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Bank Wars, Episode XX: The Rise of FinTech

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Over the years, a few people have likened me to the Yoda of banking. Yoda is one of the most likable characters in the Star Wars franchise, but I’m not sure if I like the comparison. Yoda is seriously old, speaks in riddles and is tiny and wrinkled. Nevertheless, I always take it in good spirit and assume they are talking about the fact that he may have all of those features, but is viewed as the Master and most wise of all Jedi. Even so, I’d rather be baby Yoda (see Disney’s Mandalorian).

So, it amused me at the weekend when one of our FinTech fraternity – a certain Ali Paterson – posted that he was going to read both the new draft of my book Doing Digital and the picture book of Star Wars: a New Hope.

It led to various responses, but my one comparing a few folks to Star Wars characters sparked a challenge: could I write a blog post in the style of Yoda about banking and technology?

I never shirk a challenge so … here goes.

If you can’t play the video, jump to the end of the blog for the Bank Wars introduction but the best way to experience this blog is to play the video before reading onwards. Thanks.

Luke Challenger: Master Yoda. I am honoured to meet you.

FinTech Yoda: You yes are.

Luke Challenger: I wanted to see if you could help me with where the future is going.

FinTech Yoda: Happening future is known not. Future known is certain.

Luke Challenger: WTF?

FinTech Yoda: Seek advice, you must. Not with banks, but technologists future is.

Luke Challenger: I guess I need a translator. Do you speak English?

FinTech Yoda: English is language of Empire past. Language of FinTech future is plain.

Luke Challenger: So I’m getting something about plain English, is that right?

FinTech Yoda: See customer need. Hear customer need. Speak customer need.  Develop all.

Luke Challenger: Customer need. What do they need?

FinTech Yoda: Customer know need not. You need know.

Luke Challenger: Well, I’ve got this idea they need an app that tells them what they’re doing with money.

FinTech Yoda: Money no future has.

Luke Challenger: But what’s going to happen to the FinTech Alliance and the Empire if no one has money in the future?

FinTech Yoda: Know you.

Luke Challenger: I know.

FinTech Yoda: Why you hear not me? Know you.

Luke Challenger: I’m getting confused. I know? If that’s true, I think it’s supporting them with how they use their money, but you’re telling me it’s nothing to do with money and there won’t be money in the future?

FinTech Yoda: Yes.

Luke Challenger: So, what is there in the future?

FinTech Yoda: Wisdom.

Luke Challenger: Que?

FinTech Yoda: Find data, seek wisdom.

Luke Challenger: Que?

FinTech Yoda: Young Luke. If data you have, then wisdom know you. Money no more. Knowledge is all. Find data, seek wisdom.

Luke Challenger: If I understand what you are saying correctly Master, then my focus should be upon acquiring customer data to leverage digital relationships with them through the insights gained. Is that right?

FinTech Yoda: Yes.

Luke Challenger: Shoot Yoda. You’re deep.

FinTech Yoda: I yes am. Now off go.

Luke Challenger: Can I ask one more question?

FinTech Yoda: No. Off peace.

Luke leaves, suspecting FinTech Yoda just made a joke.






This is the wording of the video:

A short time ago in a galaxy very, very near …




The Empire was strong and had ruled for centuries. This meant that banks had got bigger and stronger. They were so strong that the Federation of Earth’s Governments could no longer control them. Too big to fail and too tough to jail, bankers were getting away with charging fees to the dead and keeping the poor in poverty.

A fleet of young bright rebels set up the Rebel Alliance to challenge these banks. They would take on the Empire. Led by technologists, they believed the internet, cloud and mobile would destroy the grip on Earth’s financial markets by these big banks in their Empires.

Seeking knowledge and help, a young Bank Challenger travels to the world of FinTech Yoda for ideas.



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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