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Challenges and Opportunities of Digitalization and Globalization with a Focus on the Swiss Banking Sector


At a recent event held at ZHAW in Winterthur on Tuesday evening, 5 November 2019, Laura Dammköhler and Dario Dürr, Co-Presidents of the Banking & Finance Club for Students at Zurich University of Applied Sciences, welcomed 50 students and guests. They introduced the speaker, Dr. Markus Braun, Senior Lecturer in International Management at the ZHAW School of Management and Law.

Dario Dürr, Dr. Markus Braun und Laura Dammköhler

Dario Dürr, Dr. Markus Braun und Laura Dammköhler

Markus Braun highlighted the megatrends of globalization and digitalization. With a focus on the Swiss banking sector, these global and digital trends will shape future business models. Digital banking increases transparency and thus creates pressure on the margins. Swiss banks operating from a small home base must think big and international and should consider alliances in order to attract the smartphone-savvy millennial customers. Based on his research and a recent survey, Markus Braun has come to the conclusion that retail banking, in particular – much more than wealth management, asset management, and investment banking – is under attack from smartphone banks.

In a lively discussion, participants debated the current use of digital bank accounts offered by neo-banks such as Revolut and N26. Another topic that was addressed was the advanced digital payment and credit habits in China and the backward integration of Chinese big tech companies with Chinese banks.

After the event, the Co-Presidents invited participants to a drinks reception and encouraged them to continue the discussion.