Financial inclusion is a global issue. In fact, it's probably more global than most of us think. Even in developed markets like the UK, US and Western Europe, there are huge numbers of unbanked people.
Pockit, a UK-based neobank, is addressing that problem in the UK. Launched in 2014 and currently serving 123,000 customers, Pockit is making a profound impact on the lives of a huge number of financially underserved individuals.
Virraj Jatania, Founder and CEO of Pockit, joins us in Episode 21 to talk through the problem they're solving and the strategies they're employing to do so.
We get into the economics of "neobanks," non-bank fintechs that leverage third-party authorizations to offer bank-like products.
Let us know what you think on Twitter @rebankpodcast or @will_beeson.
We hope you enjoy today's episode.
Episode 19 is a special one. We're celebrating the year-end with a long-overdue dive into some of the key concepts that have found their way across multiple episodes to date.
We've interviewed some of the most noteworthy founders, investors, thinkers and doers in fintech & banking innovation over the past few months. Their insight and analysis will see us well into 2017 and beyond, so we're hunkering down over the holiday break to dig into it in detail.
In Part 1 of our exploration, we break down our conversations with:
Jeff Tijssen (@jefftijssen)
Skylar Lyon (@skyyhigh)
Jason Bates (@jasonbates)
Chris Skinner (@chris_skinner)
Faisal Khan (@babushka99)
Alex Tapscott (@alextapscott)
Slava Solodkiy (@slavasolodkiy)
Duena Blomstrom (@duenablomstrom)
We couldn't be more thankful for the wonderful guests we've had on the show so far.
Word of caution: We dug out some of our earliest episodes, so please bear with us on the audio quality. We were still learning!
Let us know what you think @rebankpodcast @will_beeson.
Brett King (@brettking) is a bestselling author and was voted Innovator of the Year for 2012 by American Banker. Since 2010 Brett has released 5 Global Bestselling books, including Bank 2.0, Branch Today – Gone Tomorrow, Bank 3.0, Breaking Banks and his latest Augmented. His books have topped bestseller charts for banking in 18 countries and have been translated into 9 languages.
David Robson leads IBM's Watson business in the European financial services sector.
Perhaps the world's most recognizable AI system (after HAL 9000), IBM's Watson is live across multiple industries and is using artificial intelligence to solve hard, real world problems.
For the uninitiated: Watson is a cognitive computer that can read, understand, reason and engage with humans in support of a broad range of knowledge workers including medicine, banking and insurance.
David has been working with Watson for two years, advising banks and insurance companies on how to deploy cognitive technology within their operations.
For more on Watson, follow them on Twitter @ibmwatson or visit www.ibm.com/watson.
Devie Mohan is a prominent fintech writer, speaker and commentator. Devie is the co-founder and CEO of Burnmark, a fintech research company established in partnership with Berlin-based FinLeap. She is also a market strategist and UK coordinator with FinLeap.
Throughout the course of her career, Devie has helped numerous banks, startups, innovation groups and investors understand the trends in fintech, helping them set their corporate, marketing and investment strategies. She is an adamant proponent of a fintech ecosystem in which banks and startups collaborate to drive innovation.
Devie is featured on several fintech influencer lists, including the CityAM FinTech Powerlist and the SWIFT-Innotribe Power Women in FinTech list, to name just two.
Oaknorth is a startup bank in the UK.
Joel Perlman, Oaknorth's co-founder, is a UK-based serial entrepreneur.
After starting his career at McKinsey, Joel eventually left to co-found Copal Partners, a financial research outsourcing company with his business partner, Rishi Khosla. Over a period of 12 years, they grew the business to almost 3,000 people before selling it to Moody's in 2014.
Subsequently, Joel and Rishi founded OakNorth, a new UK bank focused on lending to entrepreneurs and mid-sized growth companies. From an outsider's perspective, OakNorth seems to approach banking in a pragmatic, entrepreneurial way, seeking cost effective, non-traditional ways to deliver value for customers and outcompete incumbent banks.
Formally launched in 2015, OakNorth is to date the only completely new UK bank to break even, doing so in an amazing 11 months.
APIs and banking as a platform will revolutionize banking.
This week we’ve got a special two part edition, with two guests who represent arguably the future of banking and financial services technology.
Martin Häring is the Chief Marketing Officer of Misys (www.misys.com), a global core banking provider that recently opened its systems to third party development, in yet another sign that the industry is moving toward an API-connected, platform model.
I think Misys is doing revolutionary work, and it’s good to see an established organization–a stalwart of global banking systems–taking the lead with such an innovative move. I think it’s reflective of the way fintech is going, the way banking is going, the way financial services is going, and the way technology is going more broadly.
We’ve also got Myles Stephenson, CEO of Modulr (www.modulrfinance.com), a UK fintech building out a robust, plug-and-play payments platform to support corporates and fintechs looking to gain more efficient access to payment systems in the UK, above and beyond what’s offered by the banks. Myles has a really interesting take on where the industry is going in terms of systems architecture and platformification.
I think the two guests, the two interviews, support each other nicely and really reinforce this broad based push toward wholly new systems architecture.
As always, tweet at us @rebankpodcast and tweet at me directly @will_beeson to share your thoughts and continue the conversation.
Duena Blomstrom is an independent digital banking consultant, entrepreneur, VC, speaker and, in her words, "uncomfortably opinionated blogger."
For the past 18 years, Duena has worked across Telco and Finance on strategy and consulting for sales and marketing, including a 5-year stint as Head of Sales and Marketing for Meniga. During her time at Meniga, the company went from being a tiny Icelandic start-up to a market leader in customer engagement.
Duena works at the intersection of technology and behavioral science. She's passionate about helping banks transition from thinking product set to thinking customer needs. She's a regular guest on blogs and podcasts including Breaking Banks, and we're lucky to have her with us today.
Michael O’Connor is a fintech & banking advisor and investor with extensive experience analyzing, structuring and investing in banking and financial services deals.
Before going independent earlier this year, Michael was a portfolio manager looking at credit and banking transactions for Arrowgrass Capital Partners, a prominent, London-based, financial services-focused alternative investment fund. Prior to Arrowgrass, Michael was a founding partner at Portman Capital Partners, where he advised UKFI and HM Treasury on alternative disposal strategies for UK government-owned banking assets. Michael has also worked in various senior roles at GLG Partners, Polygon Investment Partners, Deutsche Bank and ABN Amro.
Michael is a superbly sharp, thoughtful guy with keen insight into where banking and fintech are going and why.
Slava Solodkiy founded Life.SREDA, a fintech-focused VC fund, in 2012 and has been running it ever since. Life.SREDA 1, which was focused on A-rounds in the US and Europe, invested $40m in 13 companies including Fidor, Moven, Simple, Anthemis, SumUp and Rocketbank.
In November 2014, Life.SREDA launched its second fund, a $100m fund focused on B-rounds in Asia. So far, fund 2 has invested in companies including Fastacash, Mobikon, Lenddo, Ayannah and SoftPay. Life.SREDA also runs a $100m global blockchain fund.
Slava and his team at Life.SREDA also regularly produce amazing fintech reports, including Money of the Future, which I'd highly recommend anyone with an interest in the space check out.
Alex Tapscott is a globally recognized thought-leader, advocate, speaker and writer focused on the impact of emerging technologies on business, society and government.
Alex is the co-author of the critically acclaimed best-seller, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World. He is the author of dozens of articles featured in publications such as TIME, Harvard Business Review, The McKinsey Quarterly, Forbes, Fortune, Quartz, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and The Huffington Post.
Alex is the Founder and CEO of Northwest Passage Ventures, a consulting firm focused on early-stage high growth companies. Alex is a passionate and vocal advocate for innovation, entrepreneurship and civic engagement.
Faisal Khan, a veritable payments & remittances guru, joins us for the show today.
Faisal is a banking and payments consultant providing advisory services to banks, financial services companies and startups. He specializes is cross-border money transfer and all aspects of the value-chain associated with it, across B2B, B2C and C2C. Faisal has extensive knowledge in the design, integration & operation of payment networks and systems for international money transmission.
Two things set Faisal apart in this space in my mind: his practical knowledge, based on extensive, on-the-ground research across the developed and developing worlds, and the depth of his knowledge around licensing, regulatory frameworks, and compliance.
Faisal is extremely active on Quora as well at his own content-rich website faisalkhan.com. He is also on Twitter @babushka99.
Chris Skinner is one of the world's most authoritative voices on the future of banking.
Chris is a writer, speaker, analyst and commentator covering all things digital banking. Chris has published multiple books on the future of banking and fintech, including most recently ValueWeb, which in Chris's own words explores "the open-sourcing of financial services using apps, analytics, APIs...and blockchain."
Chris is on the Advisory Boards of a number of companies including Innovate Finance, Moven and Meniga. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand, Next Bank, City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance. The Wall Street Journal named Chris one of "The Top 40 Fintech Influencers Globally." If that wasn't enough, Seth Wheeler, Brookings Guest Scholar and Former Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House, called Chris “one of the most authoritative voices on Fintech anywhere.”