Embrace change, take risks, and disrupt yourself

Hosted by top 5 banking and fintech influencer, Jim Marous, Banking Transformed highlights the challenges facing the banking industry. Featuring some of the top minds in business, this podcast explores how financial institutions can prepare for the future of banking.

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Can Traditional Banks Keep Up With Payments Transformation?

The increasing scale and pace of change has been a constant characteristic of the payments landscape, driven by rapidly changing customer expectations and new technologies. The ability to deliver on these expectations, however, is still very much work in progress.

Payments is an important element of a bank’s overall value proposition. More than ever, financial institutions must adapt new partnership strategies and operating models, while focused on building unique differentiation.

Our guest on the Banking Transformed podcast is Matthew Wilcox, President of Digital Payments and Data Aggregation at Fiserv. He discusses the evolving opportunities and challenges available in today’s payments ecosystem.

This Episode of Banking Transformed is sponsored by FIS

From super apps and crypto to embedded finance and financial inclusion, we’re a long way away from the world of cash and checks. That’s why FIS has reimagined The Global Payments Report. The Global Payments Report makes it easy to understand what your consumers want now – and in the future.

FIS experts talk through the trends transforming payments and what they mean for your business. FIS also gives you an in-depth view of how consumers pay when shopping online and at the point of sale in more than 40 markets, along with the latest insights into real-time payments trends.

Discover how the latest payments technologies could affect your business. Get your report today by visiting fisglobal.com/gpr.

This episode of Banking Transformed is sponsored by mParticle.

mParticle believes that better decisions start with better data. Cleanse, visualize, and connect your customer data from any source or system to any API. Better data, better decisions, better outcomes. Visit mparticle.com for more.

Jim Marous:
Hello, and welcome to Banking Transformed. I'm your host, Jim Marous, owner and CEO of the Digital Banking Report and co-publisher of The Financial Brand. The increasing scale and pace of change has been a constant characteristic of the payments landscape driven by rapidly changing customer experience, expectations and new technologies. The ability to deliver on these expectations however, is still very much a work in progress. Payments is an important element of a bank's overall you proposition. More than ever, financial institutions must adapt new partnership strategies and operating models, while being focused on building unique differentiation. Our guest today on the Banking Transformed Podcast is Matthew Wilcox, President of Digital Payments and Data Aggregation at Fiserv.

Jim Marous:
He discusses the evolving opportunities and challenges available in today's payment ecosystem. While strategies vary by organization, when Fiserv asked about the relative importance and priority of payments within financial institutions overall value proposition, 84% of respondents said that payments are a critical element of their institution's value proposition. This suggests that opposed to be purely a transactional product line, payments are an important brand differentiator and link between the financial institution and its clients. Welcome to show Matt. It's been a very long time since we've gotten together and it's hard to believe we've known each other for more than a decade, well over a decade. For those who may not know, can you provide our listeners with a short background around yourself?

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah. Jim, thank you so much. Always great to see you. Great friend, and always great to have dialogue with you because you're so tapped into everything that's going on. I've been in financial services, coming up on 25 years now, hard to believe, but started my work at a financial institution here in Salt Lake, Zion's Bank Corporation, spent 15, 16 years there doing a variety of things. I was there during the transition really, to digital and got to experience that wave with a financial institution and then the importance that they placed on payments. And then that led me to Fiserv where I've been here the last 9 years or so, in a variety of roles, primarily in digital and payments and now with the great honor of leading our digital payments organization here.

Jim Marous:
First of all, there's probably no area in banking obviously, that has seen more transformation since the pandemic, than payments. What has been some of the most dramatic changes that you've seen in the past two years?

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah, there's been a lot of change in the last two years, even last three or four, but you think about everybody was waiting for the year of P to P and we finally had Zelle make its introduction and that led to Cash App and Venmo and that led to really the impetus of real-time payments. And so now real-time payments is somewhat mainstream and there's lots of work going on with real-time. We've seen a lot around integration and the integration of not just payments, but payments into the digital ecosystem. And Jim, I read all the time about the things that banks are doing great and the things that banks aren't doing so well on. And a lot of times they have all the content, but are they integrating the of content into the right consumer experience?

Matthew Wilcox:
And so we're seeing a lot of work and effort and investment on that, creating really that control tower experience for all of your payments. As you know, consumers, they don't want to go to their bank to just pay a bill or use Zelle or make a transfer, they want to be able to go and have and manage all of their finances in one place. We've seen the movement of data. So you talk about real-time and the speed of payment, now the inflow of real-time data and more of that advisory approach to financial services.

Matthew Wilcox:
And then I think the last thing that has been around the last two years, but has really started to make its way the latter part of last year and a lot in this year, is around cryptocurrency. And I know you guys had an article recently in Financial Brand around, is it really a currency or is it an investment tool? And we're seeing a lot of interest from in the financial services industry and merchants to accept it as a form of payment or for banks to offer some services around crypto. So that's ultimately, a real-time payment mechanism or could be a real-time payment mechanism. So the industry is afloat and awesome and it's moving quickly and really moving at the pace that I think it needs to move in to keep up with all of the pace and change that's going around financial services.

Jim Marous:
Well, it's interesting, we talk a lot about the customer experience and all the changes that are going on on the front end of what people see and feel. But even more change is going on on the back end, as people try to modernize their back office for the future payments. Can you share some of the major initiatives that you're seeing the forerunners doing that are keeping them up to speed or trying to keep up to speed with all that's going on in the payments marketplace?

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah, so we're seeing a lot of automation in the back end. So there's lots of processes in the back office that believe it or not, are still a lot of manual processes that are taking place. And you just can't have all of that when you think about fraud and risk. And so as payments move and it gets quicker and speed of payment gets faster, the bad guys are quick too, and the money goes out and there's exposure around that. And so we're seeing a lot of back office work around automation. There's a lot of AI being driven into the back office, more algorithms for fraud and risk protection. We're seeing the leaders recognize that they can't solve for a ubiquitous payment experience on their own and so we're seeing back offices connect to multiple networks. There's multiple rails being stood up as you know, with TCH and RTP with the FedNow, Visa and MasterCard have done a lot of work.

Matthew Wilcox:
And so in order to accelerate the evolution of the back office, you've got to tap into all of those other ecosystems and we're seeing work being done in connectivity in the back office. And then I think we're just seeing centralizing all of the applications. We're seeing more, what I would call, layers around core banking systems to allow easier access and connectivity into the core ecosystem. The core has been sort of this moat for providers, like Fiserv, for a long period of time, whether you're FIS or Jack or whoever you might be. And we have to accelerate the connectivity into those cores for other applications. And so there's work being done by providers, but financial institutions have to do some of the legwork, as well.

Jim Marous:
You know, you're nothing, if not point blank honest about all these things and the financial institutions are always talking to a good game about building a better customer experience. Do you see most of the back office changing, really focusing on gaining efficiencies or genuinely trying to improve the customer experience?

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah, I think it's both. I think the start was with efficiency and you remember lots of conversation that we had around digital and it was always around, well, it's a lower cost to serve or it's a self-service tool and you and I would always laugh. It's like, "I don't know anybody that wants to be self-served, you want full service regardless of the channel or experience that you're having with your institution." So I think we as financial institutions, and I'll include myself in that, because that was the angle that I played, we went for efficiency, it was lower cost. So therefore, we should invest in these channels because it's lower cost to serve. Now, it's about this supreme experience that you need to offer, that's really table stakes. People often joke that you can order and get toilet paper from Amazon faster than you can send money to Jim Marous.

Matthew Wilcox:
And you just can't have that anymore and the expectations are high. And I think now some of the work in the back offices are realizing gains efficiencies, but creates a better experience just by putting in more fraud and risk tools and automating that in the backend and the verification pieces, that makes a better experience for the consumer. Having connectivity to other networks, to allow for real-time use cases to take place in lots of different ways, creates efficiency, but creates a better experience. So I do believe it started with efficiency and continues to be efficiency gains, but it really has to lean in on the consumer experience.

Jim Marous:
So, it's interesting. I was talking about your research study, but your most recent research study also found a surprising lack of prioritization of technology refresh and focus on compliance. Could this be an indicator that financial institutions have finally accepted the compliance and technology investments are basically table stakes? And that while they're still very important, they don't take the prioritization structure when you say, what do I have to focus on changing? It's really more of a keep it going. Is that what we're seeing?

Matthew Wilcox:
Jim, I think you nailed it. I think that the dollars that we see being invested into technology, infrastructure and compliance, and I'll put cyber in that as well, is significant. It's massive, the number of investments. And I think what you're seeing now, when you talk to financial institutions or we survey them, they're listing their top five priorities, is the incremental things that they need to go do and compliance and technology investment has become more table stakes. And you know as well as I do, there's a lot of onus that falls on Fiserv and others, to do a lot of that investment on behalf of the financial institutions, but the financial institutions have put it into their plans. It's an, always on priority, is the way I'd put it.

Jim Marous:
Yeah. And your research also found that payments, as I mentioned earlier, are a critical element of a value proposition that a financial institution has and they're seen as a key differentiator for the future. That said, financial institutions sat on their laurels for a extraordinarily long time, as fintech organizations pretty much ate their lunch in the payment space, the PayPals, virtually any provider out there, really made great headway in providing payment solutions, but also in capturing all the data that goes along with payments. Now, financial institutions are playing a game of catch up. Can financial institutions actually catch up to what's being done by those organizations that stole both share of mind and share of wallet?

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah. I mean, and as we talked about many times and we pushed and poked on getting the financial institutions to not just think about owning the customer or client relationship but owning that payment relationship. For far too long, they were okay to be that settlement account behind the scenes for these fintechs because these fintechs weren't actually moving the money on their own, they were relying on a financial institution behind the scenes.

Jim Marous:
Right.

Matthew Wilcox:
But the consumer didn't care. Right? They wanted the supreme experience. And I do think financial institutions fell behind and we take some of that responsibility because we need to be more forceful and proactive in creating those experiences. I do think financial institutions can catch up. And I think it goes back to the conversation, the question you just asked around compliance and cyber and fraud and risk and protection. I think they're losing ground here, but I still think the strength of financial institutions is the protection of the consumer and I still believe the consumer still believes that. And I think that will always give the opportunity for the financial institution to catch up. But the window is shrinking and the window is shrinking, not just because they're not moving fast enough, it's that those fintechs that you just talked about, didn't stop. Right?

Jim Marous:
Right, right.

Matthew Wilcox:
They're now moving into what you would consider traditional banking products, checking accounts, they're offering cards. And so it's not just about capturing that data, although they don't want to lose that data, they could lose share of wallet now to these folks and it started with payments. Payments was the impetus to fintechs getting into the consumer's wallet. And now it's up to the banks to play catch up, but I do believe that they can catch up.

Jim Marous:
Well, the whole concept to catching up also, as you mentioned, plays into the whole dynamic of fraud and financial crime that continues to grow both in scale and the importance of financial institutions and to the regulators, obviously. How is the industry and more importantly, providers like Fiserv, working to stay ahead of this problem that only seems to be getting worse?

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah. I will say, our level of investment in fraud and risk in cyber crimes and the tools that we have in place from a scanning perspective, are significant. And if it's not the number one investment that we've had recently, it's pretty close. And I think people, and again, going to your other question around playing catch up, it's also harder to play catch up when you have all of this work that you have to do to protect the consumer. And there is massive amounts of investments going in from Fiserv and other providers like Fiserv and the financial institutions, for tools to prevent fraud and I do think that we are doing a good job as an industry.

Matthew Wilcox:
A lot of the fraud that is out there in the ecosystem, actually doesn't happen in the application itself. It happens either account takeover, so somebody has commandeered the consumer's account and uses that account to transact unlawfully, or will pause or freeze a transaction and then the bad guy will be so compelling to get that transaction to actually happen, and calling or contacting the contact center at the financial institution. And so it's not just about the investment of the tools and applications and the algorithms and the AI, it's education. And you got to educate the consumer and you have to educate the frontline staff at a financial institution because these fraudsters, not only are they good with the tools, they can be pretty convincing over the phone, as well.

Jim Marous:
Well, it's interesting, there it's been a lot more talk recently about how fraud and risk could really undermine some of the fintech models that have been built because there's been a lot less emphasis probably, spent on risk and fraud and much more in gaining scale. Do you think there's a lot of fintech organizations right now that are in risk or are under duress because of the fact that maybe they didn't spend as much time on some of these issues that traditional financial institutions made as part of their business from the get go?

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah, I do think that is. And I think that's why financial institutions can catch up because, while they may have not been in on making the right level of investment on the consumer experience, it doesn't look as shiny. You and I have always talked about chasing that shiny object. They have spent time really, on the protection of the consumer, that's been the core and heart of the investment. And interestingly, to your question around technology not being in the top priorities and that really is table stakes, but fraud and risk is top five. The protection of the consumer is in those top five. And I do think that some of these fintechs will be under duress, whereas those financial institutions have made those significant investments.

Jim Marous:
So Matt, with so many changes happening in payments, what is being expected by financial institutions from firms like Fiserv or your competition? What is being demanded and what are your challenges in meeting these needs?

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah, we hear a lot around real-time. So how can you Fiserv, advance real-time payments? How can you help us take advantage of the new ecosystem or rails that are being put into place from a real-time standpoint, whether it's the Fed or the clearinghouse or Zelle? We hear a lot Jim, around integration, give me a better integrated experience, both from the payment standpoint and from the integration into the mobile or digital experiences. We talked about in the previous segment, there's recognition now, that they have to offer a better user experience. And with that as well, we're getting pushed on creating a more advisory approach and that's utilization of data into the experience.

Matthew Wilcox:
It's long been a topic near and dear to your heart, started with the work that you used to do long ago, with onboarding. And onboarding was based on trigger and data that the financial institution had about the consumer and they could infuse that into the experience. That's now has to happen in real-time, has to happen in session, in real-time and we're being pushed on enriching the data, as well. So you've got firms like MX, like Ondot who is part of Fiserv now, that really has this sophisticated level of enriching and cleansing the data and putting it back to the consumer in a usable format. But it's not just about putting it back in a usable format, it's embedding that into the experience and into the flows of the consumer. And then I think the last thing that we're getting pushed on quite a bit, which we're excited about, is cryptocurrency.

Matthew Wilcox:
And I read in your articles all the time, about Jamie Diamond's skepticism on crypto, but it's the real deal. It is becoming more mainstream and we're seeing lots of firms pop up with that and we're seeing those firms that have established themselves as cryptocurrency providers, moving into other realms of financial services. And so this is another thing to our previous segment, making sure that the financial institutions have a watchful eye on these firms that are providing crypto because they're going to start offering more traditional like, banking services.

Jim Marous:
Man, you've unpacked a lot right there. You mentioned about data and analytics and as you and I have discussed over the phone and on stage at events, financial institutions certainly have not mastered the immense potential predictive, real-time analytics or the modernization of data resources and skillsets. How do financial institutions master this imperative and what role should third-parties play in making it so these financial institutions can really catch up?

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah, to answer the second part of your question first. Third-parties need to play a massive role. When you think about firms like Fiserv and the data that we have around a financial institution, we've got non-card payment data, we've got card data, we've got core banking data, we have bill pay, P to P data. We have data from the merchants that we know that the consumers at those financial institutions shop at. We have all the data that could enable and really signal the right advisory approach to manage the full financial life of a consumer. The client or the consumer, the financial institution needs to play a role in recognizing that they've got to work to get that data into a central place. They've got to have a repository for that data, and they really need to understand what use cases or what they want to do with it first.

Matthew Wilcox:
And you and I both know this, oftentimes people get overwhelmed with the amount of data and they don't know what to do with it and then you're having to go back to try to figure out, "Okay, what should we do with this data?" If you go in not as a solution in search of a problem, but with a problem that you want to solve with all of that data, you can get to a use case or utilization of that data fairly quickly. And it doesn't have to be shiny object kind of stuff. It can be embedding or prompting them based on their payment history, knowing that they may run into a problem if they scheduled that payment on the 15th of the month, but they're not going to get paid till the 17th of the month and that payment on the 15th, is going to put them into overdraft, financial institutions have all that data to prompt them to do something else.

Jim Marous:
Right.

Matthew Wilcox:
Either move that payment data out, move money into that account, more simple type things that just isn't happening with the data. And so it's really figuring out, what do you want to do with that data? And then, going from there.

Jim Marous:
You know it's interesting, we talked about in the past, about the need for speed of decisions. And we go back in our history between you and I, and the amount of time it took to decide on a mobile banking provider at the financial institutions we used to work at.

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah.

Jim Marous:
And those days of being able to make decisions in a 12 to 18 month period are long gone. And I talk on a podcast quite often and in my articles, that it's better to make an imperfect decision today with a third-party provider, than a perfect decision, 18 to 24 months, because you'll never catch up.

Matthew Wilcox:
Yep.

Jim Marous:
And I think organizations have to really embrace the concept of using third-party providers they can trust, that they're not going to have to run down the field with the ball with the provider, but can be able to let go of the ball and have the provider get them down the field. And Fiserv is a good example. There's so many third-party providers out there, you got to find the right mix, but you can't spend forever trying to evaluate them.

Matthew Wilcox:
That's right.

Jim Marous:
Because every moment lost is an opportunity lost. And you referenced it just now, that to look at use cases and saying, where do I get my quick victory? And I remember you back in the banking days, you were all about, how can our organization, how can my department look good quickly so we can get further investment?

Matthew Wilcox:
Correct.

Jim Marous:
That's a common sense way of doing business. But the way organizations have to work now, how can you make quick changes to make a big impact? One other thing your research found was, 52% of financial institutions, perceive their future operating model to be in a full service banking organization with 35% saying, that they almost use banking as a service model. How do you see this playing out? Where do you see the consolidation occurring? And can every institution play the way they think they want to play?

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah. So I see it and this is kind of a chicken answer, but I see both. And I see, if you are a full service bank, one of the services you should provide, is bank as a service. And fintechs should become one of the greatest clients for financial institutions because they need financial services, they don't have the wherewithal. Many of them, I shouldn't say all, but many of them don't have the wherewithal to handle the regulatory environment that comes with having your own bank or becoming your own bank. And so they need those bank as a service, those sponsor bank models. I mean, you remember long ago, we were a little bit ahead of our time in trying to establish and set that up and now it's become something fairly significant for the larger institutions who've been doing bank as a service for a number of years. People don't realize that this bank as a service model, has really been around for number of years.

Jim Marous:
Yep.

Matthew Wilcox:
And so I do think the banks will continue and need to be full service banking. I don't think that is going to go away, but in a way that full service banking is going to be different. Our mutual friend, Brett King, has often talked about the death of some form of the full service banking, but that'll just move to a different mechanism or a different way for the consumer to engage with their financial institution. And that's part of building out that supreme experience. Bank as a service is going to be incredibly important because there is going to be a lot of startup companies, whether they're fintech, insurer tech, or whatever they might be, they'll need those servicings from a financial institution. They want to have that white label experience of offering financial services, but they need the PNCs and the US banks and the Wells Fargos of the world behind them. And even the regional banks and the community banks can get involved in this space.

Jim Marous:
Yeah. It's interesting because it's such a dynamic nature right now and organizations, there's so many priorities, there's so many things they have to balance and it's hard to find a new business model at the same time you're trying to fix your payment mechanism. At the same time, you're just trying to become a digital bank that actually does things in a digital way as opposed to simply digitizing the analog back office.

Matthew Wilcox:
Yep. Correct.

Jim Marous:
So the elephant in the room, you've referenced it in more than one answer today. Is that 75% of responders are exploring the relationship between digital currency and the traditional bank payment system.

Matthew Wilcox:
Yep.

Jim Marous:
What are you seeing, as what could be the future and what is your team at Fiserv doing to set up your systems and everything else, for the future of what could be cryptocurrency being the dominant payment mechanism?

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah. We see cryptocurrency evolving fairly quickly and fairly dramatically. We have seen the article you guys had out recently. We do see it predominantly being used today as an investment mechanism. People want to get into it because they see the valuations and the fluctuations and so that's an exciting thing. So people are thinking about it in terms of kind of like a stock, to quite honest with you. But that's quickly evolving to being a full mainstream currency. We see higher demand in March than we did in December or January, for point of sale.

Jim Marous:
Yeah.

Matthew Wilcox:
With the number of merchants large and small, that want to accept it at point of sale, has grown fairly dramatically just in the last three to six months. The number of financial institutions that want to have a platform for buy, sell, hold, trading, embedded into their digital experience, and companies like Nidig and others, that have built these beautiful tools.

Jim Marous:
Yep.

Matthew Wilcox:
And I know you've had, I believe on your show or at least referenced in your articles, have done a really great job. And so we're working with providers like that. And we're also seeing, and this will sound really simple, Jim, but if you think about the old school PFM use case, where Jim, you've got your primary accounts let's say, at PNC, but you've got accounts at Ally or HSBC or wherever, you want to see all of that in your PNC digital experience. We now are aggregating cryptocurrency data to allow for that, to be part of that PFM experience. So if you think about a financial institution being able to offer a full view of your wallet, banks need to aggregate and bring in that cryptocurrency data. So when you're at PNC, you want to log in, you also want to see your Coinbase Wallet in your PNC digital experience.

Jim Marous:
Yeah.

Matthew Wilcox:
And so that is another thing that has to happen. And I think the last thing that I'd mention is, I think cryptocurrency is going to create a really nice ecosystem for real-time payments, cross border. Because you think that these networks of crypto have been established cross border, we think that's going to accelerate dollars, moving cross borders in a very nice and simple way and it'll be extensions of existing applications. So a bank may have an existing transfers application for account to account. Well, pretty soon, you'll be able to convert dollars to crypto and move those from Brecksville, Ohio to London. And we think that is something that's going to happen within the next 12 months.

Jim Marous:
It's an amazing place to be right now. I talk about it every podcast I do, that banking has never been more exciting, but it's never been more challenging. Fiserv is a legacy finance institution, in fact, all the core providers are. And so you're facing some of the same challenges that traditional banks are facing. You're having to iterate different thought patterns. You're having to stay ahead of the curve. You're having to train massive numbers of people on all these new solutions that are out there and bring it everybody up to speed on an ongoing basis. When you look at the banking industry today, what do you see as the biggest challenge that the traditional financial service industry faces around payments?

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah, it's a fantastic question. I think the biggest challenge that I think that folks are going to find is the advancements of new payment use cases, is going to continue to accelerate and the demand on the banks is going to continue to accelerate. And that puts a lot of demand on companies like Fiserv or FIS or global payments to accelerate and bring those use cases to financial institutions. And it has to be done in a way where the financial institution can connect once for real-time and utilize that connection at their core level for multiple use cases and experiences.

Matthew Wilcox:
Because banks and other companies are fraught with tech debt and so there's a lot of work that they have to do to modernize. We talked a lot about in the previous segment, to fix and clean up the back office, that has to be underway. But payments isn't going to wait for everybody to clean up their back office. And so we as processing providers have to find a way to connect a bank one time, to multiple networks, really serve as a gateway to all of payment networks domestically and globally, for all those use cases to take flight. And that includes alternative currency like we just talked about with cryptocurrency. So I think the world is moving fast, payments is moving even faster.

Jim Marous:
You know it's amazing. I say this on the podcast, my wallet, if it's not in my glove box, it's left at home. I just take my phone and I go to places that I know are going to be able to take mobile payments. And that disconnects me from my traditional financial institution every day, more and more, because I'm more connected to my Apple Pay or my Apple phone or my digital payments, whatever it may be. And that's just one element, that's a point of sales situation. But you look at the way you transfer money between people. You're not quite there yet, I don't think with your oldest daughter, but you're going to get to the point where Venmo becomes the way you communicate with her.

Jim Marous:
I know that with my son, he is continuously communicating back and forth. In fact today, we transferred a little bit of money because of the brackets being done for the NCAAs. But you think about that. We used to do that by checks and it's not that long ago. And if anybody thinks about how fast things can happen, we did not have the lexicon of Buy Now, Pay Later, 18 months ago.

Matthew Wilcox:
Yep.

Jim Marous:
And while it's not a brand new service, it's layaway digital, the reality is, it disrupted the entire payments ecosystem. The biggest payment provider out there, PayPal, said that they were disrupted by Klarna and Affirm.

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah.

Jim Marous:
I mean the reality is, even fintech firms are being disrupted by other fintech firms-

Matthew Wilcox:
That's right.

Jim Marous:
... as it comes to new solutions. What's the next solution on the horizon? Who knows? But I think we have to realize that change isn't going to slow down. It is right now, faster than ever and consumers are driving it. When it used to be that we used to control that whole speed mechanism.

Matthew Wilcox:
Agreed.

Jim Marous:
So we've talked about the challenges and to finish it up today, what is the greatest opportunity that you see? And I'll say in the near future, because man, we can't project too far out there.

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah. I think the greatest opportunity, oh, quickly I think the evolution of real-time, but I think that's happening and I think there's lots of work going on in that. I really think the biggest area of opportunity for financial institutions, is integrating all of these payment assets and use cases and management of payments into one ecosystem. Wells Fargo's done a good job with their control tower experience. Jim, I know you're like me at your house, you got Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon, Apple TV, you have all of these subscriptions that you now have to manage. And the number of payments that a consumer is making today and our research shows this, has grown immensely.

Matthew Wilcox:
So we went through that period of payment consolidation, where your cable, phone or satellite or alarm bill became one bill, because it consolidated into providers. But now, it's just accelerated with all these other, including Buy Now, Pay Later. I have payments that I make to a firm now, from my financial institutions. I think financial institutions, if they can build out an integrated ecosystem and I'm not just talking about a fancy way of doing mobile or online banking, but actually being able to manage card on file, manage payments for non-card on file.

Matthew Wilcox:
And going to one place in one platform, where I see pictures of the people that I pay all the time, the businesses that I pay, the bills that I pay, management of my subscriptions. I think that's a tremendous opportunity for financial institutions and one that a Venmo or somebody else can't easily replicate. So I don't know if your son will go to Wells Fargo to start talking to you anytime soon, but I think that you can get to that point where, if it's all there, that's what a consumer wants. They want ease of use and management and imagine if you could marry that up with the trust and safety and security that we know a financial institution spends significant investment on protecting.

Jim Marous:
It's a very good point. It really gets down to data and analytics to drive a better experience. And it really is one of these things where, I can only predict what you're going to do next, if I know what you've done in the past. In addition, the more I learn about you, the better I'm going to be able to serve you and get a value proposition. I talk about the fact that, who would've thought we'd pay $125 a year for the ability to shop digitally and that's what we do with Amazon.

Matthew Wilcox:
Yep.

Jim Marous:
We're not getting it because of free shipping or anything like that, but the reality is, we'll pay for value. And the value is really taking all this payment data, all the things that we're doing daily and having you think on my behalf.

Matthew Wilcox:
That's right.

Jim Marous:
I got frustrated, you mentioned Wells Fargo and I've mentioned them in the past. I got frustrated in Wells Fargo about two years ago, asked me, "What do you want your minimum balance to be, where we notify your balance?" I'm going, "You've had a relationship with me 15 years. You know those dates better than me and it's not the same from the 1st to the 15th or from the 15th to the 30th."

Matthew Wilcox:
Correct.

Jim Marous:
That utilization of data, that we're becoming used to, as you mentioned, all the TV services, we're getting used to organizations and technology, making decisions for us and pointing us in the right direction. GPS system, as Leah knows, I mention probably in every podcast, that I want the GPS financial services.

Matthew Wilcox:
Yeah.

Jim Marous:
I know where I want to go, help me get there.

Matthew Wilcox:
Yep. That's a great way to put it.

Jim Marous:
It gets more and more frustrating from a relationship basis, the more services I use. If I'm using Acorn here and PayPal here and Wells and PNC and all these different, SoFi and Ally, that keeps on getting disintegrated as far as relationships. All of a sudden, my engagement gets disintegrated and we've lost what used to be the traditional loyalty. And Matt, this has been a great conversation. I'm sorry it's taken so long for us to get together in public because I think it's amazing what's being done. But I wanted to bring up at the end of the podcast, that for those organizations who say, "Geez, their core providers aren't providing everything." Remember, their traditional financial institutions as well. Their legacy organizations are fighting some of the same battles.

Matthew Wilcox:
Yep.

Jim Marous:
And with a moving train, we're all trying to catch up.

Matthew Wilcox:
We are.

Jim Marous:
Matt, thank you so much for being on the show today.

Matthew Wilcox:
Jim, my friend, thank you. It's always wonderful to see you. I really appreciate it.

Jim Marous:
Thanks for listening to Banking Transformed, rated as the top banking podcast and winner of three international awards for podcast excellence. If you enjoy what we're doing, please take some time to show some love in the form of a review, it helps us continue to get great guests like today. Finally, be sure to catch my recent articles on the Financial Brand and check out the research we're doing on The Digital Banking Report. This has been a production of Evergreen Podcast. A special thank you to our producer, Leo Longbrake, audio engineer, Sean Rule Hoffman and video producer, Will Pritts. I'm your host, Jim Marous. Until next time, remember, innovation is everybody's responsibility, not just research and development.

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