A discussion about collaboration and trust a couple of weeks ago in London could not have benefited from better timing. During the Innovate Finance Global Summit, we were featured in a panel showcasing trust and collaboration. Together with our partner Liesbeth Righter from Moneyou, as well as representatives from NorthRow and Toronto Financial Services alliance, we were on stage in front of 350 engaged attendees, elaborating around the collaborative economy and who you can trust. A discussion that evolved around the following topics: FinTechs need to be more efficient in the way they collaborate with other actors and need to have better ways to promote trust.
Bankable and Moneyou together built a fully digital bank in the record timespan of 6 months – something that was made possible thanks to our focus on building a mutual partnership through transparency, trust and collaboration.
During the panel, Eric, CEO and Founder of Bankable recommended that one of the keys to nurture collaboration is to be organised for partnerships, highlighting the procurement process. With Moneyou, we had one single interface, which enabled us to move fast and made it possible to deploy a solution within 6 months.
However, Eric admits that not all procurement processes have been as swift as the one set up with Moneyou. In several processes, we have had to project-manage our own vendor approval. “But it’s not that I don’t like it, this is just how it is. It’s a challenge to work with large corporations, but that’s what we are organised for and we have a strong board behind us to support our mission. If I didn’t like what I did, I would make pizza instead. There are no regulations in that.”
How do you get to collaboration?
“It’s about culture. There are people in a bank with a collaborative mindset, but the culture of the bank is generally not collaborative. That’s why I like to work with start-ups and scale-ups”, says Adrian Black, CEO of NorthRow.
“We try to find the intrapreneurs of companies, people who do the same job that we do. They are here to change their company and we are here to help them. We don’t say ‘Dear client, let’s meet in 5 years, after you spent billions on replacing your core banking system’ We say, ‘Let’s start now, let’s do a pilot to start seeing transactions’”, says Eric Mouilleron, at Bankable.
“Liesbeth, we met 2 years ago, 1 year later we had a solution ready. So, there is hope, we can move fast with banks”, Eric continued.
What are the keys to collaboration?
“Trust is something you must gain from your customers and partners. It comes down to being true to what you do and being truthful in how you communicate it. If all of this is consistent, you can be faster and lean – then you can really start working together. The organisational structures are there to make it complicated, but we (Moneyou) are trying to make it lean again. One way of doing this is to take it in smaller units and compartments and change it from there.” Liesbeth Rigther, CEO of Moneyou.
“Traditionally people trust banks because they have the authority as an organisation. But I think this is about to change. And we all have to learn to deal with what happens when their trust disappears” Liesbeth Rigter, CEO Moneyou continues.
Have FinTechs really changed the stagnant infrastructure?
“It’s consumer demands that will determine the change. But already today 85% of banks know they will partner with FinTechs. It’s down to how quick you can shift due to regulations” said Jenifer Reynolds, Toronto Financial Services Alliance.
“We don’t know what banking will develop into, but it’s time to start finding that out. I really think that all this pioneering and exploring will lead to new business models, and when the market is open, the banks will have to change too.” Said Liesbeth Rigter, CEO Moneyou.
How can banks adapt rather than being protective?
“It used to be hard to set up a bank, but it’s not that hard anymore. Now it’s easier to introduce new competitive financial services solutions”, said Adrian Black, CEO at NorthRow.
“85% of the IT budget in a bank goes to maintain the legacy system. But I’m not too hostile against legacy, since that shows you have a history. When we work with incumbents; we take legacy into account but we’re not converting the whole thing. You need to adapt, or you don’t stay. The real issue is the management of the banks as many bank managers today are close to retirement. You’re not going to innovate near retirement, this is when you want to make sure that your package is the best it can be. The layer underneath top management can be dangerous too, they are the ones that made the legacy system, and they don’t want to change something they built”, said Eric Mouilleron, CEO at Bankable.
“I met a bank executive a couple of days ago, he told me that he doesn’t want to hire anyone over 40”, Jennifer Reynolds at Toronto Financial Services Alliance, reacted to the fact that an employee close to retirement will not innovate.
“We are developing with customers that are below 40 years old. If you want to innovate you need the customers under 40, because they grew up with the phone in your hand and they don’t know a world without internet. To be honest, our customers over 40 are too nice to us!”, Liesbeth Rigter at Moneyou answered.
“I employ loads of millennials, they show me things that I couldn’t imagine. We need diversity since that is also how our clients look and what they look for. Diversity is good for business!” Eric Mouilleron, CEO and Founder at Bankable finished.