RBC Chief Executive David McKay said he was positioning Canada’s largest bank to compete with technology firms that have expanded into the money-moving business but don’t “bear the financial and social costs of being a bank.”
In other words the banks are heavily regulated because they have a nasty habit of crashing and asking the government for huge hand-outs while the technology companies do not.
“Many of these new entrants are excellent competitors – innovative, driven, and responsive to their clients, but they also may distort the financial system with unintended risks that regulators cannon clearly see,” he told the bank’s annual general meeting in Toronto.
Of course the Tame Apple Press insisted he was talking about Apple’s new Apple Pay service which is falling from favour with retailers and needs a plug, however he was more likely to be talking about Amazon and Paypal.
McKay said RBC was prepared to partner with small venture firms to develop applications for banking through mobile devices.
“It’s how do we apply the world of banking to the mobile phone? Not only from a payments perspective, but from pure banking perspective, how to you pay? How do you transact in general?” he told a media briefing.
“A second area where we’re certainly looking at technology to help innovate is in our processes, in the back office.”