According to a report from Banking Technology, Amazon could potentially be acquiring Capital One; Capital One uses Amazon's AWS cloud services; its credit card business could complement Amazon's current offerings for payment processing and credit cards while also expanding its services for Amazon's merchant network; according to Neil O'Brien, former director of digital banking at Santander US, "There has been speculation for a long time about a tech giant (GAFA – Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) buying a bank in the US, but the general sentiment was that banks were an undesirable target because of low margins and more importantly, high regulation."; the potential for a bank acquisition is now likely to increase given recent regulatory developments in the financial services industry. Source
Capital One announced last year that they were exiting the mortgage and home equity originations business; some of those employees are landing at Flagstar bank to expand their direct lending operation; Kristy Fercho, president of mortgage for Flagstar stated, “Capital One built a best-in-class digital platform, so we are excited about attracting this proven, high-caliber team in the direct-to-consumer space to Flagstar.” Source
Capital One is continuing to build on its Capital One Cafe venture by opening new cafés targeting millennials throughout the United States; the bank will be opening new locations in San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Austin and Richmond over the next two months; the cafés offer a range of services to the public including free WiFi and coffee; the bank is also using the cafés to market to millennials with digital portals offering online financial advice and space for financial coaching sessions; locations are also staffed with Capital One representatives to offer banking and customer service support. Source
Capital One is looking to ensure innovation at the bank is beyond add ons that might solve a particular problem; the bank is looking to take a fuller look at innovation and not just trying to be first to market with a new product; Capital One has rolled out a chatbot, an Alexa skill and more as they look to try and make banking part of their customers everyday experience; Sanjiv Yajnik, president of financial services at Capital One, tells TearSheet “The real power is shifting the way in which you think about the product. Customers today are demanding products and services that are seamlessly integrated into their lives.” Source.
The continued push by Amazon into financial services could have a bigger effect on startups over banks; Nicolas Parmaksizian, global head of Capco digital, tells TearSheet, “If you combine an Amazon with a Capital One, you’re combining the amazing power of Amazon and Capital One’s data analytics, and that’s a challenging thing to compete with as a startup banking brand.”; digital only banks look to offer a better experience at a lower cost than the traditional banks, adding Amazon into the mix could drown out those startups before they ever get going. Source.
Banks like Capital One have been investing in creating a cafe style space where people can come to drink coffee and work while also having interaction with a bank but not in the traditional branch way; the idea is to have the bank maintain a presence, get deposits but not have a full branch; “If you can imagine people popping these things up — the competition for community banks would get overwhelming,” said Robert Mahoney, CEO of the $2.5 billion-asset Belmont Savings Bank in Massachusetts, to American Banker. Source.