Please don’t switch to Amazon Panic Mode

No one size fits all

Currently everybody is talking about ecosystems – me, too. We are assuming the platformisation, the creating and implementation of ecosystems and the participation within should be one important step in ones Digital Strategy. But besides this very reasonable approach there is one kind of panic belief: Successful platforms like Facebook, Google or Amazon will disrupt every business line. I’m a fan of ecosystems and believe GAFA can disrupt a lot. But I don’t necessarily think, they will win everywhere and automatically. Especially, when you enter business models based on sensitive data and processes like the ones of banks and insurers. Why do I believe this? Because I’m very convinced, every transaction has a trust level like an ecosystem has as well. And only if one trust level matches the one of the underlying ecosystem one can  attract transactions in the long term successfully.

Today’s ecosysstem world

Facebook is an ecosystem with a trust level of one (very low).  Posting a picture of my last meal is a transcation with a trust level of one as well. Amazon is an ecosystem with a trust level of two. Buying retail stuff is usually a transaction with a trust level of two. A money transfer is based on trust level four (very high).  Insurers are usually ecosystems of trust level three or four (P&C versus Life). I don’t guess, a customer will cross these given ‘trust level swim lanes’. He will not process a level four transaction within a level one ecosystem in the long term. Ecosystems will attract only their level of transactions.  Or ecosystems need to increase their trust level. Platforms like Facebook or Google will have, from my perspective,  difficulties to increasing trust levels. Especially when you consider, what people are currently doing on these and how their general reputation looks like. Amazon indeed might have a chance to crossing the boarder. That’s, I believe, exactly the motivation behind their superior service excellence strategy, but it’s still a difficult story. Besides the soft facts (the view of the customer) you have to fulfill a lot of hard facts to power a level four ecosystem, e.g. level four verified customer identities, KYC, governance etc. That said I wouldn’t recommend all the insurers and banks to switch in Amazon Panic Mode, but to leverage exactly this given difference and advantage of being and becoming a Level Three or Level Four Trusted Ecosystem.