Established banks and insurance companies have an element of fear about new tech-driven competitors - but are willing to join forces to bring them up to speed, accounting firm PwC says.
A survey of more than 500 respondents in nearly 50 countries in the financial services sector shows established providers fear losing business to new niche providers of financial technology or "fintechs".
PwC New Zealand financial services leader Andy Symons said competition was heating up.
"The real threat is that by developing new products or services, or developing more customer friendly products and services, that customers start opting to buy those products and services from new players in the market place, rather than from the incumbents or the larger financial services players where they traditionally would have gone to get those products," he said.
The survey showed partnerships between an established firm and a new tech-driven company were becoming more common.
Mr Symons said it could be of mutual benefit.
"We recently saw a bank in New Zealand strategically partner with a smaller company that is the provider of a cloud-based data and analytics platform that's been designed specifically for farmers in the agri-sector."
He expected partnerships to continue to grow as technology became a crucial way of doing business.