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David Arnold and Paul Jeffery

The financial services industry is experiencing a period of rapid change, with digitization offering consumers new ways of managing their money and payments, and intense attention from entrepreneurs seeking to accelerate that process of change by disrupting the traditional business models of banks and other established financial institutions. In emerging markets, this has resulted in new entrants seizing leading market shares in several industry sectors, but in developed economies the dominance of incumbent banks has not been weakened. This chapter establishes the theoretical basis of disruption and examines whether the necessary conditions are in place for developed economy banks to suffer disruption. We conclude that banks are likely to suffer the loss of some of their traditional functions and that this unbundling will create a more fragmented and competitive market.