We had a talk with Galia Elizondo, Principal Solution Consultant Trade and Cash Management at Finastra on the topic Banks & Fintech. Galia emphasizes the importance of cooperation and utilizing on each other’s strengths. How can that be improved in the future and where do we stand in 5 years’ time in terms of using each other’s strengths?
Please tell us a little bit more about who you are and your background.
My name is Galia Elizondo, I was born in Mexico, however spent the beginning of my professional career in Madrid, Spain.
As a transactional banking professional with over ten years’ experience, I have a strong background within the corporate banking sector. I bring the depth of experience earned whilst working for Banco Santander, implementing payments around the world, tailored with the time spent as a product manager for global liquidity management, to my current role as a solution consultant.
Focused on cash, liquidity and payment management within Europe; I work with both banks and non-banking financial institutions as well as the wider partner ecosystem, to ensure the best cash and payments proposition from initiation to settlement.
I strongly believe that what underpins any engagement beyond the technology, is collaboration and that effective engagement management is as powerful as the solution being delivered.
What do you believe will be the main discussion point at this year’s conference and why?
The program has so many topics that are interesting in the current environment, however apart from the Banks and FinTech’s, leveraging on each other’s strengths which is my focus today. I would say that the payments discussion – “how to build the Nordic payment infrastructure of the future” is particularly attractive.
Looking at the future is inspiring, payments which are vital for the economy have been shaken by continuous innovation, price pressure, regulation, and the different players (new entrants vs traditional) are re-shaping the payment infrastructure. API – enabled Open Banking and PSD2, we are seeing a greater adoption of immediate payments; it would be particularly interesting to listen how the Nordic payment infrastructure is being shaped by these changes in the market.
You are talking about banks and fintech at the conference. Why is that an important topic today?
When discussing about innovation we have to talk about FinTech’s. Over the years we have seen an explosion of new fintech entrants and their sudden rise may have been a necessary wake up call for banks to adapt to underlying trends in financial services.
At the beginning banks saw FinTech’s as a threat to their market positions, but today they are seen as opportunities to provide new ideas, new models. Banks and FinTech’s have different strengths and goals.
Treasurers are seeking access to banking products and services via APIS, they are looking to have access to real time payments and they are looking for a connection with other banks and fintech services providers
Banks have started offering many connectivity points for book-keeping platforms, payment service providers, insurance market infrastructures and many trading venues to cater for Treasurer’s requirements, but they are not doing this alone they are partnering with Fintech’s who offer a fresh, agile and innovative approach to problem-solving.
How do banks and fintech companies leverage on each other’s strength today? How can that be improved for the future do you believe?
With the FinTech’s fresh approach to problem solving, combining this with the transaction banks’ industry expertise and their customer knowledge we can have better results than those delivered by either party working in isolation.
Certainly, Fintech’s have brought new levels of innovation across financial services for the benefit of all stakeholders – especially the customer – and this can only be a good thing.
Banks are increasingly choosing for the partnership model with FinTech’s instead of the buy versus build strategies. In the future FinTech’s and banks will need to continually improve these partnership models as a joint idea generation, client validations, setting up new business models in order to equally benefit from. Meaning that they will learn and develop together.
Where do you think we stand in 5 years’ time in terms of using each other strengths? What will have changed the most from today?
As we look for the future, we look at a fragmented arena, but banks are still and will remain those trusted partners and Fintech’s will continue to provide new levels of innovation. I think that cooperation with FinTech’s will no longer be a nice to have but a need to have for Banks.
Banking will continue opening up to all the industries and changing the traditional view of what banking means. Corporates are going to consider how they interact with their financial institutions.
The question is who are they buying financial services from? Would it be a Fintech or a Bank? Would they even mind? Maybe in the payments area, corporates will go for non banks and maybe some services will go to other distributers. One thing for sure is that using each other’s strengths will be key to deliver better services for customers.