking. The analysis of these factors is summarized in the form of three internally coherent scenarios portraying possible futures of banking industry, namely: innovation and cooperation scenario, rapid increase in cyberattacks scenario, and a scenario of strict legal regulation and governmental interventionism. The scenarios presented in the report illustrate divergent futures with distinct consequences for Polish banks in terms of talent acquisition, development of open-banking environment and methods of payments offered to individual clients.

“Antitrendbook” is a quality publication (unfortunately available in Polish language version only at the moment), standing out in the crowd of free reports discussing industry-related futures on the basis of crude extrapolation of current fads and trends. As observed trends belong to the present and the future may unfold in many different directions, relying on a single vision assuming continuation is highly myopic. Such an approach does not incorporate shocks or disruptive events posing a major threat to commercial entities. The methodology behind the “Antitrendbook” incorporates non-linearities and disturbances allowing more nuanced and therefore more valuable insights into the future. It is a highly recommended reading for polish-speakers interested in retail banking wishing to broaden their vision of the nearest future of the industry. It would be good, however, if this publication reached further than banking professionals – due to its refreshingly coherent approach and robust methodology it should prove valuable and inspiring to all decisionmakers dealing with uncertainties in business environment.