5 Insights from Under The Hood

 Sankaet Pathak photo
Sankaet Pathak CEO, Synapse
5min read

The last episode of Under The Hood, the podcast series with 11:FS that took a deep dive into the banking infrastructure that is disrupting traditional banking models and shaking up the system, has been released. And looking back, I realise how many great conversations we’ve had.

While planning the series, we wanted to be sure we didn’t gloss over the details, especially around the technology. Changes in the vast financial services ecosystem are being fueled by innovation that comes from modern technology, so we wanted to be sure we explained both the why and the how of the topics, and answer deeper questions like:

  • How does legacy technology hold traditional banks back?

  • How does card issuing technology actually work?

  • When and how do partnerships go wrong?

  • What do banks and fintechs need to provide to satisfy customer demands?

Once we started production, delving into industries like payments, card issuance, lending, and BaaS, it became clear that to have rich discussions about the opportunities and challenges within these industries, we also needed to explore how to make products, systems, and ecosystems. Thankfully, our expert guests made it easy to make those connections.

We covered a lot of ground with this podcast, shining a light on industries that have been opaque for many fintech professionals until now. Here are the 5 key insights I’d like to highlight that will give you a good sense of the scope and depth of the podcast:

BaaS partnerships are mitigating the time, money, and compliance challenges to help fintechs bring innovative products to market faster.

1. Payments are still evolving at a rapid pace

During episode 2 we welcomed Nick Ogden of Worldpay and now RTGS Global and Craig J. Lewis, founder, and CEO of Gig Wage. Together we explored the landscape of today’s payments environment and how the impact of technology on the very core of payments will bring even more change in the future. We decided that bi-directional communication and speed will be the two most important aspects of change from a consumer’s perspective.

2. Banking as a Service (BaaS) is powering a new generation of financial products for fintechs without banking licenses

During episode 3 we focused on what you can and cannot do with a banking license and the difficulty and expense of securing one. Our knowledgeable guests Joanne Dewar, CEO, Global Processing Services (GPS), and Teo Blidarus, Founder and CEO at FintechOS, and Siddharth Verma, co-founder of OnJuno explained how it’s possible not to have a banking license and offer finance products. We went on to discuss how BaaS partnerships are mitigating the time, money, and compliance challenges to help fintechs bring innovative products to market faster.

3. Rich data is fueling the disruption in lending

During episode 5 we explore the popularity of lending applications in fintech, noting that many applications are pursuing a mission to improve the financial lives of consumers and businesses. Our guests, Melanie Aliperti, Head of Product at Nova Credit, and Tucker Haas, CEO at Quo helped us unpack the various lending models in play today, the routes to starting a lending product if you’re not a bank, and the new algorithms that are changing the meaning of credit checks.

4. Card issuing is central for fintech entrepreneurs and their brands

During episode 7 Simon and I were joined by guests Shaun Puckrin, Chief Product Officer at Global Processing Services, and Edoardo Volta, VP, Head of Fintechs at Mastercard to discuss the changing landscape of card issuance. We started off noting the dramatic change in the timeline to issue cards, from 12-18 months to as little as 6 weeks today. We reviewed the technology, and how the major players and niche players all work together. We discussed why cards are so popular with fintech entrepreneurs highlighting their superior payment flexibility and branding.

5. Strategic partnerships will be integral to success moving forward During episode 9 we talked about why banks partner and how a partner’s technology can integrate with bank tech to the advantage of both parties. Our guests Roisin Levine, Head of Banks at Flux, and Hrishi Dixit, CTO at Yieldstreet discuss the difference between partnering with a legacy bank and a challenger bank from a technology and data perspective, and the factors that make a good partnership including focus, time to market, compliance, and ongoing management, maintenance, and upkeep.

Fintech entrepreneurs and legacy banks alike will be looking for new ways to grow and leverage customer relationships.

These insights are by no means the only highlights coming from the booming fintech ecosystem that we cover in the podcast, but they’re a good representation of the dynamism that nearly every sector is displaying today.

With the global adoption of fintech applications on the rise, the pressure to resolve the technology, data challenges and take advantage of growth opportunities will accelerate. Fintech entrepreneurs and legacy banks alike will be looking for new ways to grow and leverage customer relationships.

It’s an exciting time in fintech and I’m happy that we had the opportunity to detail some of the great partnerships and technologies enabling the industry.

You can listen to Under the Hood here.

Special thanks to Carla McMorris for her help with this blog post.