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Top Takeaways from Senior Finance and Fintech Leaders: Data, Relationships, Resiliency, and Growth

March 30, 2023|0 min read
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In our latest edition of Riff on a Lift, we brought together CEOs, fintech investors, innovators, and financial industry leaders to explore the trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the financial industry. 

Below are a few top takeaways from the conversations in this near a lift edition due to record-breaking snow. Be sure to register to watch all of these discussions, including a special session added from MX CEO Jim Magats and Jane Barratt, Chief Commercial Officer, Financial Institutions, about recent events and what it means for the industry. 

Fuel growth with data. It can be easy to overlook existing consumer data as a resource for driving the next iteration of apps or services, when it might actually be your best competitive advantage. Michelle Felice-Steele, Vice President of Commercial Product at Experian Consumer Services shares, “putting the consumer in control of their data is paramount” and uncovers new use cases. This allowed Experian to add cash-flow data as tradelines to consumer files.

Focus on relationships, not transactions. “It’s time to move from transactional to relationship-based banking, help them plan based on their behavior and goals,” explains Liz Wolverton, Executive Vice President of Consumer Banking and Brand Experience at Synovus. MX research shows that 1 in 4 consumers don’t feel financial providers do enough to support their needs. Financial institutions and fintechs have an opportunity to become trusted partners to drive better outcomes for both consumers and their business.  

Build for peaks to create lasting, scalable products. Build for peak usage through resiliency, redundancy, and fault-tolerant problems. “We’ve had to build an architecture that is able to withstand high-spike events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday because when a merchant or a consumer is trying to pay with a card, they need that to be available. They don’t want to be at the point of sale terminal and have it be denied,” shared Andrew Lee, Head of New Financial Products at Stripe. It’s also critical to have strong alignment with partners in terms of risk tolerance, oversight, and how the products will be operated in order to succeed at scale.

Don’t build just a great company, build an enduring one. Jordan Wright, Co-founder and CEO of Atomic acknowledges, “to fulfill a mission, you must be around to see it through.” Organizational resilience is built through challenging, often fearful times. Energy and innovation flow in these moments. MX CEO Jim Magats advises, “be comfortable with the ambiguity that you don’t know what the next problem will be but we will figure it out.” 

Be pragmatic as you plan. The fintech growth boom of 2021 has subsided and while returning to 2020 funding levels can feel jarring, investors are still interested in fintech. “There’s a renewed interest in investing in infrastructure,” assures Dan Rosen, partner at Commerce Ventures adding, “core modernization is critical to the future of fintech.” Mike Zappert, Partner at TPG, also noted the ongoing innovation in payments and “anything that unbundles traditional banking” as categories interesting investors. No matter the category, be sure to give yourself plenty of runway to accomplish your next milestone. 

Be sure to check out the full conversations from our latest edition of Riff on a Lift.

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