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The most hated #Fintech bingo buzzword is “disruption”

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Those of you who know me, know that I hate the word channel and any adjunct that goes with it. This is because channel shows a lack of digital depth, as it’s just sticking something on top of the old architecture or lipstick on a pig if you prefer. It doesn’t work. I have other words I hate just as much, but top of the list these days is disruption. Every conference I go to either has a theme of digital disruption or a panel talking about how X is disrupting finance and banking.

  • How the blockchain is disrupting finance and banking
  • How Fintech is disrupting finance and banking
  • How mobile apps are disrupting finance and banking
  • How APIs are disrupting finance and banking

Blah, blah, blah.

I fruiting hate it.

I guess my main loathing for the word disruption is because I define it in a particular way based upon Clayton Christensen’s Innovator’s Dilemma:

Disruptive innovation describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors

That’s why I hate the word disruption, because I don’t believe Fintech, mobile apps, APIs and blockchain will displace the existing providers of banking and finance. I think it might augment, assist, adapt, innovate and fundamentally change banking and finance. That’s a given. But will it wipe out the existing providers? Will banks disappear? Absolutely not.

So can we please stop saying disrupt and talk about adaptive or innovative tech please, as I do not see any disruptive change out there today, in the definition above.

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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