Agile Innovation Update – January 2016

Each month we bring you the FreshMinds Agile Innovation Update. This month we’re looking at new research into the challenge posed by fintech companies, General Motors’ investment in Lyft, the key themes from CES and the impact of Amazon’s planned expansion of its Pantry service.

New research suggests the challenge posed by fintech companies is set to grow

New research commissioned by TransferWise reveals the extent of the threat posed by fintech companies to established financial providers. Although only 32% of respondents across Europe, Asia Pacific and North America have used a fintech provider for a service traditionally offered by a bank, 48% expect to have done so by the year 2020. Interestingly, the key consideration for switching provider in future was greater security, with a better cost and more convenience following closely behind.

General Motors establishes partnership designed to place it at the forefront of on-demand, driverless transportation

General Motors has announced a $500m investment in taxi-hailing company Lyft designed to take the automotive giant one step closer towards its ambition of creating a network of on-demand, self-driving cars. Whilst technology leaders and established automotive brands alike have hinted at plans to set up similar services, this marks the first auto/tech partnership aimed at establishing a driverless fleet.

Brands build on existing tech trends at CES

This month saw the return of The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Many commentators were quick to note that the event, known for its innovative product launches, didn’t shed light on any radically new trends. Instead we saw a continuation of many of the key themes from previous years – with wearable tech, connected devices, automated cars and virtual reality dominating the headlines. One of our favourite products from the show was a connected fridge that enables consumers to top up its contents by ordering from a touchscreen on the front of the device. Interestingly, the product is the result of a tie up between Samsung and Mastercard and, as a result, draws on Mastercard’s shopping app, Groceries, to fulfill orders. Are such cross industry partnerships a sign of things to come as brands seek to tap into these emerging tech trends?

Ocado’s share price tumbles in the face of planned expansion by Amazon Pantry

Ocado looks to have found some stiff competition in Amazon’s new service Pantry, which allows Prime customers to order food and household essentials direct to their door. Despite having only been introduced 2 months ago, the news of Amazon’s plans to expand the number of items available through Pantry caused Ocado shares to fall by 8%. At present Amazon doesn’t allow customers to order fresh groceries through the service in the way that Amazon Fresh does, but if the e-commerce giant is able to master this feature, Ocado as well as the Big Four supermarkets could face serious disruption.