Leda Writes for Fintech Futures: Romance in Plumbing

Dr Leda Glyptis 11:FS Foundry CEO
5min read

Every Thursday, Leda Glyptis, 11:FS Chief of Staff creates #LedaWrites. This week she turns her attention to the romance of plumbing and core banking. No, really.

For a long time I got very frustrated. The world started to change but the services we provided only went as far and as deep as our legacy systems and product monetisation strategies permitted. The fundamental mathematics of banking stayed the same: even though regulatory barriers to entry were lowered, the technical ones weren’t.

But what can you do? What options do you have?

The way things used to be is no longer an acceptable reason for anything. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

Challengers are emerging. Across the board and increasingly, finally, core banking, long-deemed too boring for innovation, too big for experimentation, too creaky and slow for hope. It was the thing that limited us, the thing that held us back.

We (at 11:FS Foundry) are not the only people hoping to shake up core banking. And that’s a good thing. Competition is a good thing, first of all. More of us thinking about solving a certain thorny problem is a very good thing. We directly and indirectly push each other to do and be better. That is a very good thing.

But also the more of us working in the space, the faster the narrative will change, the sooner “the way things used to be” will cease to matter. And for someone like me, who likes a little bit of dramatic grandstanding, it is a great time to be a plumber.

We need infrastructure for a real-time world but for a long time we tried to slow the world down because we just didn’t have the right infrastructure. Infrastructure that allows us to stand up digitally native propositions. Infrastructure that pushes our ambitions, and doesn’t limit them.

It doesn’t need to take five years or $200 million to stand up a ledger. And it matters that the service is not slow or expensive. It matters that we offer access. It matters that we finally democratise finance: at all levels.

It matters, so we are doing it. We are doing it with Foundry. But we are not alone.

There are others fighting the good fight. We are on the same side, we fight for the same things: utilities are meant to be huge, functional, taken-for-granted and expected to work for the betterment of life.

Just like plumbing.

Maybe that’s not romantic to you. But to me, it’s my little slice of resistance. My own battle for freedom. Core banking infrastructure that enables real time capability building, at a lower cost and in a matter of minutes rather than years, is my little way of doing that.

Maybe they won’t make a movie about transforming core banking and democratising access to finance – for people, for challengers, for incumbents who want to change the rules. But every step in that direction is a step away from the dystopian future of immense inequality and polarisation we all fear.

Even if I don’t get to deliver a dramatic speech about what never happened, it helps me sleep at night, to know we are united by purpose.

And we are not alone.

Read the whole story at Fintech Futures.