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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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Reimagining Money Experiences in Banking

Over the past several years, my team at the Digital Banking Report has asked financial institutions globally what their primary objective was. Overwhelmingly, it has been to create better customer experiences.

The problem is that creating a great experience is no longer enough. Consumers are looking for financial advocates and ways to achieve better financial outcomes. They expect their financial partners to use insight available to provide the path for a secure financial future.

I am excited to have Jane Barratt, Chief Advocacy Officer at MX Technologies on the Banking Transformed podcast. Jane will discuss how data and insight can transform banking into emotional relationships that can impact people, organizations, and communities.

This Episode of Banking Transformed is sponsored by FIS

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This episode of Banking Transformed is sponsored by mParticle.

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Jim Marous:
Hello, and welcome to Banking Transformed. I'm your host, Jim Marous, founder and CEO of the Digital Banking Report and co-publisher The Financial Brand. Over the past several years, my team in the Digital Banking Report has asked financial institutions globally what their primary objective was. Overwhelmingly, it's to create better customer experiences. The problem is that creating a great customer experience is no longer enough. Consumers are looking for financial advocates and ways to achieve financial outcomes that are better than ever before. They expect their financial partners to use insights available to provide a path towards a more secure financial future. I am excited to have Jane Barratt, chief advocacy officer at MX Technologies, on the show today. Jane will discuss the way data and insight can transform banking into an emotional relationship that can impact people, organizations, and communities. So welcome to the show today, Jane. Before we begin, could you share a bit about your background and your role at MX with our audience?

Jane Barratt:
Well, first, thank you so much for having me, Jim. It's awesome to be here. My path to FinTech and my current role was a [inaudible 00:01:28] one, as many of ours are. But very relevant to our discussion today, I had a whole career in the marketing world prior to FinTech. So I'd run global agencies and clients working a lot with financial services companies around the world, and had been in the digital space basically since the '90s. I built a FinTech business as a founder that helped people get started investing by using their financial data. I was also a financial educator on the side with LinkedIn Learning. So I've spent a lot of time making the migration from taking money out of people's pockets as a marketer to helping them keep more in their pockets and grow it as a FinTech professional, and that brings me to MX.

Jane Barratt:
So it actually is a great way to join a company as a customer first, and I was a customer of MX's for a couple of years. Very much mission-aligned in terms of how we go to market. And I've spent now the last four years driving how we bring the MX mission to life in the marketplace, and that covers everything from working with our customers and our partners on how to leverage data better to working with regulators and policy makers to help people ensure that they can access their data safely and securely, as well as focusing on open banking and open finance collaborations to actually bring that to life.

Jim Marous:
It's not the first time we've had MX on the show. We had Brandon and Ryan, the founders of MX, on once before. And a lot of things have changed at MX since then, but culture's always been the centerpiece of what MX is. Can you describe a little bit about the change that has gone on at MX before we get deep into our questions?

Jane Barratt:
So I think MX was founded on the vision of empowering the world to be financially strong, and there is a deep resonance, like DNA-level resonance, across the team, across our partners, across our customers, and especially from founders and the executive team, that we believe that financial services has a moral obligation to make the world a better place. And that was something that our recently departed friend Brandon Dewitt talked about a lot. He was such a huge advocate for our mission and the impact that we can all have, and I think that was his genius, is not just setting a mission in stone and walking away from it. But Brandon and Ryan really brought that to life in a way that was just so profound. I mean, we know in the marketplace that it's a reason why many of our customers choose us.

Jane Barratt:
It's why we've had such great collaborations with different financial institutions and partners. And I think the strength of our culture and our commitment to our mission really means that we can build on Brandon and Ryan's legacy and vision moving forward. One other thing that they did beyond building out an incredible culture and mission is build a fantastic team. And so the MX executive team, and then all the way across the organization, we have people who are very deeply committed to our mission and this idea that we have a moral obligation to make the world a better place.

Jim Marous:
Well, it's interesting, because your mission aligns with most financial institutions' primary objective. When we do research around financial institutions, they say that improve the customer experience is their top mission. And unfortunately, few organizations have committed to what's possible. We talk a good game. We don't implement it very well. Where do you see the biggest performance gap between what we say and what we're doing as financial institutions?

Jane Barratt:
So I think the elephant in the room and the gap is often the fact that just as a business... Forget anything else. As a business, financial services is still very much focused on selling products, getting more deposits, increasing share of wallet. This is the old school way that the business has grown. We do not and have not yet competed on outcomes. You've got a bank side by side with another bank. Am I going to have a meaningfully different outcome by choosing A over B? Right now, that's no. And I think a little bit around the performance gap is that the idea of customer experience kind of went into UX/reducing friction. Do I really care as a consumer that my payment goes faster? Do I? Is that a meaningfully different outcome to me? But we've focused on things that have been more, again, user experience and customer experience that is meaningful metrics to an organization. Because maybe they will choose my card because it works better than another one, but it doesn't actually make a difference to the end customer, and a huge part of that is just this idea of opacity versus transparency.

Jane Barratt:
Opacity has kind of been fundamental to the success of financial services industry. It's going on behind the scenes, and not enough Americans, or frankly humans anywhere, have access to the entirety of their financial picture, even today, with all of the amazing technology we have. And so that not knowing what's going on with your money fundamentally impacts not just your customer experience. It's like, "Okay, now I've got a mental load that I have to figure out between my bank, my credit union, my payment provider, my mortgage provider, my insurance provider. Where am I?" Of course it's going to have a negative outcome for you, because it's mental load, it's time, and you're going to miss things. We're human, and we're busy.

Jim Marous:
Essentially, the banking industry has benefited, I guess you could say, from the fact that consumers didn't expect months from financial institutions. They were all virtually the same. They were very transactional-oriented. They were very commoditized in what they did. If you shut your eyes, you wouldn't even know if you went in one branch or another, unless the colors are different. How has the pandemic opened the eyes of the consumer as to what is possible through the use of data and technology and insights to create not better experiences as much as better and deeper engagements?

Jane Barratt:
Yeah. I think you're right in terms of... Expectations were pretty low. But if you think of even just going outside of financial services, once you've changed your behavior in a way... I've got a streaming movie from Netflix. You're not going to get in your car and drive to Blockbuster. Once the expectations change, they change pretty fundamentally and permanently. And so one thing that the pandemic definitely accelerated was this taking your physicality out of the equation. I used to go to the bank because I felt better about whatever it was, depositing a check, or things that were just ingrained behavior. And whether that was generational or behavioral, all of a sudden you have a massive amount of people that had never deeply engaged in a purely digital way with their money before. And I always like to kind of say that we talk about financial data, but your data is your money.

Jane Barratt:
Your money isn't a pile somewhere. It actually is the physical representation of your money, not some abstracted view. I think that's where the pandemic accelerated, was "Oh, my money is ones and zeros. My money is in apps now, okay." So that was sort of step one. And having this experience where people can... We've all seen it, in just terms of rapid adoption of FinTech apps where the average person now has three to four FinTech apps. This is not advanced some sort of millennial or Gen Z, "Oh, they're doing all their things on their phones." Everybody is. So that is one huge piece of just the pandemic response. And frankly, the expectations did go off. I can move money seamlessly now.

Jim Marous:
Oh, exactly. I wrote an article for The Financial Brand on the importance of building an emotional brand in banking, which is kind of a... Not a novel concept, but it's not being done, kind of like what Nike has done. Is this level of connection possible if a financial institution leverages the data, insights, and technology at their disposable today to actually differentiate their brand emotionally from other brands around the community?

Jane Barratt:
So I'm going to give an emphatic "Hell yeah, it's possible." Is it being done? Not really. You had Jennifer Tescher on your podcast a few weeks ago, and I loved her sort of comparison of, "I went into Warby Parker, and everything was amazing. And then I went to the bank with my daughter, and it was like, 'Oh God.' Everything was bad." And it's not quite that black and white, that it's always bad, but that was a very good analog for... The emotional piece just isn't there in the way it was with her. Again, glass is a commodity. How did Warby Parker do it? It's not just possible, it's crucial for remaining competitive now. But also, how are these institutions going to be multi-generational businesses if you don't have an emotional connection, when the cost and the ease of switching now is so much lower?

Jane Barratt:
It's way easier to add more, switch on over. So this idea of putting customers in that driving seat and having them actually getting transparency into their outcomes, into what's going on with them... You can't get a better emotional connection than saying, "I helped you and your family this year. I helped you and your family save more, reduced your cost of borrowing. You spent less time doing your banking so you could spend more time with your family." I will love you forever if you can tell me that.

Jim Marous:
Well, it's interesting. You mentioned Netflix earlier, and watching TV, which is what you're doing, never felt like a very personal experience. You pick what you wanted to watch, you'd watch, and it'd be done. And you never thought that even the commercials were personalized to you. In fact, you'd try to skip through them. But personalization really is a key to this equation, especially in financial services that in the past have been transactional. But the transactional part of financial services is becoming less and less of a part of what banking really is becoming. I use my mobile app. My transaction may be processed through bank A, but it's being processed through Apple Pay, which I have an emotional connection with. I have an emotional connection to Netflix and Hulu. You've talked in the past about data as a currency, and you mentioned just a second ago as well. Are we headed towards a time where there's going to be really a value transfer of how are you as a financial institution going to be using my data for my better experience, and more importantly, my better engagement that I know you're working on my behalf?

Jane Barratt:
Yeah. And I think going back to your early question, there's a value transfer going on right now, but it's going from the consumers to the institution. That's not bidirectional. And so just fundamentally changing that and using personalization to do it. And again, this is such a huge shift organizationally, strategically from just how companies are investing. Again, my background in marketing, I know exactly when I'm being talked to and profiled as a middle-aged mom, and it drives me insane. It's like, "Have you looked at any broader picture about me versus just the fact that I have children?" And the answer is usually no. So this idea of, "If I can leverage my own data to improve outcomes for myself, make choices for myself that A, is taking my data out of the ecosystem..." And again, I am not the typical consumer.

Jane Barratt:
I know way too much, but the fact that data exhaust is still a thing out there and there's a ton of companies making money on your data should be cause for protests in the street. It really should. It's not just like, "Oh, it's being used to target better ads." No, it can be, as we've seen, fundamentally undermine democracy. This data is incredibly powerful. So this is where things like open finance are so important, because it's not just about an ecosystem. It's about enabling these sort of bidirectional exchanges where value truly can be brought to life. And we are seeing it already around just what might be conceived as niche-use cases now like, let's say, rewards points. Right now, rewards points are kind of hard to spend, but if you bring that into my financial picture overall and let me leverage it in a way that I leverage my money, awesome. Again, I'll love you forever.

Jim Marous:
Well, it's interesting, because from the very beginning of MX, I remember being at a meeting of yours... Gosh, it's probably now six years ago. When the head of marketing of your organization had just joined the company, I went to one of your events, and we went around the circle of the heavy users and said, "How are you using MX data?" And almost to a last person, almost every person was using the data you were providing not really to provide great experiences for their customers or members, but using it to create really insightful reports. We're now moving to a point where you don't have a choice. You have to use data insight and empower people around you for better innovation, better customer experiences, and really deploying it in a way that's felt by the consumer. How are you seeing the data that you are providing from the institutions now being used better to create better engagement, maybe better stories, and most importantly, maybe better innovations on behalf of the consumer? What are you seeing out there?

Jane Barratt:
So we're seeing a much broader use case, both use cases and then almost less reliance on the size of institution or the type of institution. The data may be the same. It may be verification, but who's using data verification for what use case in a way that, again, is empowering that end customer? And so it's everything from customers like ours, like FormFree, that enable amazingly fast, in the name of the company, form-free mortgage applications. If you do not have to go through a pile of paper this thick and go through your... I still do have a standing filing cabinet here, and scan things. And if you can enable people... And I think with FormFree, we reduced the time that it took for people to apply for their mortgages and their... Or just in terms of collecting their data in an aggregate form by 89%. That is huge. So that may not seem like a huge innovation, but it is, because it has fundamentally changed that experience of mortgage application, let's just say.

Jane Barratt:
So it may be based on time, it may be things like bringing in alternate data sources for credit scoring. Just what is out there, and what are people permissioning to bring in? And then at the more meat and potato side of things is just providing transparency and allowing people to use their digital money management tools, but layering insights on top. Insights and advice that used to be up to you. Here's a pie chart, good luck. And now it's like, "Actually, your life insurance premium is due next month. Make sure that money's transferred over." Things that can be a lot more anticipatory. And frankly, that's the tracks that we're building, and that's where the train is going in terms of self-driving money. I know Jennifer referenced this as well. This is the work that we're doing now to enable way more... Not frictionless in terms of faster payments, but actual frictionless in terms of the way that you have to manage your financial life.

Jim Marous:
With that in mind, if you work with clients and you see how you're advocating for the consumer across the board, are you seeing more financial institutions now really hoping that MX takes them all the way to the water? In other words, a lot of times you thought, "If I give them the data, I give them the tools, they'll use them correctly." But these organizations, their time is so valuable right now. They're just trying. They're running. [inaudible 00:18:30] running, just keeping up. Do you find yourselves building solutions that are almost turnkey, where you're almost thinking on behalf of the financial institution, "How can we make it so we empower the consumer better? How can we make it where we're actually..." What I call the GPS of financial services for the consumer, helping them with predicting what their next step should be. Are you finding that the role of MX has changed over the last three to four years, actually having to go, I'll use a American football analogy, further down the field on behalf of your financial institution partners to try to make it so that they can break through to the consumer?

Jane Barratt:
100%. And I think again, you know our origin story. We started in personal financial management, moved into data enhancement and data cleansing, and now have really been focusing on just making sure that access, that connectivity piece is in place so people can actually access safely and securely their financial data. But that whole pyramid together is absolutely how you take customers to the water, or take our partners all the way there. A great example of that has been in our work in the open finance space. Again, we've partnered with all of the largest institutions that have APIs. They're up and running. We've deleted credentials. We have enabled token-based data exchange for the vast majority of anyone that comes through our platform. What we then saw is when you go outside the largest institutions is a massive gap, even into the super regionals, regionals, big credit unions.

Jane Barratt:
And that, for us, was not okay. We can't wait until the bifurcation of the industry is going to be a have and have-nots. Is it lightning fast and secure? Is it old school and scrape-based? So we actually built out a toolkit called MXaccess, which institutions can use to build their own open finance APIs. And we would connect to that like any other partner would, but this is the sort of thing in terms of... I love that bringing people to the water, because it's like... There is a lot of work to be done to transform old legacy systems, and embedding these APIs that the institution can own and really build their own future on is a way for us to accelerate that. And even things like helping our customers update their risk models.

Jane Barratt:
What data can you use to update risk models? That's huge. And then revenue streams and profit models. There is so much going on, and I think the ROI from collaboration... There was a World FinTech Report out recently. The ROI from collaboration, I think banks put it about 6%. We don't think we're really getting much return at all in terms of where we had hoped collaboration could come from. But so much of that is that you have to spend so much money on infrastructure just to make a connection work, and we've been for some reason okay with saddled legacy systems for too long.

Jim Marous:
Well, it's interesting. I remember now it's... God, three years ago, two years ago, whatever it is now. We lose time. But where solution providers... For me, with solution providers at The Financial Brand forum to basically say, "Okay, how can we help organizations do what we need them to do, even if they don't fix their back office? In other words, how can we use the legacy back office system to work better than we ever thought we'd have to make them work on their behalf?" So when you're working with finance institutions, what you provide and what other service providers provide in many different ways always seems like, "Oh my gosh, this a no-brainer," but not everybody implements it, and even those that implement it don't take it the full way. What stands in the way, from your perspective, of why organizations don't embrace the opportunities you're talking about, or have a challenge in actually making it all put together and go forward?

Jane Barratt:
So I'll answer on two levels. I mean, our biggest competition always is stasis. Something isn't broken. Let's just keep on doing other stuff and layering things on top. And so the way that institutions make money is pretty foolproof. Take money in, borrow it out, keep the flow. And that has been... Why would we break that until there is a legitimate... And there absolutely is a groundswell of legitimate competitors at the floor that need to be taken seriously. I would say the second piece around this... And like I said, having been in the digital world since the '90s, I'd spent at least a decade advocating for digital literacy against a lot of resistance and stasis. And it's like, "I don't care what someone had for breakfast. Social media's not important." It's like, "Front door to the world people, but okay."

Jane Barratt:
So what we're seeing now is this sense of data is kind of where digital was, in that it belongs over. It's the chief data officer, and the data's organized. It's everywhere. And this is not true empirically, but there is themes across the business that embracing data means dashboards or a data lake, or "Isn't that our cloud service's job," or versus, "This fundamentally can change how our business works." And that feels like one of the biggest things standing in the way, is just the opportunity isn't necessarily there. But having said that, we've seen amazing innovation. My friend Josh Rowland, Lead Bank in Kansas City, a small community bank, implemented very strategically API-embedded finance for their local FinTech community, and he did this years ago. And so the innovation is happening there, but it tends to be, let's just say, more human-driven versus strategy and industry-driven.

Jim Marous:
Yeah, it's interesting you mentioned it, but success, financial success... And we just had an interview with a major financial institution, and their numbers are the best they've ever been. So that makes change difficult, because why break it if it's not broken? Or why fix it if it's not broken? The reality is it gets down to legacy leadership. And I've had many engagements with your team, and it always comes down to if the top doesn't believe that it has to be fixed, it won't get fixed. And the challenge now is every change that happens now happens in quarters, not in years, or months, not in quarters, and it's happening faster than ever before. So you're only one innovative organization away from losing an account. And Ron Shevlin wrote an article for Forbes this week around the fact that Chime and PayPal and Square and other FinTech organizations now are getting a lion's share of new accounts, but there are more people than ever considering these their primary financial institution.

Jim Marous:
Now, the challenge is that the legacy financial institutions aren't seeing closing of accounts, so they don't see any difference.

Jane Barratt:
So a lot of-

Jim Marous:
But they don't ask their consumers, "By the way, where else do you do your banking?" Or, as your firm does, they don't track the transfers between one institution to another organization to say, "Geez, Jim's doing transfers to Acorns seven times a week of different amounts. Is he more aligned and loyal to Acorns than he is to X, Y, Z bank? Or is he more committed to PayPal because they will continually give him solutions in the marketplace, while his legacy bank is going to take three to four weeks to get it implemented?" It's very interesting how it's going right now. So Jane, the extension of using data and insight for building a great emotional connection in banking is to actually participate in open banking platforms. How do you see the future of embedded financial experiences?

Jane Barratt:
So I think, again, so much of the industry has been built around, "I am the primary provider. I am the place as an institution where someone's paycheck goes, so I'm good. I don't need to know anything else. I've won this customer. I'm just going to sell them more things." The idea about an open banking platform is that people's data should be able to move freely, securely, with permission, and the ability to revoke it in a way that is going to improve their outcome. So you have your car loan with Ally, and you have your business banking with PayPal, and you've got your primary institution, your local credit union, but you are six or seven different Jims. An open banking platform recognizes one Jim. We get that, as long as you permissioned it.

Jane Barratt:
You have said, "Okay, credit union, here I am. Here's the seven Jims. That's me, but can you make this easier for me?" And that emotional connection... Financial institutions, and frankly even legacy FinTechs who have been around now long enough to be considered legacy institutions, have a huge advantage in terms of trust. So trust is the bedrock on which the whole industry has always been built on since the days of the Medici. So now, how do we take that trust and allow people to exist in multiple places, securely connected in a way that works best for them? So the future of these experiences really comes down to the shift from being always human-directed, "I have to press a button to make the payment. I have to remember to pay my life insurance premium," to more anticipatory: self-driving car, self-driving wallet.

Jane Barratt:
You need to have the trust to get behind a Tesla, and that it's not going to kill you as you drive down the highway, and that is a huge lift that is 100% data-driven. You have to know who you are, what you've permissioned, and what's going to work for you in order to enable that trust for these embedded financial experiences in the future. We always underestimate how quickly change is going to happen, but I believe this is within three to five years that we're going to have more of these self-driving experiences that are based on embedded finance that are predicated on an open banking infrastructure working.

Jim Marous:
And are we maybe moving just as quickly towards something beyond open banking? So almost an open experience that goes beyond banking and really takes into account what I care about in my life, what I care about in my business, what I care about in my family? Because the reality is if you build the transactions, you're going to know more about me and what really makes a difference. Our environmental concern is of high interest to me. Our social issues and our equality and equity, more importantly. You're going to be able to see this through the transactions, but it's more than just open banking. And this provides also some new revenue opportunities, which gets out of financial institutions only based in the revenue model on the financial relationship, doesn't it?

Jane Barratt:
100%. So again, the more that you can empower... You say that you care about environmental concerns. Okay, so let's just say you don't already bank with [Andrei 00:30:12] at Aspiration, but you have expectations of your own institution that steer me away from companies that are over-indexing on climate harm, for example. We can do it now. We can do top-of-wallet optimization based on geolocation in apps. It's not happening, but it absolutely could. Oh, you just drove into X, Y, Z gas station. Actually, the one next door has a better environmental impact. That is trust-building. It is meaningful to you, and it is a huge differentiator. If one institution does it and your other doesn't, guess where you're going to lean towards for the next time? So that is a very niche use of data just based on your one description, but they're the sort of things...

Jane Barratt:
And then extending that out now to how is that a revenue opportunity. And we always seem to go straight into, "Well, embedded finance will be a new revenue opportunity, because it can make any business a financial business." That is 100% true, but there's still well more beyond that as to what it means, and going back to things like... Is there going to be a value exchange on a data perspective? Can I A, save money as a human, and B, can there still be revenue streams into different sorts of companies? And we believe that we're only seeing probably 20% of the use cases around embedded finance and open banking now, and they are going to come at us thick and fast. But if you think of just the vision of the banks who drove things like Uber Money, who could have seen... Basically, Uber is a financial services company with ride sharing attached. They do car loans, they process-

Jim Marous:
Starbucks is a financial institution that sells coffee, yeah.

Jane Barratt:
Exactly. So it's easy to see these things in hindsight, and they're two big brands that we all know and love, but these changes are happening real time now across the board.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting, too. We're just starting, and we keep on referencing all these things, and you realize how far from where we need to be we are. But the good news is we're moving quicker than we ever have, and it's going to get faster and faster. And part of that is also using alternative data sources, because the use of alternative data sources, everything from rent and utility payments to other sources of data that build a better picture of the human, allows you to reach more people that have been underserved in the past. And I know your organization has been at the forefront of this. You've been at the forefront of it as an individual when you're working with governmental units and other organizations, as Jennifer has, and saying, "How can we allow organizations or enable organizations to work with a broader array of consumers based on things other than a credit bureau?"

Jim Marous:
I mean, I went through this with my son and buying his first car. He's more responsible with money than I am, and I got to cosign for him just to get him a credit? And you go, "This is easy compared to anything from immigrants to people that have very thin data files." Where do you see this going, the alternative data and new data sources as part of this whole equation?

Jane Barratt:
And obviously, financial access, financial inclusion, financial outcomes are a core part of our whole business and vision, and this is a fundamental feature of an open finance regime. So if you think of an analogy, hard-to-score small businesses, they've been able to use cash flow-based underwriting to be able to get lending done or secured for their business. That can and should be true for underserved consumers as well. Have you paid your rent on time? Can we see your utility bills? You may be thin file or no file with the credit agencies, but you've got a whole financial life out there in ways that can be validated through secure data exchange that can ensure that a better picture of you is being presented.

Jane Barratt:
And I can say this as an immigrant, but I've lived and worked in six different countries, and getting my head around the US credit business, I was like... I wanted to buy a car when I got here, and it was like, "Well, you should borrow money to buy it." I was like, "Wait, what?" Oh, you need to take out a store credit card. I was like, "Why?" And so many of the things that were fundamental to my core beliefs of financial health had to be thrown out the window, because the system was so predicated on just your ability to secure the credit, but then not actually spend it. Bizarre. So there is a long way to go.

Jim Marous:
We interviewed the founder of Nova Credit. It was just very interesting to see they're making a whole business out of transferring credit bureau reports from different countries to enable people to do something that we take for granted. But it doesn't matter how long you've been here. If you haven't built a US credit bureau, which by the way takes a credit bureau to build, which is kind of insane by that whole concept, and if you're not a heavy credit user to begin with, it comes at you at the worst possible time.

Jane Barratt:
Always. I mean, this is not a small problem. I think the Fed said it's about 46 million people in the US. So there's a huge almost 20% of the whole population that is underserved, underbanked, or unbanked. This is a big problem to solve.

Jim Marous:
So Jane, to wrap up today's podcast, which I really appreciate your participation in, what is the greatest opportunity in the banking industry today in the next two years? I got to take it away now, because too much stuff happens in such a quick time. And I keep on telling our listeners, "Don't start making annual plans. You got to make quarterly plans and monthly plans to get things done, because there's so much to do." But what do you see as the biggest opportunity in the really short to moderate-term?

Jane Barratt:
So the biggest opportunity is this fundamental wholesale shift from "Let's just keep on selling products and focusing on share of wallets and our deposit number" to "How do we actually improve outcomes for our customers?" And it is clearly longer than a quarter or two away, but if you're starting with that as a vision, knowing that, "Okay, we want to be that partner of choice for self-driving money. We want to be the one that knows all seven Jims..." And then that starts with, right now, implementing open banking and open finance, and sort of be a data portability view of things that, again, is a huge shift from "The data belongs to me." Which when you sign up for a bank account, you are signing over those ownership rights of your data to that institution.

Jane Barratt:
If you can fundamentally shift that, it has this massive trickle-down effect on, "Oh, wow. There are new business cases. Oh, there are alternative data sources. Oh, we can build trust and build our brand and build emotional experiences, and all the things that we've been talking about." And that, honestly, from the early days of the internet, is such a huge opportunity, a wholesale shift from commodity to a value-added partner. And that's what I'm excited about. That's what gets me up in the morning every day. It's what drives MX. We all have a very big job to do, big moral obligation to improve outcomes for humans and make the world better, and we tend to get caught up in things like cloud infrastructure [inaudible 00:38:02]. Yeah, but cloud won't change the strategy, and it won't change the vision, change the execution. So that's where we think the biggest opportunity is, just letting the data go free and letting the market really start to up-level competition.

Jim Marous:
You said it so well. If you don't set your destination as better financial outcomes as opposed to more efficiency or some of the legacy ideas we have out there, you will never get there. Or you at least won't know how to get there, and you won't know when you get there. So my analogy is always the GPS system, but you got to set that destination, and you got to be committed to it. And again, it stops at the very top of the organization saying... Once you have the top saying, "This is what we're going to do," you're more apt to get there. If it's simply, "Oh, we got to use data and analytics more efficiently," you go, "Ah, that's not a mission. That's a job. That's a task."

Jane Barratt:
A tactic, yeah.

Jim Marous:
Jane, thank you so much for being on the show today. It's been too long. I miss you and your team. It's been a while now. It seems like time goes so quickly without seeing people that it's great to see you again.

Jane Barratt:
It's great to see you. I very much appreciate being on the show today, and all the best to you, Jim.

Jim Marous:
Thanks for listening to Banking Transformed, rated as a top five banking podcast and the winner of three international awards for podcast excellence. If you enjoyed today's interview, please give our show a five-star rating on your preferred podcast platform. Also, be sure to catch my recent articles on The Financial Brand and the research we're doing for the Digital Banking Report. This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to our producer Leah Longbrake, audio engineer Sean Rule-Hoffman, and video producer Will Pritts. I'm your host, Jim Marous. Until next time, remember that in a world of commodity banking brands, you can only differentiate your brand by partnering for better financial outcomes.

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