Google, Facebook may not be banks of the future: Gartner

Despite the hype that digital mega-firms such as Apple, Facebook and Google wiping out mainstream banks, traditional banks will have the edge over their Internet-oriented rivals.

However, the internet companies would play a considerable role in shaping the banking industry of the future, according to a study by research and advisory firm Gartner.

''The evolution of the Internet continues to raise questions about the continued viability of brick and mortar establishments in retailing and financial services. Increasingly, internet-oriented mega-firms are seen as the commercial enterprises of the future,'' said Gartner fellow and vice president David Furlonger.

''However, as far as retail banking is concerned, it would be like trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole, this just does not fit,'' he added.

The digital mega-firms have many things in their favour. They are masters of data management and analytics. To all intents and purposes they define agility, both from a technology and a business model point of view. They are extremely adept at extending their value chain analysis beyond the core offering, with an eye to identifying new opportunities for business and highlighting specific customer needs that they might address.

They have the ability to define - and then redefine - the business models that they deploy while their focus on what partners can bring to their propositions stands as an equally strong differentiator.