Founders Series: 5 Conversations on Compliance and the Regulatory Landscape in Fintech

Founders Series: 5 Conversations on Compliance and the Regulatory Landscape in Fintech

The regulatory landscape for companies innovating in fintech and financial services is complex and ever-changing. Whether a company is developing solutions in the crypto space or seeking to take advantage of the opportunities in open banking, open finance, or Banking-as-a-Service, a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory environment is critical for success.

In its latest series of video conversations from our sister publication Fintech Futures, Fintech Founders interviews six industry professionals – all Founders and Co-Founders – to hear from them what they believe will be the biggest regulatory challenges for fintech start-ups in the coming years.

Check out our conversations on compliance in fintech and financial services featuring:

Ensuring Compliance for Your Product or Service

Evolution of Industry Compliance – A Decade of Shifting Perspectives and Practices

Regulatory requirements – Adapting operations accordingly

Technology and automation – Streamlining compliance processes

Navigating the Regulatory Landscape – Top Challenges for Fintech Start-ups

Photo by Markus Winkler

Gen AI, Geopolitics, and the Blue Dot Customer: 3 Conversations from FinovateEurope

Gen AI, Geopolitics, and the Blue Dot Customer: 3 Conversations from FinovateEurope

Today we’re sharing our final set of conversations from our European fintech conference, FinovateEurope. This round of interviews expands beyond our recent look at embedded finance, open banking, and the customer experience in financial services to cover broader themes like AI, the intersection of geopolitics and finance, and the customer of tomorrow.

The truth about generative AI: What financial institutions really need to know about adoption

Author, Generative AI expert, and founder at Tamang Ventures, Nina Schick discusses the realities facing financial services companies when they adopt generative AI. Schick talks about lessons financial services companies can learn from early adopters of the technology in other industries, and why partnerships are the way forward for most companies in banking and finance to best take advantage of AI.

The geopolitical super cycle and what that means for financial services

CEO at London Politica, Manas Chawla talks about the geopolitical risks facing the financial services sector in 2024 – from Ukraine to Gaza to the upcoming Presidential election in the United States. Chawla also discusses the geopolitical supercycle and the challenge of “grey rhino” threats that leaders in both business and politics need to be aware of.

The blue dot consumer: What can financial services learn from Taylor Swift, Red Bull, and United Airlines

A consumer behaviouralist at The King of Customer Experience Ken Hughes introduces the concept of the blue dot consumer in his discussion of what he calls “the customer of tomorrow.” Hughes talks about the relationship between technology and the human experience, how successful brands build loyalty, and what banks and financial institutions can do to foster true loyalty.

Photo by CoWomen

The Finovate Podcast: How Credit Unions Use Technology to Bring New Projects to Life

The Finovate Podcast: How Credit Unions Use Technology to Bring New Projects to Life

This week on the Finovate Podcast, Finovate VP and podcast host Greg Palmer sat down with Brian Lee, CEO of Landings Credit Union. Their conversation comes in advance of a special session at FinovateSpring next month, dedicated specifically to the credit union ecosystem.

A part of Landings Credit Union for nearly a decade, Lee has spent the last four years as CEO. He started as CFO of the Arizona-based financial institution and, before that, worked as both a regulator and in public accounting. Founded in 1953 as “Tempe Schools Credit Union,” Landings Credit Union today has more than 15,000 members and assets of more than $238 million.

Last year Landings CU received the Dementia Friendly business designation, which ensures members that credit union staff are trained to both recognize and support individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. “In Arizona we are the fastest growing state for new cases for Alzheimers,” Lee explained, “so it’s a big deal here for us.”

This year, the financial institution garnered national recognition for its commitment to financial inclusion, earning the Juntos Avanzamos designation. The designation recognizes the work done by credit unions to serve and empower Hispanic, Latino, and immigrant communities. A national network launched in 2015, the Juntos Avanzamos program has a presence in 29 states, serving more than 12 million consumers at 141+ credit unions in the U.S.

In their Finovate podcast conversation, Palmer and Lee talk about using technology to bring new projects to life in the context of these recent successful outreach efforts. “How can we comb through our data and find these new data points that we’re looking for, aggregate (them), and say ‘Let’s be the ones who are going out and reaching out to people’,” Lee explained. “Whether from our own data or community data that’s out there: how do we use that to be able to serve more people?”

Check out Episode 213 of the Finovate Podcast and the rest of Greg Palmer’s conversation with Landings Credit Union CEO Brian Lee.

Photo by Jean Balzan

Wealthtech, Open Banking, and Personalization: 3 Conversations from FinovateEurope

Wealthtech, Open Banking, and Personalization: 3 Conversations from FinovateEurope

Our series on conversations with fintech experts from FinovateEurope continues this week. Today we feature three interviews I conducted with fintech professionals innovating in some of the more interesting areas of our field:

  • a discussion with everyoneINVESTED’s Jurgen Vandenbroucke on the challenge of embedding emotion into financial technology
  • a conversation with BBVA’s Jose Luis Navarro on open banking and the future of financial services
  • an interview with Katharina Lüth, Chief Client Officer and Managing Director at Raisin, on the importance of personalization in the customer experience.

Wealthtech: bringing investment solutions to banks and customers

Jurgen Vandenbroucke, Managing Director at everyoneINVESTED, talks about the unique challenges of innovating in the wealth management and investment space. He shares his thoughts on what digital engagement really means when it comes to serving investors, and discusses what changes he sees in the regulatory landscape for investors in the U.K. and Europe.

Open banking and the future of financial services

Head of Open Banking Strategy at BBVA, Jose Luis Navarro, discusses the different approaches to open banking in Europe, North America, South America, and beyond. He covers the role of regulation, the importance of understanding third party risk, and the way customer demand is shaping the perception of open banking.

Personalization and customer engagement in an international financial services company

Chief Client Officer and Managing Director at Raisin Katharina Lüth talks about the importance of personalization and customer engagement in an international financial services company. Lüth discusses how Raisin develops personalization strategies across multiple geographies, how to manage friction in the customer experience, as well as current economic trends in the U.K., Europe, and the U.S.

Photo by Donald Tong

Streamly Subject Snapshot: Fintech Investing & Partnership Themes

Streamly Subject Snapshot: Fintech Investing & Partnership Themes

Keeping up-to-date in the fintech world takes more than just reading what’s going on in the fintech news cycle. It’s important to read takes on different trends and themes from across the industry, as well. To help span this gap, we’ve brought insights from thought leaders across the industry to our Streamly videos.

Today, we’re featuring six videos recorded at FinovateEurope that showcase the expertise of some of the speakers in attendance. The first, 15-minute video highlights VC investors’ thoughts on fintech valuations, M&A activity, partnerships, and more.

The remaining videos we’re showcasing today are part of Streamly’s Fintech Founders Partnership series, a set of three-to-four minute videos that detail thought leaders’ opinions on a wide range of partnership issues.

Potential partnerships– assessing the strategic fit

Partnership goals– maintaining goal alignment

Data security & privacy– sharing sensitive financial information

Emerging technologies– facilitating deeper collaborations

Industry partnerships– measuring success

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

Code & Capital: AI Versus the Internet and Harnessing the Power of Gen AI

Code & Capital: AI Versus the Internet and Harnessing the Power of Gen AI

Streamly’s Code & Capital series takes a next-level look at the potential for enabling technologies to transform fintech and financial services.

In today’s first conversation, Code & Capital talks with Generative AI expert and founder of Tamang Ventures Nina Schick about the way that AI could fundamentally reshape industries and economies this century the way the Internet did decades ago. Schick also discusses use cases for Generative AI in financial services and the threat posed by AI-powered deepfakes.

An author, advisor, and keynote speaker, Schick is an expert in synthetic media, deepfakes, disinformation, cybersecurity, and the geopolitics of technology. Her debut book, Deepfakes, was released in 2020 and has been translated into five languages.

Code & Capital also talked with Head of Conversational AI at Zurich Insurance Group, Indrek Vainu. In this conversation, Vainu shared some of the real-world applications of Generative AI in areas such as risk management, fraud detection, and customer service. Vainu also discussed what financial institutions need to do in order to effectively deploy AI technologies in their businesses.

Vainu co-founded AlphaChat, a chatbot startup, that was acquired by Zurich Insurance Group in 2021. At Zurich, he leads activities globally related to Generative AI and chatbots.

Photo by Kevin Ku

Helping Credit Unions Compete: Our Conversation with TruStage’s Laurie Winger

Helping Credit Unions Compete: Our Conversation with TruStage’s Laurie Winger

As part of Finovate’s commemoration of Women’s History Month, our Women in Fintech column features Laurie Winger, Chief Financial Officer with TruStage. Formerly known as CUNA Mutual Group, TruStage is a financial services company that provides insurance, investment, and fintech solutions to individuals and businesses.

Winger has been praised by colleagues as a visionary and results-oriented, cross functional leader. At TruStage, she has helped transform a decades-old insurance company into a modern, technology-driven business.

In our Women in Fintech conversation, we discuss her origins in fintech and financial services, current trends that she has her eye on, and why it’s important for financial services companies to invest both human and financial resources into the fintech space.

Tell us about your role at TruStage and your journey into the fintech space.

Laurie Winger: I started my career as an accountant at TruStage, previously CUNA Mutual Group, more than 30 years ago. I spent the first half of my career in various finance roles – Budget Manager, Vice President of Finance, etc. – and then shifted my focus to credit union market strategy in the mid-2010s. At that time, our company was seen in the marketplace as an insurance rather than a technology company. Our goal was to change that perception and the best way to do so was to get more involved in fintech. This was when I first dipped my toes into the fintech space.

One of our first investments was the creation of our Ventures Portfolio, TruStage Ventures, which funds innovators focused on improving the financial services industry. A few years later, we also acquired Compliance Systems, a fintech provider of digital and dynamic compliance documentation, and CuneXus, a consumer-facing portal featuring financial services for credit unions. As Chief Product Officer at the time, I was very involved in the strategy and the execution of that acquisition. Since then, I returned to my finance roots as Chief Financial Officer while keeping a close eye on TruStage and TruStage Venture’s fintech acquisitions and investments, as well as being a member of various fintechs’ boards.

Recently, I’ve dipped back into the fintech side of our business by overseeing our Fintech Solutions team as part of my role as CFO. This team is focused on developing and implementing our Digital Storefront e-commerce platform (based on our acquisition of CuneXus mentioned above) which provides financial institutions with the ability to lend, generate deposits, and open accounts in a fully online experience – all centered around a consumer’s individual banking needs.

It seems like you had a strong role in building TruStage’s fintech strategy. Why did you see a need to provide more holistic support to credit unions?

Winger: I’ve always been a big fan of credit unions because their mission is consistent with ours at TruStage, namely the desire to help people who would otherwise not get access to financial products. Unfortunately, in the digital era, credit unions are having a harder time than ever competing with larger financial institutions and digital banks, and many are closing their doors or are being acquired. We realized early on that if we wanted to truly help credit unions compete, we needed to provide more holistic support. By investing in and making modern, end-to-end technology solutions available to credit unions of all sizes and helping them meet their members’ needs – we are ultimately helping consumers on their buying, borrowing, and saving journeys.

What changes have you seen in the fintech space in the last couple of years and how would you advise fintechs to react to these changes?

Winger: I am learning along with our entire organization that the current fintech market is very different than it was even just a year and a half ago. The high inflation environment has caused valuations to go down, so many fintechs are struggling to attract interest and raise money from third-party investors. They need to find new ways to generate capital.

The best way to do this is to listen to credit unions’ pain points and pivot their focus and/or messaging to meet those current needs. At the moment, growing deposits, finding ways to deepen existing relationships, and acquiring new members are at the top of the priority list for most credit union leadership teams. Fintechs that are heavily promoting lending technologies are probably having a hard time finding prospects, as many credit unions are running into liquidity challenges and are not able to lend as much as before. Pivoting their focus to respond to market needs, or tweaking their messaging to better appeal to potential prospects, will help fintechs stay afloat. The key to success in this economic environment is to listen to market demand, stay flexible, and be willing to take risks.

How are you and TruStage helping advance women leaders in the fintech and credit unions spaces?

Winger: As a company, we are very proud of the TruStage Ventures Discovery Fund, which invests $5 million annually in early-stage fintech companies led by BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and woman founders. We created the fund to address inequities in the financial sector and support underrepresented entrepreneurs, many of which are women. Personally, I also try to keep in touch with the female founders who have benefitted from the fund and build those relationships.

In the credit union market, I’ve also had the opportunity to be a mentor as part of the Credit Union Women’s Leadership Alliance (CUWLA) coaching program. The program pairs senior female leaders with women CEOs of credit unions with asset sizes of $300 million or less, providing a channel for support and the exchange of insights. I try to generously share my career experiences, successes, failures, and learnings with other women leaders as often as possible, as I think it is the best way to help other women advance and succeed in both the fintech and credit union industries.

Finally, as a Chief Financial Officer, why is it important to invest company resources (funds and people) into the fintech space to power future/tech-driven strategy?

Winger: Ultimately, it all comes down to remaining relevant. Financial services today operate in a fast-moving, competitive marketplace with ever-evolving consumer demands for seamless, digital-first transactions. No matter how well capitalized, any company that wishes to compete in this space must be willing to allocate investments towards innovations with the consumer expectation at the center. If they don’t, even the most venerable companies risk being passed by fintechs, start-ups, and the industry as a whole.

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Unsplash

The Finovate Podcast: Greg Palmer Talks AI, Real-Time Payments, Fraud Prevention, and Financial Inclusion

The Finovate Podcast: Greg Palmer Talks AI, Real-Time Payments, Fraud Prevention, and Financial Inclusion

Have you listened to the latest episodes of the Finovate Podcast?

Over the past few weeks, Greg Palmer and the Finovate Podcast have hosted some of the most interesting innovators in fintech. Alan Bekker of eSelf on the future of AI in financial services, The Clearing House’s Jim Colassano on real-time payments, financial inclusion and wealth-building with Rodney Williams of SoLo Funds … these are just a handful of the interviews Greg Palmer and the Finovate Podcast have featured in recent weeks.

Don’t miss another conversation! Join Greg Palmer and his guests on the Finovate Podcast today!

Greg Palmer interviews Alan Bekker, co-founder and CEO of customer engagement innovator, eSelf. The two discuss the role of AI in fintech and financial services, and the future of face to “face” interactions. eSelf won Best of Show in its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2023. Episode 208.

The rise of real-time payments, especially in the U.S., is creating opportunities and challenges for fintechs and financial services companies alike. Greg Palmer sits down with Jim Colassano, SVP of Product Development and Strategy with The Clearing House, to discuss what institutions need to do in order to take advantage of one of the latest innovations in payments. Episode 207.

Greg Palmer catches up with Jack Spiers, Sales Director at Tink, to discuss the findings of a new report from the Best of Show winning company that details how to enhance affordability assessments with enriched data. Episode 206.

Dr. Adam Lowe, Chief Product & Innovation Officer with CompoSecure, talks with Finovate Podcast host Greg Palmer on how to think about fraud prevention as an asset, and the importance of balancing security and customer experience. Episode 205.

As part of the Finovate Podcast’s commemoration of Black History Month, Greg Palmer and Rodney Williams, co-founder, chairman, and President of SoLo Funds, talked about the challenges of creating wealth-building products for underserved communities. Episode 204.

Photo by cottonbro studio

Embedded Banking and Generative AI: Two Top Trends in Banking and Insurance Technology

Embedded Banking and Generative AI: Two Top Trends in Banking and Insurance Technology

Last month at FinovateEurope, I had the pleasure of conducting interviews with 14 professionals, entrepreneurs, and authors from the world of fintech and financial services. A few days ago, I shared videos of my conversations with Moneyhub’s Samantha Seaton and Finthropology’s Anette Broløs.

Today, I’m unveiling another pair of interviews from FinovateEurope. First, I sit down with Edwin Van Bommel, Head of Strategy and Innovation with ABN AMRO Bank. In his role with the bank, van Bommel is responsible for introducing new products and services to clients in the areas of artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technology.

In our conversation, van Bommel and I talk about the different ways ABN AMRO Bank is leveraging enabling technologies like embedded banking, generative AI, and distributed ledger. We also talk about the challenge of legacy systems and why they will still “play an important role in the future” of financial services.

In our second video interview, Indrek Vainu, Head of Conversational AI at Zurich Insurance Group, and I talk about the challenge and opportunity of artificial intelligence in financial services. We discussed ways that generative AI, for example, is bringing innovation to both the front and back office. Vainu also shared what he believes are the next steps in AI adoption in fintech and financial services.

In his role as Head of Conversational AI at Zurich Insurance Company, Vainu leads activities globally that are related to Generative AI and chatbots. He co-founded AlphaChat, a chatbot startup that was acquired by Zurich Insurance Group in 2021.

Silicon Valley Bank Collapse: One Year Later

Silicon Valley Bank Collapse: One Year Later

March 10th marked the one-year anniversary of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). While the event isn’t necessarily something to celebrate, it is a great time to reflect on what the industry has learned and how things have change.

Looking back on the aftermath of SVB’s liquidity crisis, we have seen shifts in behavior and strategy that are starting to reshape the landscape for both banks and fintechs. I had the privilege to speak with Law Helie, General Manager of Consumer Banking at nCino, to gain insights into these changes and how institutions are adapting to meet evolving consumer expectations and regulatory demands.

Finovate: We’re approaching the one-year anniversary of SVB’s liquidity crisis. In the past 12 months, how has the industry responded? Have you seen any changes in behavior from banks or fintechs?

Law Helie: Regardless of size, a consistent banking trend is the re-emphasis on building up deposits. After the liquidity crisis last year, banks became more risk-averse and leaned on their deposits as a shield against volatility.

Another trend is the shift to relationship banking via technology. Banks are leveraging cloud-based tools to unlock more data within their organization to better inform and tailor their services to customers for core offerings, including loans, CDs, high-yield savings and more. We expect intense competition around these services as banks prioritize opening multiple service streams with customers to deepen the relationship and hold onto deposits.

Finovate: How will banks approach their spend on fintech following the SVB crisis?

Helie: Expect banks’ spending on fintech tools to grow exponentially. This isn’t a new phenomenon, but the pace of acceleration since SVB is significant as banks seek ways to better compete in a crowded market.

Banks are deploying technology to help understand their cost of funds base, attract deposits, drive internal efficiencies and, most importantly, to help create a sense of stability. As we await more certainty from the Fed around economic forecasting, we expect to see an increase in tech spending, especially at a time when banks’ appetite for increasing efficiency continues to grow at a rapid pace.

Finovate: How about end consumers—both retail and commercial bank customers—have they changed their attitudes and behavior?

Helie: Post-SVB, end consumers in all lines of business are more aware and educated on deposit limit risks that come with over-exposure. Our FIs have told us that their customers are searching for ways to have more security, including wanting to know how they can limit their risk of exposure and how to structure their accounts for FDIC limits. In addition, some of our customers have incorporated the use of CDARS, a Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service, that can help customers disperse funds into multiple accounts.

The overall attitude and behavior of end consumers is now that they need to pay attention to FDIC limits, disburse their deposits, and have an increased focus on their wealth management. This shift underscores a proactive approach among consumers toward safeguarding their financial assets.

Finovate: Given these behavioral and attitude shifts, how can banks and fintechs adapt to these changes?

Helie: Most banks have siloed systems, meaning there is no singular source of truth for their data. Yet customers don’t think this way – they look at their needs holistically. Serving these customers requires a client-centric model that is efficient and driven toward self-service.

And the more products a customer has with a bank, the stickier they are. In order to retain existing and new depository relationships, banks can best position themselves by providing a wide suite of banking offerings and services, in particular digital offerings.

Banks also have an opportunity to leverage fintechs to gather a 360-degree view of the customer, allowing them to understand what is going on across all accounts. With that information, banks can leverage relationship banking techniques to provide customers with the tailored products and services that they want and need.

Finovate: What impact has SVB’s liquidity crisis had on regulations so far and how are banks and fintechs responding?

Helie: Regulations have been put in place to try and mitigate the risk of another SVB collapse. Despite NYCB’s recent issues, we are not seeing the same level of concern spread to other financial institutions as it seems the public has a better understanding of the underlying reason for the issues NYCB is currently having.

Financial institutions are actively pursuing ways to strengthen their deposits bases by reviewing FDIC limits. Notably, some FIs have taken measures to impose restrictions on the maximum amount of cash that can be held in an account, aligning with the FDIC limit. Fintechs are helping FIs by not only providing the framework for streamlined experiences that help meet customer needs, but also allowing them to responsively acquire new funds for those customers looking to diversify their deposit base.

Finovate: Looking ahead, what advice do you have for banks and fintechs navigating the ever-competitive game of increasing deposits?

Helie: The market expects the Fed to reduce interest rates one-to-three times this year. Americans are waiting on the sidelines for better rates so that they can shop for refinancing or fresh loan opportunities.

Banks that are well-prepared have a tremendous opportunity to help people get a better handle on their finances and position themselves as a partner for life. Those that struggle to quickly evaluate inquiries or match competing offers could frustrate customers that want to take advantage of the improving environment.

Cloud-based tools that utilize data and AI to help banks evaluate a fresh loan or refinancing request quickly are at a tremendous advantage. Institutions that maintain the sleepier pace of the past year will be rapidly outpaced by their peers and they will have few opportunities to make up the gap.

Live from London: Finovate TV Returns to FinovateEurope!

Live from London: Finovate TV Returns to FinovateEurope!

Finovate TV is back!

This year at FinovateEurope (27-28 February) I will be interviewing 15 fintech entrepreneurs, CEOs, analysts, authors, and thought leaders on what they believe are the most important topics and trends in fintech and financial services. Here’s a preview of the people I’ll be speaking with, a note on what they will be presenting at FinovateEurope, and a sense of the questions I’ll be asking them next week.

Be sure to stay tuned immediately after the event as we begin to roll out our Finovate TV interviews from FinovateEurope.

Anette Broløs – Director and Founder, Finthropology

Anette will be a part of our Wednesday afternoon Power Panel: From Open Banking To Open Finance & Beyond – How Can Banks Seize The Opportunity To Generate Returns?

I will ask Anette about the challenges that financial institutions face when trying to become more customer-centric. We’ll also discuss her new book, Customer-Centric Innovation in Finance, which explains how to turn human insights into product innovation.

Nina Schick, Author, Generative AI Expert, Founder, Tamang Ventures

Nina will deliver our Out of the Box Keynote Address Tuesday morning titled Will AI Be More Profound Than The Invention Of The Internet? What Do Financial Institutions Really Need To Understand About Generative AI?

I’m looking forward to learning more about what financial services need to know about de-risking the adoption of enabling technologies like AI. I’m also curious what other enabling technologies Nina thinks should be on our radar.

Indrek Vainu, Head of Conversational AI, Zurich Insurance Company

Indrek will be a part of our Wednesday afternoon Power Panel: AI In Action & Real User Cases: How Smart Players Are Using AI To Solve Pain Points For Their Customers & Their Business. He will also deliver a keynote address – How Financial Institutions Can Harness The Era of Generative AI – as part of our invitation-only session Monday evening for financial institutions.

In our conversation at FinovateEurope, I want to hear about the challenges Indrek and his team have faced as they implemented generative AI applications at their firm. What lessons and insights can he share with other financial services as they embark on their AI journeys?

Ville Sointu, Chief Strategist, Digital Currencies, Nordea

Ville will be a part of our Wednesday afternoon Power Panel: Digital Payments Are Eating The World – How Will New Competitors & New Business Models Shape The Future?

I’m curious to learn from Ville about how embedded payments are spreading throughout Europe. I’m also interested in learning about his interest in super apps, which he mentioned last year. How might the rise of super apps impact the payments landscape?

Janine Hirt, CEO, Innovate Finance

Janine will be a panelist on our Tuesday evening Executive Briefing: What Embedded Finance & Banking As A Service Mean For Banks – Can You Afford to Hold Back?

I will ask Janine about the future of Banking-as-a-Service and embedded finance in Europe. I’m looking forward to hearing her take on how the competitive landscape for service providers – beyond retailers and Big Tech – will evolve in this context.

Ken Hughes, Consumer Behaviouralist, The King of Customer Experience

Ken will deliver an Out of the Box Keynote Address Wednesday morning titled, Financing the Future: Preparing For The Customer Of Tomorrow.

I want to ask Ken about the Customer of Tomorrow. In what key ways will the customer of tomorrow differ from the customer of today?

I’m also looking forward to hearing his thoughts on customer-centric innovation and how traditional brands are adapting to new challenges and opportunties.

Valentina Kristensen, Director of Growth & Communications, OakNorth

Valentina will be part of our special panel titled, Women in Fintech: How Can We All Make Sure We Are Moving The Needle?

I would like to hear from Valentina on the evolution of DE&I initiatives in recent years. How effective have these efforts been in terms of attracting and retaining female talent, in particular?

I also want to learn from Valentina about how financial institutions can be more responsive to their female professionals as they move through various stages of their careers.

Manas Chawla, CEO, London Politica

Manas will provide a Keynote Address Wednesday morning titled, The Global Economic & Geo-Political Outlook – What Are The Five Things You Need To Know?

He will also deliver a special Fireside Chat: The Escalation of Geopolitical Risk – What Does It Mean for Banks And Their Customers? as part of our invitation-only session for financial institutions Monday evening.

Always an engaging interview, Manas is likely to have a lot to say about the myriad geopolitical issues that are dominating headlines in 2024. How will these various crises – from Europe to Asia to the Middle East to the American border – impact banks, fintechs, and financial services companies? I’m eager to hear what Manas has to say about all of it at FinovateEurope next week.

Jurgen Vandenbroucke, Managing Director, everyoneINVESTED

Jurgen will be a part of our Wednesday afternoon Power Panel titled, Tales From The Frontline – How Can Financial Institutions Deliver Excellent CX By Blending The Human & The Digital?

I want to talk with Jurgen about the impact of enabling technologies in the wealth management space. I’m curious how everyoneINVESTED is innovating in this area and what innovations in the investing experience are most compelling for customers in wealth management.

Nadia Edwards-Dashti, Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer, Harrington Star Group

Nadia will moderate our Wednesday morning panel titled, Women in Fintech: How Can We All Make Sure We Are Moving The Needle?

In our Finovate TV conversation, I want to talk with Nadia about how many of the people she talks with in her podcast, Women of Fintech, are driving positive change in fintech and financial services.

I would also like her opinion on what it takes for companies to create more inclusive workplaces for their employees.

Samantha Seaton, CEO, Moneyhub Enterprise

Samantha will deliver a Special Address Wednesday morning titled, Your Product Isn’t The Hero – Your Customer Is.

I’m eager to hear from Samantha about how companies in financial services can pivot from an emphasis on the product to a more customer-centric approach.

I’m also curious how she sees the impact of technologies like AI and the role they may play in helping financial services companies make this pivot. I also will ask Samantha about her overall sense of the state of fintech right now.

Stephen Hutchinson, Head of Operations, IFX Payments

A few years ago a venture capitalist reminded us from the Finovate stage that “payments are the gift that keeps giving.”

With that in mind, I’m looking forward to talking with someone who walks the payment talk in Stephen Hutchinson, Head of Operations at IFX Payments.

I will ask Stephen what payment trends he finds most exciting and how he believes those trends will impact IFX Payments. We will also talk about some of the key targets and goals for IFX Payments in 2024.

Jose Luis Navarro, Head of Open Banking Strategy, BBVA

Jose will be a panelist on our Wednesday afternoon Power Panel titled, From Open Banking to Open Finance & Beyond – How Can Banks Seize The Opportunity To Generate Returns?

Given the success of open banking and open finance in Europe compared to many other parts of the world (I’m looking at you, US of A!), I’m eager to learn from Jose about what’s working in Europe and how BBVA has managed to capitalize on current trends in open banking and open finance.

I also will ask about the regulatory risks of open banking and open finance, and what institutions need to know in order to navigate these issues.

Edwin van Bommel, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, ABN AMRO Bank

Edwin will be part of our Wednesday morning Power Panel: Finding New Opportunities Through Digital Transformation – Success Stories & Insights To Help Financial Institutions Find Growth, Drive Revenue & Future Proof Their Business.

In my conversation with Edwin, I’m looking forward to learning more about AMRO Bank’s product roadmap, and the degree to which he sees AI becoming a greater part of financial services overall. I also want to talk with Edwin about the challenge traditional banks have when it comes to overcoming legacy systems.

Katharina Lueth, Chief Client Officer and Managing Director, Raisin

Katharina will be part of our Wednesday morning Power Panel: Why Fintech Will Revolutionize Customer Experience & How Financial Services Providers Can Compete In A Hyper Personalized World. What Are They Key Lessons To Learn From Other Industry Verticals & From How Big Tech Companies Build Customer Trust?

How can a financial services company that operates in multiple geographies successfully provide personalized services in these different regions? What are some of the key trends in fintech that are impacting what Raisin’s customers want and how is Raisin adapting to meet these trends?

These are a few of the questions I’m looking forward to asking Katharina next week at FinovateEurope.

There’s still time to pick up your ticket and join us for one of the most loaded FinovateEurope conferences to date! Visit our FinovateEurope page and register today!

Photo by Donald Tong

Humanizing the Digital Experience: A Conversation with NCR Voyix’s Erin Wynn

Humanizing the Digital Experience: A Conversation with NCR Voyix’s Erin Wynn

We’re starting off our Women in Fintech series this year with a conversation with Erin Wynn. As Executive Director of Product Management at NCR Voyix, Wynn helps both community banks and credit unions form strategies to implement their digital transformation and product roadmap initiatives.

Wynn also works as a mentor and coach for the company’s internal pre-sales teams. In this role, she helps ensure that sales engineers, solution architects and business analysts are supporting NCR Digital Banking’s vision and solutions.

We caught up with Erin Wynn to talk about her own beginnings in fintech, as well as what she is learning from her customers and clients about the most important trends in our industry.

NCR Corporation changed its name to NCR Voyix in the fall of 2023 as the company spun-off its ATM-based business, known as NCR Atleos. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the company has 35,000 employees globally, and trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “VYX.” NCR has been a Finovate alum since 2015.

How did you get started in fintech? What has led you to where you are today in your career?

Erin Wynn: I began my career in 1998, working at a bank, where I got my first taste of fintech. I worked so closely with one of our vendors, Digital Insight, that I even went to work for them for a few years before a different opportunity presented itself. In the long run, however, I knew Digital Insight was my home, and I returned to them in 2012. Digital Insight was acquired by NCR Voyix’s Digital Banking platform in 2014, but has managed to keep the familial relationship that drew me back here.

My dedication to being a lifelong learner has led me to amazing opportunities, holding various positions within NCR Voyix. I look at every experience as a chance to be curious and learn something new. Whether it be from a client, a colleague, or a partner, I believe everyone has something valuable to share and learn from.

My passion and deep understanding for how our products work and helping financial institutions achieve success have been central to my growth. As the executive director of product management for Digital Banking at NCR Voyix, I lean into my banking experience to help community financial institutions develop strategies for implementing digital transformation and better support their consumers and communities. I empower them to help customers and members improve their financial wellness — a topic I’m especially enthusiastic about (and one that’s driven my career in banking!).

Which digital banking features and capabilities are most resonating with clients? What trends are top of mind for customers?

Wynn: A significant trend we’ve seen is centered around personalization, which really means reminding the consumer that you know and care about them; they’re not just another number. This means creating digital experiences that feel like they’re catered to each user. Financial institutions are realizing that they can’t just compete on low loan rates or high deposit rates. Even if that’s what got the consumer in the door, it won’t be what keeps them there. The financial institutions that emphasize building and maintaining relationships, as well as providing meaningful tools and support (such as financial wellness resources), will be better positioned for loyalty and success.

Another major trend I’ve seen is finding ways to increase overall efficiency. This can mean embracing more automation or researching ways to better maximize current staff and technology. Our clients, like most people, are looking for ways to simplify processes and quickly solve problems. For example, NCR Voyix can support marketing automation, an area of typically high turnover within institutions, helping banks and credit unions make every interaction count.

What has been the impact of AI on banks and credit unions and their accountholders? How should financial institutions begin to incorporate AI into their organizations?

Wynn: AI has notable potential. It can create personalized interactions with each consumer at scale and significantly increase efficiencies. AI can help institutions approach certain processes in different ways. For example, more institutions are using AI when it comes to lending decisions instead of solely relying on traditional factors.

However, when it comes to AI and, especially, generative AI, banks and credit unions should know that the technology is only as strong as the data and information behind it. There is a lot of work to train AI to make AI effective; it’s not a magic bullet. You must give it the right data and training to effectively work, while continuing to provide human oversight.

My advice for banks and credit unions who are considering how to use AI is to first ask themselves what they’re trying to accomplish. For example, is there more of a need to enhance back-office efficiencies? Or are they trying to offer different ways to support users? Don’t try to do everything all at once; it will be too much. Understand that it won’t be perfect from day one. You’re going to have to experiment and improve the AI along the way. 

What does it mean to effectively humanize digital experiences? How can banks and credit unions accomplish this?

Wynn: Effectively humanizing the digital experience means leading with empathy throughout the user experience on their phone or online. This could be something as simple as analyzing the language used in an error message. Evaluate everything with a person in mind; are you providing them with relevant information in a human way, making them feel comfortable and supported along the journey? Of course, personalization is also a major factor here, as well. Money and finances are extremely personal, and they need to be treated with care.

Data is a core factor when it comes to humanizing digital. Effectively leveraging data can uncover crucial consumer behaviors, channel preferences, transactional patterns, and key events in the consumer journey. Employing technologies like AI enables financial institutions to analyze this data more effectively, anticipating member behaviors and offering contextual assistance, such as tailoring their website content to specific needs.

Looking ahead, I expect banks and credit unions to prioritize looking for ways to incorporate more empathy and personalization within their platforms, which will drive relationships and loyalty with their consumers.

Are there any leadership tips that you would like to share with other strong females in a male dominated industry?

Wynn: It all comes down to confidence. Knowing your worth and intelligence goes a long way. Surround yourself with a strong group of women who lift you up and encourage you. When you start to see yourself the way others see you, you are more likely to take a risk in your career or feel more confident to speak up. Also, recognize what motivates and drives you, and know that it’s okay if those things change over time. Everyone constantly evolves in their journey, and you’re sure to learn something every step along the way.

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