Innovation in the Japanese Financial Services Industry, Part 2: Panel Discussion

Celent hosted Innovation & Insight Day Tokyo on June 5. Following the event presentation titled "Digital Financial Services and New Innovation Initiatives," which focused on Celent's innovation survey results, a panel discussion was held.

This is the second in a two-part report providing an overview of event proceedings.

 

Five leading experts in Japan's financial industry joined the event as panelists. Celent would like to offer a heartfelt thank-you to these individuals for taking part despite the pressure and the presence of competition and many disclaimers. The panelists’ wealth of experience and sheer passion for innovation was palpable and the content thought provoking. Above all, the impassioned and experience-informed comments of panelists displayed the confidence of Japan's financial industry. Below are some of the more salient comments that demonstrate the spirit and mindset of innovators in Japan.

What motivates your firm to innovate?

  • "Responding to customer expectations."
  • "A backdrop of growing user needs and the proliferation of technology and the environment to meet these needs."
  • "Our objective is to remove all inconvenience from the customer experience."
  • "We aspire to offer financial services that achieve exactly what people feel they need and consumers think they want."
  • "Innovation is the lifeblood and fate of a corporation."

 

What drives innovation at your firm?

  • "Aligning innovation objectives and technology employed."
  • "Integrating technology and compliance is important."
  • "Amplifying the motivation and drive of each employee to take action."
  • "Reflecting the intentions of management."
  • “Resisting the temptation to seek short-term growth.”
  • "Supporting management philosophies that bet on uniqueness."

 

The threat and opportunity of disruptive innovation

During the proceedings there were questions and opinions from participants exchanged with the moderator:

  • "There is no special opportunity for innovation. It is important to reflect innovation in daily management. That is something that we have done since we started our business and something that we will continue to do. Innovation is simply naturally part of what we do.”
  • "We do not see disruptive innovation as a threat. Rather, for the development of the industry as a whole, the kind of shakeout such innovation entails is necessary. We will undergo challenges and survive—and look to take on more such challenges.”

 

Celent concluded the event with the below message.

Managers: Have faith and confidence in innovation

The importance of leadership and management responsibility in innovation is self-evident. At the same time, innovation is a mid-to-long-term journey—more a marathon, than a sprint. Failure is sometimes to be allowed. In addition, it is not uncommon to destroy a corporate culture that has been fostered over many years. An intense commitment to innovation on the part of management itself is required. Technological drivers continue to advance and case studies of successes only increase. Mangers: Be confident.

 

Distinguish between disruptive innovation and kaizen (improvement), and the need to tackle the former

The greatest factors hampering the progress of disruptive innovation are not to be found outside a company but within it. Especially within large corporations, where tendencies such as the below are seen; conversely, these tends to derail innovation. These tendencies include the following.

  • Compared with start-ups and small or medium enterprises, large firms boast a wealth of capital and business resources.
  • In particular, these resources include human resources and technology, which can be channeled to R&D.
  • These companies often have business operations that require 360-degree management and much competition
  • Such firms are often home to isolated “black sheep” employees that seek to innovate.

If you neglect innovation, cannibalization can be expected to take place not only in your core business areas but in new businesses as well. To keep innovators from being ostracized as black sheep, it is important to clearly distinguish between the accumulation of kaizen (improvement) on a daily basis in core operations and disruptive innovation, and, in particular, it is important to direct management and initiative toward the latter.

 

Initiatives and leadership that are not negative contribute to positive value standards

Of course, trusting in your management resources, in particular in your personnel and technology, and putting effort into your business battles over “invisible continents,” “immeasurable risk” and “non-consuming consumers” is important. However, in such challenges when results do not appear with time, then you should not underestimate the power of disruptive innovation. Furthermore, it is key “to always be positive.” Leadership and initiatives that acknowledge and embrace diversity and difference and that do not deny any possibility are needed.

 

Today no industry or industrial structure is immune to change and, like plate tectonics, the ground around us is always shifting. Digital technology is doing more than changing products, services, consumer experiences, and expectations; it is also radically changing value chains and business models.

Until now, Japan’s financial industry has developed by virtue of outstanding leadership and the agile introduction of technology. Celent would like to emphasize anew the importance of innovation to Japan’s financial industry, buttressed as it is by people and technology. The results of Celent’s recent innovation survey hinted at further reform to come in Japan’s financial industry. When it comes to innovation, now is an opportune time for commitments from top management and fresh initiatives from technology vendors.

Undertaking this innovation conference was a major challenge for Celent Tokyo. However, any undue anxiety completely vanished amidst the enthusiasm of survey and event participants. The Japanese financial industry is extremely positive and enthusiastic when it comes to innovation. Celent would like to express its deep gratitude to the professionals in the financial industry who took time to participate in this event in various capacities, and we hope that it will prove in some way useful to your continued success.

 

Fig. 2 Structures to Support Innovation: Financial Services Institution / Vendor Comparison

FIG2_20140703

Source: Celent Innovation Survey 2013/2014

Innovation in the Japanese Financial Services Industry, Part 1: Two Gaps

On June 5, nearly 120 individuals from Japan's financial sector and the financial technology sector gathered to participate in our Innovation & Insight Day Tokyo 2014. This is the first of a two-part recap providing an event overview and recounting event highlights.

The first keynote address compared the May 2014 Japan Financial Industry Innovation Survey with a similar global Celent survey conducted last October. This comparison pointed to two existing gaps.

 

Gap Number One: A Leadership Gap

1. Perception of the importance of innovation

"The next few years innovation will be extremely important. Customer expectations are changing very rapidly and it is crucial to act so as not to fall behind." The ratio of respondents who agreed with this statement was similar in Japan and globally as shown below.

  • Global: 79%, Japan: 81%

—Conclusion: There can be no doubting the importance of innovation.

 

2. Leadership and innovation initiatives

"Our firm has an individual in charge of innovation (a chief innovation officer)."

  • Global: 11%, Japan: 7%

"We have an organization in charge of innovation (center of excellence)."

  • Global: 27%, Japan: 7%

"Innovation-related leadership relies on proponents at the CEO level."

  • Global: 62%, Japan: 85%

—Conclusion: There was a clear lack of leadership among top management when it comes to innovation initiatives.

 

3. Three significant impediments

Global: 1) Daily work operation routines, 2) Internal habits and practices, 3) Inadequate support system.

Japan: 1) Internal habits and practices, 2) Lack of senior management support, 3) Daily work operation routines.

—Conclusion: Both globally and in Japan, in contrast to the high levels of awareness of the importance of innovation, at financial institutions there was a distinct lack of leadership.

 

Gap Number Two: Gap Between Financial Institutions and Vendors

The Japan survey asked both financial institutions and financial solution vendors about innovation-related initiatives. Responses indicated another gap here between financial institutions and these vendors.

1. Years promoting innovation

There was no significant difference between financial institutions and vendors, with both recording similar figures:

  • Three years or less: 54%, Five years or more: 30%

—Conclusion: Financial institutions seem to interpret the fact that technology-supplying vendors possess approximately the same level of experience as themselves as meaning that innovative initiatives cannot benefit from sufficient experience.

 

2. Organizational and structural

"A chief innovation officer has been appointed"

  • Vendors: 24%, Financial institutions: 7%

“Have established a center of excellence”

  • Vendors: 14%, Financial institutions: 7%

"CEO-level proponents of innovation are relied upon for leadership"

  • Vendors: 67%, Financial institutions: 85%

—Conclusion: With a slightly lower degree of reliance on upper level management for innovation leadership, vendors are slightly superior.

 

3. Departments that lead innovation

Financial institutions:

  • Business departments lead: 30%, IT departments lead: 11%

Vendor innovation proposals:

  • Directed to business departments: 14%, Directed to IT departments: 17%

Undertaking initiatives in both business and IT areas:

  • Financial institutions: 59%, Vendors: 69%

—Conclusion: There is a visible gap between financial institution innovation IT initiatives and vendor business sector initiatives.

 

4. Digital financial services initiatives

There was also a visible gap when it came to the priority level of digital financial services (innovative financial services that harness digital technology) as advocated by Celent.

  • Financial institution priority areas: Process improvements, transaction feature enhancements, product and service customization
  • Vendor initiative areas: Three sectors were overwhelmingly dominant: big data, mobile two-way communication, omnichannel

—Conclusion: Survey results indicated a general tendency for financial institutions to be more conservative and vendor proposals to be more aggressive.

 

What exactly is this gap and what does it signify? This gap is between the proposals of vendors that feature the newest or hottest technology and the initiatives of financial institutions, which have yet to recognize the advantages of or are still evaluating such technology or technological initiatives. At the very least, currently it is easy to see that, unfortunately, vendors and financial institutions are not yet on the same page when in comes to what they are looking for in initiatives. Moreover, it could be that even if new technology is applied incrementally (to drive improvement) it could also prove to be a driver of disruptive innovation.

In addition to responses that can be numerically tabulated and analyzed, the survey also allowed participants to articulate freely their own invaluable opinions. A more detailed analysis of this survey and examination of innovation in the financial industry in Japan will be available in the upcoming Celent report "Innovation in the Japanese Financial Services Industry: The Gap between Management and Initiatives." Please be on the lookout for it.

 

Fig. 1 Comparison with Other Industries: Global / Japan Comparison

Compared with other industries, financial services firms (e.g., banks, insurers, asset managers) innovate…

FIG1_20140703

Source: Celent Innovation Survey 2013/2014

 

日本の金融機関におけるイノベーション②:パネルディスカッションから

セレントは、去る6月5日、「イノベーション&インサイト・デー 東京 2014」を開催した。「デジタル金融サービスと新たなイノベーションの取り組み」と題した本イベントでは、セレントによるイノベーションサーベイの報告に引き続き、パネルディスカッションを実施した。
本稿は、本イベント報告の第2回である。

 

当日は、日本の金融業界を代表する5人のパネリストにご登壇頂いた。競合とディスクレーマーの強い圧力の中でのご登壇に、セレントは深く感謝申し上げたい。そして何より、パネリストのイノベーションへの情熱と経験、示唆に富む発言内容には、日本の金融業界の自信が感じられた。以下、発言者は特定せず、日本のイノベーターの「心意気」をまとめる。

 

イノベーションの動機

  • 「顧客の期待に応えるために」
  • 「ユーザニーズの高まりと、それを実現する環境や技術の普及を背景として」
  • 「顧客経験の不都合をなくすことを目的に」
  • 「人の気持ち、生活者の想いを実現する金融サービスの提供を目指して」
  • 「イノベーションとは、企業の宿命である」

 

イノベーションのドライバー

  • 「イノベーションの目的と採用する技術とのアライン(整合)」
  • 「テクノロジーとコンプライアンスの摺合せが重要」
  • 「従業員ひとりひとりの取り組み姿勢(やる気)が加速」
  • 「あくまでマネージメントの意思を反映」
  • 「爆発的な成長への誘惑を絶ち」
  • 「ユニークさに賭ける経営哲学が支える」

 

破壊的イノベーションの脅威と機会
会場からの質問、モデレータ―からの問いかけに答えて、

  • 「イノベーションの機会に、特別なものは無い。日々のマネージメントにイノベーションを反映することが重要、創業以来そうしてきたし、これからも続ける。イノベーションは自然体」
  • 「破壊的なイノベーションに、脅威は感じない。むしろ、業界全体の発展のためには、そうした荒波が必要。そうしたチャレンジは受けて立つし、そのようなチャレンジを続けてゆきたい」

 

最後に、セレントからは以下のメッセージで締めくくった。
経営者は、イノベーションに自信を
イノベーションにおける経営者の責任とリーダーシップの重要性は自明である。一方で、イノベーションは中長期にわたる旅で、時には失敗も許容する必要がある。また、長年かけて培った自らの企業文化すら打ち壊すことも稀ではない。経営者自身のイノベーションへの強烈なコミットメントを要求される。ドライバーとなるテクノロジーは日進月歩だが、確実に成功事例は増えている。経営者には、自信を持って欲しい。

 

破壊的なイノベーションと「改善(カイゼン)」を区分して、前者に取り組む必要性
破壊的なイノベーションが進展しない最大の理由は企業の外ではなく、内に存在する。特に、大企業には以下の性向が見られるが、これらはむしろ破壊的なイノベーションを回避させる。すなわち;

  • 中小企業やスタートアップと比較して、圧倒的に潤沢な資金
  • R&Dに投入できる十分な経営資源(特に、人と技術)
  • (360度のマネージメントが必要な)多様な事業部門と多くの競合
  • 孤立する「ブラックシープ(黒い羊)」

イノベーションを放置すれば、カニバリゼーション(共食い)は、自社のコア業務領域ばかりでなく、あらゆるニュービジネスにおいて発生してしまうであろう。イノベーターを嫌われ者の黒い羊として追放させないために、コア業務における日々のカイゼン(改善)の積み上げと、破壊的なイノベーションを峻別し、後者にこそ、マネージメントとイニシアチブを向けることが重要である。

 

「否定しない」リーダーシップとイニシアチブ
自社の経営資源、特に人材と技術力を信じ、「見えない大陸」や「測れないリスク」、「無消費な消費者」との戦いに傾注することが大切だ。遅々として成果が表れないこうした挑戦における、破壊的なイノベーションの威力を軽視してはならない。そして、常に「肯定的であること」。多様性や異質であること是認し、あらゆる可能性を否定しないリーダーシップとイニシアチブが待望される。

 

今日、産業構造が変わらない業界などどこにもなく、その地殻変動は随所で進展している。デジタルテクノロジーは、商品やサービス、顧客のエクスペリエンスや期待を変化させるだけでなく、価値連鎖やビジネスモデルそのものも、激変させている。

日本の金融業界は、これまでも、卓越したリーダーシップと俊敏な技術導入で発展して来た。人とテクノロジーが支える日本の金融業界、そこでのイノベーションの重要性をセレントは再度強調したい。2つのイノベーションサーベイの結果は、日本の金融業界に一層の変革を促す示唆を与えた。今こそ、イノベーションに関して、トップマネージメントのコミットメントと、テクノロジーベンダーのイニチアチブが期待される。

本イノベーションイベントは、セレント東京にとって、大きな挑戦だったが、サーベイとカンファレンスへの参加者の熱気は、そうした杞憂を一掃した。日本の金融業界は、イノベーションに対して極めて積極的かつ熱心である。セレントは、様々な形で本イベントにご参加下さった、金融業界のプロフェッショナルの皆様に深く感謝し、日本の金融機関におけるイノベーションの成功を熱望する。

 

図 2. イノベーションを支援する組織(金融機関・ベンダー比較)

Innovation survey2

出典: セレント「イノベーションサーベイ」2013/2014

日本の金融機関におけるイノベーション①:2つのギャップ

6月5日、日本の金融業界と金融テクノロジー業界から約120名のご参加を頂き、「イノベーション&インサイト・デー 東京 2014」を開催した。本稿では、本イベントの要諦を2回に分けて報告する。

まず、基調講演において、先月実施した「日本の金融業界におけるイノベーションサーベイ」と、昨年10月にグローバルに実施した調査結果を比較し、そこからの示唆として2つのギャップを報告した。

 

その1:リーダーシップ・ギャップ
1. 重要性認識
「これから数年間、イノベーションは非常に重要。顧客期待は急速に変化しており、遅れないように対応する必要がある」との回答の割合は以下の通りであった。

  • グローバル:79%、日本:81%

・・・・イノベーションの重要性に疑う余地はない。

 

2. イノベーションに取り組むリーダーシップ
「イノベーションの責任者(チーフ・イノベーション・オフィサー)がいる」

  • グローバル:11%、日本:7%

「イノベーションの専門組織(イノベーション・CoE)がいる」

  • グローバル:27% 日本:7%

「イノベーションに関するリーダーシップはCEOレベルの推進者に頼る」

  • グローバル:62%、日本:85%

・・・・イノベーションに対する取り組みについて、トップマネージメントのリーダーシップ不足は明らかであった。

 

3. 3大阻害要因

  • グローバル:①日常業務のルーチン②社内慣習③サポート体制の不備
  • 日本:①社内慣習②経営幹部のサポート不足③日常業務のルーチン

・・・・グローバルにも日本でも、金融機関におけるイノベーションは、その重要性の認識に反して、リーダーシップ不足は鮮明であった。

 

その2:金融機関とベンダー間のギャップ
日本サーベイでは、イノベーションに関するイニシアチブを、金融機関と金融ソリューションベンダーの両セグメントに尋ねたが、両者の間にはもう一つのギャップが垣間見られた。
1. イノベーション推進の経験年数

  • 金融機関とベンダーの間で大きな差異はなく、両者とも、
  • 3年未満:54%、 5年以上:3割強

・・・・金融機関からすると、テクノロジーを供給するベンダーのイノベーションに関する経験は同程度、そのイニシアチブが十分に享受出来る状態では無いとみなされる。

 

2. 組織・体制
「チーフ・イノベーション・オフィサーを任命済み」

  • ベンダー:24%、金融機関:7%

「イノベーション・CoEを任命済み」

  • ベンダー:14%、金融機関:7%

「リーダーシップをCEOレベルの推進者に頼る」

  • ベンダー:67%、金融機関:85%

・・・・ベンダーに一日の長が見られた。

 

3. イノベーションを主導する部門

  • 金融機関:ビジネス部門が主導:30%、IT部門が主導:11%
  • ベンダーのイノベーション提案:ビジネス部門向けは14%、IT部門向け:17%
  • ビジネス・IT両部門での取り組み:金融機関:59%、ベンダー:69%

・・・・・金融機関のイノベーションにおけるIT部門のイニシアチブと、ベンダーのビジネス部門に対するイニシアチブに関して、ギャップが垣間見られた。

 

4. 「デジタル金融サービス」への取り組み
セレントが提唱する、「デジタル金融サービス」(デジタル技術を活用した、革新的な金融サービスの提供)への取り組み状況においても、金融機関とベンダーの優先順位に明らかにギャップが見られた。

  • 金融機関の優先分野:「プロセス改善」、「取引機能拡張」、「商品・サービスのカストマイズ」
  • ベンダーの取り組み分野:群を抜いて「ビックデータ」、「モバイルと双方向通信」、「オムニチャネル」

・・・・金融機関は総じてコンサバティブ、一方、ベンダーはアグレッシブな提案姿勢が浮かび上がった。

 

このギャップは何を意味するのか?新しい(若しくは、流行の)テクノロジーを積極的に提案するベンダーと、その有効性を見出せない(若しくは、評価中の)金融機関の取り組みギャップであろうか?少なくとも、現時点では両者のイニシアチブがきっちりとシンクロしていないことは、残念ながら、容易に想定されよう。また、新たなテクノロジーが、インクリメンタルな(カイゼン的な)イノベーションには適用されても、ディスラプティブな(破壊的な)イノベーションのドライバーとなれているか?
サーベイでは、これら数値で分析出来る項目に加え、自由回答における参加者の貴重な「つぶやき」を記録した。それらの詳細と分析は、近刊のセレントレポート「日本の金融機関におけるイノベーション:マネージメントとイニシアチブのギャップ」をご参照願いたい。

http://www.celent.com/ja/reports/32573

 

図 1. 他業界と比較した、金融機関のイノベーションの進捗レベル認識(グローバル比較)

Innovation survey1

出典:セレント「イノベーションサーベイ」2013/2014

 

E-money in Japan and South Korea

Japan and South Korea are among the leading countries which have tried to spread the use of e-money from an early stage. Due to the different backgrounds they have, they have been going the separate paths for e-money growth. In recent years, the Japanese e-money market has emerged as one of the important payment methods. Especially with the consumption tax rise from April 2014, the e-money market has received more attention because the usage of loose coins would increase due to the consumption tax rise from 5% to 8%. On the other hand, in South Korea, the e-money market growth has been sluggish because of the heavy usage of credit cards and check cards. Although there are two major e-money providers, T-money and Cashbee, South Korean credit cards and check cards are available for not only big purchases but also for small purchases so consumers do not recognize the need for e-money. In Japan, Suica, e-money from East Japan Railway Company and nanaco, e-money from Seven & I Holdings, exceeded 100 million transactions for a month in March 2014. It is the first time for nanaco to exceed 100 million transactions. All e-money providers have said that transaction volume has been growing. Celent believes that this trend will continue in the future by improving customer experience although one of the obstacles in the way of the e-money market growth has been considered the lack of the customer experience. In South Korea, Kakao Talk, one of the most popular social networking services in South Korea announced that they will launch a mobile wallet service called “Bank Wallet Kakao” in the first half of this year. At the very beginning, this will be used for customer to customer (C2C) payment and will expand to business to customer (B2C) payment. For both countries, the e-money market has entered a new phase although the reasons for growth are different. From the case studies of both countries, we can learn that e-money has diverse potential. I believe that e-money will create a new value and become a more accepted payment method.

Quotes from the Innovation Roundtable

They said it couldn’t be done, but we held the latest installment in Celent’s series of innovation roundtables in Tokyo recently. Our innovation roundtables put the focus squarely on interactive discussion among the participants. This is a relatively untried model in Japan, where events typically take the form of conventional conferences with presentations. We’re glad we tried it though, because we got a very interesting line-up of firms. Participants included the whole spectrum: banks, capital markets firms, and insurers; Japanese and foreign firms; traditional mega-institutions and alternative new entrants. The discussion was lively; below are some quick notes I took of some of the more interesting comments made, to capture a bit of the flavor of the day. Why Innovate? “Innovation is not the goal, it is a method and a tactic.” “We need to innovate because it has become difficult to differentiate us from our competitors.” “In today’s environment, innovation is necessary if you want to stay profitable.” Paths to Innovation “Incremental innovation is an axymoron. You can’t innovate by increments; innovation requires a big bang change.” “It might be possible to rearrange existing elements to create something new.” “When to innovate? If our clients think a new service is interesting, we try and create it for them and see if it succeeds.” “Innovation needs to be business driven.” “Financial institutions need to have an innovation division; an incubation unit that accumulates ideas from throughout the company.” IT and Innovation “IT is not the impetus for innovation, but because IT inevitably evolves, that creates need for innovation.” “Legacy is a barrier: it is hard to throw things away.” Cultural Challenges “We need to justify ROI on any investment each fiscal year. It is hard to show this on an innovation project.” “If you think about it, financial institutions don’t even have R&D departments.” Quote of the Day “Changing company culture is really about changing oneself. I personally enjoy innovation and change. Innovative culture is about getting a bunch of people together who enjoy change.”

CARTES Asia: A new payment industrial revolution in SoLoMo era

For participation in the ceremony of the award, where I was honoured to be a member of the jury, and presentation in the conference, last week, I visited Hong Kong. The venue, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre is vibrant as always. There were three big events around the same time.

The event, CARTES Asia is the leading smart technologies event in Asia Pacific. CARTES Asia has brought together innovative solution providers and market leaders from the card manufacturing, payment, security, identification and mobility industries. Some 3,000+ visitors in the banking, telecom, transportation and security sectors have a unique opportunity, not only to discover international exhibitors’ innovative technologies, but also to enhance their knowledge through the conferences and round-tables, which present the latest trends. I gave a presentation for the Cards & Payments session entitled "Payment Systems Trends in Japan."

The Asian SESAMES Awards aim to reward the most innovative technological applications developed for the Asian Pacific market in the field of smart cards, digital security, identification, secure transactions, and contactless technology. The Awards reward the best projects in 3 categories: Advanced Payment and Mobile Money; Card manufacturing & Personalization; and Secure Identity. As a juror, I evaluated the submissions independently and impartially.

Through the examination of this award, innovation, was proved to happen in places where new markets and new technology meet. Award winners all developed the frontiers of both technology and market. And the priority in technology and market was SoLoMo (Social, Local, and Mobile) once again. We are in the midst of ongoing technological changes and evolution, i.e. a new payment industrial revolution in this SoLoMo era.

About CARTES Asia: http://www.cartes-asia.com/

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Celent Round Table: When and Where Innovation Happens

Innovation is a key issue for financial institutions and a highly complex topic that demands attention when considering the business operations of tomorrow.

In light of its importance in the financial industry, Celent has planned two events in Tokyo focusing on innovation at financial institutions. The first was an innovation roundtable that was held last month. This and similar roundtables have been extremely well received in money market centers worldwide.

For the recent Tokyo event, a number of opinion leaders from Japan’s financial industry gathered to discuss and share two things: insights on effective approaches to promote innovation; perspectives of other leaders. Participants represented an array of sectors, including banks, insurers, leading brokers, dedicated online businesses, and foreign-capitalized companies. However, this diversity of participants from entities with differing business scale, history, format, and market size, shared a uniform passion when it came to their comments on innovation.

Prior to the roundtable discussion, Celent set the stage with two presentations.

The first, titled “The Search for Disruptive Innovation," took up “promoting innovation” as a theme. Specifically, it covered the reality and expectations of innovation among global financial institutions based on a Celent survey on innovation. The presentation put forth the following three points:
1) The use of ubiquitous data and breaking through traditional practices
2) Service strategies to respond to changing user expectations
3) Innovation-creating ecosystems and revision of internal rules

The second presentation, "Virtual Case Studies on Disruptive Forces," framed the technological changes and evolution witnessed since the 1970s as a new industrial revolution in a SoLoMo (social, local, and mobile) era. For the purposes of this discussion, the technologies driving disruptive innovation were categorized into three trend areas:
1) Analytic
2) Digital
3) Collaboration
Noted as common to these categories were that efforts to “respond to changing customer expectations” would drive innovation, which would be “led by firms willing to take risk.”

The subsequent lively roundtable discussion highlighted participant opinions including a range of expectations for “responding to changes the social environment,” “creating new frontiers in business,” and “shifting from continuous creation to discontinuous one.”

On the other hand, a number of factors that inhibit innovation were also mentioned, including the following: management placing priority on ROE, corporate culture that is averse to change, and enormous legacy assets. We learned two important things from some success stories introduced there: the effectiveness of initiatives by subsidiary firms which have a clear purpose and an unrelenting approach; and the importance of management that has taken innovation to heart and “made it part of the corporate DNA” to enable these initiatives to take root.

The scope of the discussion significantly transcended the prepared agenda, driving home the high expectations observers have and the vast potential see when it comes to financial innovation in Tokyo. Celent hopes that opportunities such as this that cut across the financial industry will act as a catalyst to drive the innovation at these respective firms.

Celent is committed to working with financial innovation leaders to explore the ideas that will shape financial industry of tomorrow. This discussion will be carried over and continued at events in March in Singapore and Chicago in April in New York. These will be followed by a June gathering in Tokyo that will focus further on innovation. We hope that you will continue to expect insightful things from Celent.

Relationship between Offline and Online

Nowadays, financial institutions have the opportunity to utilize both online and offline channels for their marketing tools. An example of offline marketing might be prominent advertising on the street and online might be use of social networking services. Lifenet Insurance, one of Japan’s online insurers, is a good example of how to leverage both the offline and online marketing approaches. As online-only insurers people might think that they mainly do marketing online, but they extensively do marketing offline too. Their executives often step up to the podium to not only explain their business but also speak about topics unrelated to insurance. Their goal in these offline activities is to generate awareness of Lifenet, both its products and its management. Lifenet asserts that their offline activities expand into online by means of social network posts by their “offline” audience. Therefore, they don’t care how large of an audience comes to their seminars. They believe that offline marketing is closely linked to online marketing. It might be nonsense to treat offline and online marketing separately because what happens offline can expand very quickly by means of online social networking. It is true that face-to-face voice still has a strong power to convey some messages better than online. So, it is important to do marketing utilizing the advantages of each. Financial institutions, particularly in Asia, might be reluctant to expand their activities through social networking quickly because of the risk that the social audience might focus on issues unfavorable to the institution. However, they should not ignore the potential for expanded use of SNS activities to create good opportunities to grow their business.

Is Mobile Payments Market in Japan Growing Or Not?

People think that Japan is one of the countries that is an early adopter of contactless mobile payments. We can certainly agree this is true. However, whether contactless mobile payments are common in Japan is another question. The answer is in fact “No”. In other words, mobile payment-enabled phones are widespread because many mobile phones are preloaded with the mobile payment function, but the active users are far less than the penetration of mobile payment enabled phones. As of August 2012, there are approximately 126 million mobile phone contracts in Japan. Among those, 58% or roughly 73 million mobile phones are embedded with a mobile payment chip. This is equivalent to 20% of all e-money cards / devices, which total about 180 million cards. How is the transaction volume? Monthly transaction volume of e-money, including not only mobile payments but plastic e-money, recorded 260 million in July 2012. That is, monthly transaction volume per card is only 1.5 transactions. Recently, smartphone subscriptions have been rapidly increasing and mobile payment embedded smartphones have also gradually penetrated. Approximately 34% or 10 million of smartphones have mobile payment chips, and of these 3 million subscribers use the mobile payment function. Does this seem like a high number? Smartphone users usually tend to prefer new things compared to feature phones users but merely 30% of mobile payment embedded mobile phone subscribers use mobile payments. Given the low transaction volume of all e-money cards, mobile payment registered users don’t seem to use mobile payment actively at this moment. It could be because of the lack of recognition of mobile payment or simply the lack of allure and advantage of mobile payment. That is why Celent estimates that the active users of mobile payment are 10% or less of mobile payments holders. A number of overseas media believe that mobile payments are very popular in Japan. However, it is not true. Yes, the infrastructure of mobile payments has been established well but the active users are not so many yet. To increase the number of active users, mobile payments players in Japan should not only preload mobile payment functions in mobile phones but also develop a strategy for promoting mobile payment effectively.