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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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The Future of Commerce Includes Digital Currency

Recently, NCR increased their ability to deliver a complete digital currency solution to its customers, including the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrency, conduct cross-border remittance, and accept digital currency payments across digital and physical channels.

Beyond offering financial institutions a secure way to perform digital currency transactions from a mobile banking app, website, or customer service center, the NCR solutions will also run on ATMs, kiosks and point-of-sale (POS) systems.

We are very fortunate to have Tim Vanderham, Chief Technology Officer at NCR Corporation, on the Banking Transformed podcast. He will discuss the opportunities and challenges of traditional banks offering digital currency solutions.


This Episode of Banking Transformed is Sponsored by NCR

NCR, a global technology leader, is No. 1 in ATM software and powers the top three U.S. mobile banking apps. We deliver comprehensive financial solutions for digital, ATM/ITM and branch channels—giving us the unique ability to connect physical and digital interactions to create seamless experiences for financial institutions and the consumers and businesses they serve.

For more information visit ncr.com/banking


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. Recently NCR increased their ability to deliver a complete digital currency solution to its customers and including the ability to buy and sell crypto currency, conduct cross-border remittance and accept digital currency payments across digital and physical channels. Beyond offering financial institutions a secure way to perform digital currency transactions from a mobile banking app, website or customer service center, the NCR solution has also run on ATMs, kiosk and point of sale terminals. We are fortunate to have Tim Vanderham, Chief Technology Officer of NCR Corporation on the Banking Transform Podcast today. He'll discuss the opportunities and challenges traditional banks face in offering digital currency solutions so welcome to the show Tim.

Jim Marous:
We often talk about legacy financial institutions on this show but there are a few organizations in the banking space with a richer history of transformation than NCR, formed in 1884 as the national cash register corporation for us old people that still remember that name. NCR has been at the forefront of global commerce since it's beginning building software, hardware and solutions for restaurants, retailers and banks. Interesting in its recent [inaudible 00:01:40] into digital currencies is basically an extension of this mission from 1884. So first of all, Tim, almost anyone in the financial services industry realizes that the popularity of cryptocurrency is skyrocketing. What is behind this growth and why should financial institutions of all sizes be paying attention?

Tim Vanderham:
Yeah. Jim, that's a great question and thanks for having me on today. I really appreciate, looking forward to the conversation. The consumer uptake around cryptocurrencies, digital assets, specifically Bitcoin but may any others is exploding and we're seeing that happen literally day in and day out. We started the Super Bowl but we just see the advancement of usage happening literally around us every day. Bitcoinist and former Google employee, Michael Levin, is actually predicting, when you look at the growth rates of Bitcoin usage, that it's going to get to a billion users in half the time the internet took to get to a billion users. Let me just put that into context. The internet went from about 150 million users in 1997 to one billion in 2005.

Tim Vanderham:
We're about 130 million users of Bitcoin today, so just one of the cryptocurrencies that's available and we're predicting that we will be at one billion by the end of 2025 in four years. When we think about what the internet has done for all of us as consumers, financial institutions and really the entire world, I fundamentally believe that this technology, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, digital assets are that next technology revolution and it's extremely important for all of us as consumers as well as owners of companies, banks, credit unions et cetera to embrace the technology, understand it and ensure that we're embracing this because consumers are going to embrace it whether we're giving it to them or somebody else is giving it to them.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting. Not too long ago when you thought about Bitcoin you'd think of some young guy in his basement of his parents' house trading crypto and hoping to make a quick turn of money because it was more speculative but what do you say to the banking executives who thinks that crypto may never go mainstream and that it's not a threat to the banking industry?

Tim Vanderham:
Well, I would tell you what I just said is part of that answer and how quickly it's going to get to a billion users and when you think about what consumers are doing, consumers don't care if this is a currency, it's a security, it's a speculative coin, it's a store of value similar to gold. At the end of the day we shouldn't sit here and speculate and from me and NCR's perspective, we don't necessarily care. We'll care around what regulations we have to follow but we don't care why consumers want to embrace it and use it but they are and so...

Tim Vanderham:
I talked to lots of bank CEOs, CIOs, actually just chatted with the board of a credit union last week helping educate them on the ins and outs of what it means to have this cryptocurrency or digital assets and why it's so important and so I would tell all of them that if you're not already thinking about it you're probably a little late to the game already. Now you don't have to have it implemented but you need to start formulating a strategy because if you don't have a strategy you're going to be left behind when it comes to the consumer adoption of these currencies and of these assets.

Jim Marous:
If you get down to the core of this, this is about share of wallet, isn't it? Because really when you look at what is happening in the financial services industry, people aren't closing accounts but they're opening a lot of relationships outside their traditional finance institution and probably the trading of crypto and the use of other currencies is just another investment, another way to pair back that share of wallet, so is this really what we're looking at here which is trying to retain some semblance of a share of wallet in an area that is growing extraordinarily quickly?

Tim Vanderham:
I think, absolutely. I'll give you a stat. I chatted with the CEO of a $50 billion bank a couple of weeks ago and the CEO told me that they tracked it over the course of 2021. They had $400 million leave their front door in 2021 to Coinbase and Coinbase is only one of the... I shouldn't say upstarts but only one of the financial institutions, I'll call them, that is trying to disintermediate traditional financial institutions, banks, credit unions and really the customers that NCR severs. And so when we start thinking about why cryptocurrency, why digital assets, why support this, when that money leaves your front door as a financial institution it's probably not coming back and if money starts to leave, customers potentially start to leave.

Tim Vanderham:
Now, they may not leave overnight but when you think about what these decentralized finance institutions are doing, they're looking to being able to bring you to mortgages and lending and loans and starting to give you financial services advice, all the things that trusted banks, trusted credit unions generally have for their members and their customers and so when I'm talking to banks and leaders at these financial institutions, it's all about do you want to retain your customer base and do you want to attract new customers and new members into your financial institution? And the answer has to be yes, right?

Tim Vanderham:
I mean, we all need to keep growing and so you need to be competitive with the Coinbases, the Block5s, all of the FinTech startups that are starting to do these types of offerings and so what we tell our customers is we want to do it in a consumer and bank friendly way. Let's not have that $400 million from that one bank that I referenced... I chatted with a credit union last week as well and they said they've seen about $10 million at a much smaller base leave their front door. Let's not allow that money to leave the front door. Let's allow that money to stay with the financial institution. You give them that security, that advice, that trusted advice you have been for years and let's allow you to grow your business and not have money leaving the front door.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting you bring this up because one of the case studies that I heard, I guess it was two weeks ago now, was an organization said during the government stimulus packages there was just a lot of money coming in and savings accounts were growing and we thought savings rates were getting to a new level that hopefully would not fall back again and then they started looking at what else happened and they found, as you referenced, that the most significant amount was going out of the institution ever for Robinhood and for Coinbase and so sometimes we get blinded by the good news and we miss the bad news that's underneath the surface of that. When you look at crypto and when you look at digital commerce, cryptocurrency is more than just a Coinbase scenario. It's really part of the global commerce which really I think is probably why NCR is pursuing it and offering these services for their client so what is your vision of digital currencies in the evolving payment system and how do you see it being used in a year or three to five years ahead of time?

Tim Vanderham:
I've got a vision of three to five years but I've also got a reality of what's happening today. When we acquired Liberty X, we acquired it because we saw three fundamental use cases today that we're core and centric, buying and selling of cryptocurrency and allowing our customers, banks, credit unions, retailers, restaurants to engage in that ecosystem. We actually also see it in remittance cross border. So when you start thinking about a faster, cheaper, safer way to remit money from the US to Brazil or Argentina or Mexico, using crypto rails is actually a faster, safer, cheaper, better way than traditional rails. And then payments, as you just referenced, while payments is still fairly nascent around using Bitcoin or speculative coins, other alt coins for payments, stablecoins are not nascent in using payments when you start thinking about B2B, B2C, C2B and C2C.

Tim Vanderham:
So every form of payment that a business and a consumer can engage in, stablecoins are pretty prevalent today. A stablecoin is generally backed or pinned to a fiat currency and several of the largest ones are all pinned to the US dollar backed by T-bills. One of the most popular ones is USDC. Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle which manages the USDC stablecoin was just quoted a couple weeks ago talking about how many trillion dollars were used with USDC in 2021 to make a form of payment or transaction. That number was $2.4 trillion of stablecoin used in transactions in 2021. So while payments with Bitcoin and other alt coins is still fairly nascent although it's happening at gas stations and grocery stores and NCR's supporting those, we just went live last week with Sheetz to be the first fuel location in the US where you can actually pay with crypto at the fuel pump.

Tim Vanderham:
So while nascent, it's still pretty interesting but when people are cashing out their cryptocurrencies or their NFTs back into stablecoin, they're going to use those stablecoins to make payments to their colleagues, their peers, their friends, even to businesses and that's happening today so that's why this ecosystem is so important for our financial institutions, for our retailers and our restaurants and that's why NCR's engaged in this ecosystem because while we may not see it every day in our day to day lives as a consumer, it's happening in droves of transactions every day and only growing.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting. You mentioned the relationship with Sheetz but that's just facilitating what people want to do on a B2C basis. Why would consumers want to purchase or manage their crypto through a traditional financial institution as opposed to an app like Coinbase or someplace else?

Tim Vanderham:
I think at the end of the day most consumers trust their financial institution. NCR ran a Harris poll where three out of five respondents said they would prefer to engage with their cryptocurrencies or digital assets through their financial institution because it's trusted and also how many of us like this wallet proliferation that's happening? I would rather be able to go to my digital banking app through NCR or whoever your digital banking solution is and be able to see my checking account, my savings account, my mortgages, my loans, you can federate in your securities. I want my digital assets to be there as well. I want my Bitcoin, my Cardano, my Ethereum, my stablecoin. I want to be able to see that in one view and then when I'm in my digital wallet, my digital app through my financial institution, I can choose how I want to pay. Maybe I want to pay with my debit card I'm going to get cash back-

Jim Marous:
It's very much we do today with different cards and things like that so you basically would be within, let's say the PNC app for me, and I'd be able to select oh by the way, I'd like to pay it with digital currency as opposed to my traditional bank account.

Tim Vanderham:
That's right. And so I think as consumers we want to be in a trusted location which our financial institution is. We want to be able to get advice on it, right? Because let's be honest, there are very are a few people that truly understand what they're looking at when they get into cryptocurrency. Now many of them learn but they're learning on their own, they're learning through Google, they're learning through whatever medium. If we can help our financial institutions educate their customers, credit unions educate their members, that's a way to not only retain their current customer base but also attract new customers and new members because as people are going to this model and they've got... Maybe they're a 20 year old that has a bunch of crypto but they want to get into a more traditional set of assets as well, well, we want to bring them to our customers, to our banks and our credit unions and so having this capability, having the knowledge about it will allow you to not only retain your current but attract new.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting you referenced the education aspect and that's probably one of the biggest challenges of offering digital currencies at a traditional financial institution. I know that if I went my traditional financial institution today and asked them about digital currencies they wouldn't have a clue. Now, I may be wrong but I think it would be a helter skelter type situation that I may get somebody that happens to know about it but it's not from being taught within the financial institutions. How do you see organizations or how would you recommend that organizations get up to speed with their employees and the people that have being handling this so they can talk intelligently about why this may be a good option or maybe just why their institution is a good option for something they don't fully understand the dynamics of?

Tim Vanderham:
I think as every financial institution has gone into new endeavors, new financial advising around certain markets, certain funds, whatever it might be, you have to go through that learning curve, build a wealth of knowledge inside the financial institution and then roll that out and so as we are out, NCR is out, talking to our banks and credit unions, we're telling them that's part of the strategy. It's not just about lighting up the digital banking app and now allowing their customers to opt in and buy Bitcoin or buy Ethereum through their NCR partnership. It goes much deeper than that and so we're trying to educate the executive leadership team of banks, the board members of banks and credit unions and they're going to need to go hire some individuals that truly understand this landscape.

Tim Vanderham:
And let's be honest, it's really hard to speculate and to follow every trend of every cryptocurrency but there are the primary ones that are the most used, that are the most popular. Start there and grow over time. I often get asked questions of does NCR and Liberty X support more than Bitcoin? Today we don't because Bitcoin is 90% of the popularity in the market. We will add others like Ethereum and stablecoin like USDC et cetera but that comes as consumers want to consume it and want to leverage it more and more. So our credit unions, our banks must educate, must hire people that will be resident experts on this topic and then leverage that out through their educational portals, through their mobile apps to ensure their customers and their members understand what this technology means and what cryptocurrency can do for them within their portfolio.

Jim Marous:
While the acquisition of Liberty was a somewhat recent phenomena, NCR has been involved in crypto for longer than that, haven't they? And has been talking to your financial institution partners and your merchant partners about digital currency in the past, correct?

Tim Vanderham:
Yeah, we have. Actually, interestingly enough I started this in third quarter of 2019 really talking about digital wallets, digital assets and how we were going to start bringing that technology set into our offerings across financial institutions, retailers and restaurants. Then this little thing, COVID, happened and slowed us up a little bit around our advancements but yeah, we had partnerships in market with NYDIG, with Flexa, with Gemini with other, I'll say pretty large name digital asset companies, because we knew where the puck was going. We knew this technology trend wasn't a fly by night, wasn't a flash and going to be gone. We knew where it was going and so then as I sat back as a Chief Technology Officer and I went to our executive investment council and went to our board.

Tim Vanderham:
If we're going to be a trusted technology provider to banks, credit unions, restaurants and retailers, we knew it couldn't just be a partnership. We couldn't just be a pass through. We had to have our own technology that was going to make us differentiated in the market for our customers. And so while our partnerships will still exist, we'll still leverage our relationships with ships, we knew we needed to bring in core blockchain cryptocurrency technology to be embedded in our platform, our channeled services platform on the banking side, our NCR commerce platform for the retail and restaurant side and truly expose these APIs so that as we put crypto on every corner and enable it at all of our digital and physical touch points we can have this embedded in our platform from day one to really give the best advantage to our customers in the market.

Jim Marous:
You just referenced it, Bitcoin at every corner. When you're working with a finance institution and you're starting to talk to them about the whole area of digital currencies, are you talking to them in the entire scope of what they can do? So more than just the opening up the doors to trading by consumers but also making it available in their ATMs, making it available to their merchant partners, things of this nature. You're looking at the entire scope of digital currencies, aren't you?

Tim Vanderham:
Yeah, it's the entire ecosystem. I mean, when I say crypto in every corner or Bitcoin on every block, it's all about in our digital wallet, at ATMs, at ITMs, at self checkout machines. When you think about how all the retailers, for example, can start to leverage their self checkout machines which have recyclers for cash in them as well, they can almost become an on-ramp to a financial services kiosk. We also just bought Cardtronics. We just merged with Cardtronics back in August and so you think about their all point network and the 55,000 endpoints that they have on the all point network and the 280,000 endpoints they have worldwide, we truly want to enable Bitcoin on every one of those physical touchpoints as well as digital and it's bringing together retailers and banks.

Tim Vanderham:
Every retailer has to have a bank and so some retailers are going to choose to actually store some of their settlement probably in crypto. Now it may not always be Bitcoin, it might be stablecoin, it might be what have you so we're building out the ecosystem where us as consumers, merchants whether you're a retailer or a restaurant can all participate in this digital asset ecosystem with financial institutions across the globe and that's why I'm so bullish in the fact that this technology is going to be here to stay. It's going to be leveraged for real time payments. It's going to be leveraged by us as consumers and NCR's just at the beginning of what we're doing with our offerings.

Jim Marous:
Well, it's interesting when you look at the banking ecosystem right now. How much is being driven by commerce in the payments marketplace? You talked about the real time payments, you talk about digital coin, you talk about Bitcoin, you've talked about cryptocurrencies, we can talk about buy now pay later. How important right now is it for financial institutions to really get up to speed on what's going ahead, try to get ahead of the trends? How important is the speed of innovation with regard to all these products we're talking about?

Tim Vanderham:
The speed of innovation is paramount when it comes to financial institutions. You just rattle off a number of things that are happening and there'll be more and more as it gets into NFTs and dare I say the metaverse and how you really attract these consumers that are 15 to 25 to 35 today that are having completely different lifestyles and completely different interaction models than you do Jim, than I do and that many of us do across the globe. And so when we're talking to our customers, we're talking about the here and now, the tactical what we got to go do today, tomorrow, the next three months but there's always a conversation about innovation.

Tim Vanderham:
In that speed of innovation what we always tell our customers is we want to be ahead of you, right? NCR wants to be innovating. So most of our customers look at us, "So you bought Liberty X, why?" And I'm like, "You may not want it today but you're going to want it in three, six, maybe nine months which I hope isn't too late and when you want it's going to be there." And they'll be ready like that. And so that's what we're doing, what we're focused on and talking to all of our customers about to make sure they're aware of where the waves are going and where innovation is going in this financial services ecosystem which is only getting faster and faster every day.

Jim Marous:
We talked about it before the show started and I've talked about it on previous podcasts that really the only way for institutions of all sizes, the very biggest and the very smallest to keep up with what's going on in the financial institution marketplace is really through partnerships. We have partners in every element of what we have to fix in banking that are bringing this innovation to speed, that are really saying, "We will be your partner that can bring you on board quickly and easily." I kid about the fact that we can no longer talk about what we're going to do in 2022, we got to talk about what we're going to do in March and April which right now we're in February and we have to look at the fact that we are dealing with a much shorter timeframe of innovation overall.

Jim Marous:
Now, the challenge is we have legacy leadership and we have legacy organizations that are used to a much slower pace. We're used to things happening slowly and working against us is the fact that we're all making money. If there's no pain it's really hard to say we'll disrupt everything to look at new innovations so when you get in front of traditional banks and credit unions, what is their hesitation to move forward? What are their concerns about being a leader as opposed to a follower? And we talk about fast follower but there is no such thing really today because if you're a follower, you are a follower. What do you see as the biggest challenge? What hesitation... When you get in front of somebody and they go... They keep on shaking their head yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, I remember this in the sales world and then all of a sudden it's time to sign an agreement they go, "Not so quick." What's holding people up.

Tim Vanderham:
I think the biggest two things that are holding people up are just unawareness or lack of knowledge and that creates a little bit of fear or uncertainty which we're trying to overcome with education and helping them work through it. And the second is the uncertainty around regulation which I would say isn't undue because when you hear about what's coming out of the White House and you hear what's coming out of Gensler in the SEC, when you hear what's going on in other international forums around what coins are going to be accepted in what countries and stablecoins and is there going to be a central bank digital currency that's tied to Fed now, there's a lot of uncertainty there and what I tell them is that... I went back to an earlier point I made it.

Tim Vanderham:
It doesn't matter if some coins are currencies, some coins are securities, some coins are going to be handled like a store of value or just speculative, consumers are engaging this ecosystem and our financial institutions need to be engaged as well. Now not recklessly. They obviously need to work with the OCC and keep people apprised and so on and so forth but there are a number of banks that are already doing this today so they're not going to be the first. And so what I tell these leaders is let's get engaged together. NCR is used to FFIEC regulations and audits and we work in regulated businesses and so leverage us as a trusted partner to bring you on this journey. And while I may not build everything, I may not acquire everything, I will use partnerships with other reputable companies in the market to be able to stitch together the solutions that our banks need, our credit unions need to be successful in March and April.

Tim Vanderham:
I love how you said that Jim. It's that it isn't about what we're going to do at the end of the year or next year, is what we're going to go do at the end of first quarter and beginning of second quarter and so that's what I tell them. I think there's a number of them that are excited about this opportunity. I know we in NCR and myself and our whole banking organization are excited about really launching this with a number of banks and then being able to show reputable results and concrete results of what's been achieved and how we've been able to continue moving with the regulations. Regulations are going to change for the next 3, 6, 12, 18 months. We'll maintain pace, we'll keep our banks compliant, most importantly we will do it in a bank and consumer friendly way and this is going to take us to the moon.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting. It's a difference between risk mitigation or risk avoidance and risk management and... It's interesting, I was with a financer, one of the top five finance institutions, gosh it was two years ago now, and they said, "We can't wait for the regulators to determine what they want to do however we have a good idea of what their overall framework of what they want to do is and we're going to work within that framework." They know what risks they have to avoid, they know... It may not be on paper yet but if you wait for that...

Jim Marous:
I said this on many of their shows and on The Financial Brand, unfortunately regulators are the most legacy of legacy bankers so they're going to work slower than traditional banks will on many cases and they're more of a follower than even many of the financial institutions are and we really have to look and say, "We know what they're going to be trying to avoid. We know what we want to try to avoid. That's simply an excuse." When you look at NCR and you look at the involvement you've had through decades of your involvement in commerce... I'm going to do a little pivot here. How are you already getting prepared for the marketplaces NFTs? We're not talking about buying little illustrations but the use of NFTs in financial contracting and financial institutions and even the metaverse.

Tim Vanderham:
Yeah. We're preparing for that and Liberty X was part of that transition so we can start to have the ability to custody on any cryptocurrency including NFTs as they're stored there whether it be a retailer storing something, a financial institution or consumers through a financial institution. We've already started talking into my innovation lab about how we enable our retailers, our restaurants and our banks to have a location, to have a digital ATM or ITM in the metaverse, to have a restaurant or a store on the quarter in the metaverse which ultimately then just pops up your digital app. You can order and still get delivery through our platform to your door, to your house and so this Web 3.0 revolution is happening and that's something that not a lot of people probably fully understand or are fully even aware of but our job as being a technology provider to our customers is to stay ahead of the leading edge of where things are going.

Tim Vanderham:
I've got my innovation lab here in Atlanta working through what this looks like. We'll do some co-innovation with some progressive banks and retailers as we go to that world and... The NFT space is going to be really interesting because many people think, as you just alluded to, it's about digital art but at the end of the day when you start combining NFTs as a package of value and then tying that with smart contracts which can be running on our blockchain networks and you can start to think of really interesting ways. You mentioned buy now pay later earlier, are there ways that we can leverage blockchain, NFTs, cryptocurrency as a medium to do buy now pay later in a direct forum between financial institutions and our retailers?

Tim Vanderham:
Actually we run a global hackathon every year here at NCR and last year the winning idea was just that. Creating this ecosystem leveraging blockchain, smart contracts to do a reverse auction of buy now pay later assets from retailers into banks. I smile because I get to love my job so much that we're thinking about these advanced things which... Yeah that's happening in places in the market today but it's other companies that are creating that. If we can create those types of conduits, those types of innovations within our existing platform that banks, credit unions or retailers are using today, it's going to be really powerful and then that speed of innovation is just going to be unlocked by using a new set of APIs or a new set of capabilities within the existing solutions for our current customers.

Jim Marous:
Well it's interesting because I got to sometimes take things down to the bare minimums and one of the case studies I heard of for NFTs that seemed very logical to me was in the ticketing business. In major sports we've just maybe gone into this third year of mobile ticketing being the only way to be able to do it and that was prompted by obviously COVID where physical tickets just weren't logical anymore. But if you look at the possibility of viewing NFTs, collectible NFTs as a way to enter an event, it allows you to get back to what a lot of people like myself liked which was I liked the physical ticket because I said... I could say, "I was at this event." Whereas mobile ticket really can't but with NFTs you all of a sudden could trade within people.

Jim Marous:
You can have different levels of scale of access and availability of going to see celebrities or music concerts or sporting events and you combine the NFT capability, collectible NFT capability with ticketing, with contracts and it really gets interesting and then you can see it in different viewpoints but you just think about how quickly this is all happening. It's really interesting to see what may happen. Finally, what do you see as the biggest trend in finance institutions and in payments that they must embrace in the next three to five years and what will change banking more than anything else on the horizon?

Tim Vanderham:
I think one thing I haven't really mentioned but it ties into what you were just saying with NFTs and that's digital identity. We've got to ensure that over the next three to five years, and I would say even before that, banks truly embrace this notion of KYCAML which is absolutely a requirement, we're going to continue to have that, but truly store your digital identity, your self sovereign identity that I attest to, my bank attest to, my government attest to. We will get to a unified ID that is digital, that is self sovereign, that is managed by me and then I can share that with my trusted partners, my financial institutions, my retailers that I go to et cetera.

Tim Vanderham:
That's at the core of this because the core of all these cryptocurrencies, NFTs, digital assets is going to be, "Do I feel confident and comfortable as a consumer that it's tied to my identity? That I control my identity and that I control who has access to me in this ecosystem. I think that's one of the biggest things that's going to be a technology underpinning for our banks and our credit union.

Jim Marous:
And that only certain doors have to be opened at any time so it's not an all or nothing type environment where once you give your digital identity it's everything. No, you can say, "I'll let you have access to this part of my digital identity."

Tim Vanderham:
Yeah. And it's access to part of it, it's access for a certain time box. You can revoke it back. You can ask for others to attest to you so you get a trust score that's even higher as to who you are. There's a whole ecosystem here that we're just scratching the surface on right now that I think is the underpinning to where we're going. It's not as sexy as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, maybe NFTs either, but it is going to be there and I think we all need to be aware of that at a technology level. And then leveraging that, I think the biggest thing is going to be money movement. How do we get to a different form of money movement that includes fiats, that include... I mean, checks are still here, cash is still here. We don't believe those are going away anytime soon but digital assets are here as well.

Tim Vanderham:
And then leveraging that for are money movement in payments and lease costs routing and there's just a whole series of things that revolves around money movement at a peer to peer level, at a consumer to business level and a business to business level and then as we were talking earlier, it gets into the government level when it comes to taxes. I think money move is going to be one of the biggest things that we all in this technology space for financial institutions and that all of the merchants across the globe need to understand and need to get ready to embrace because that will greatly evolve over the next three to five years.

Jim Marous:
Tim, I'm going to ask you a personal question because you are a wealth of knowledge and you're working with a firm that you need that wealth of knowledge because it's moving fairly quickly also. A lot of us, myself included, are trying their hardest to try to keep up to date on what's happening beyond what we know today. How do you keep up to date and get ahead of the curve as far as what could be on the horizon?

Tim Vanderham:
I follow, I think, some really key blogs and really key leaders in this space but they're always evolving as well and I've really challenged my team. So I mentioned my innovation lab a couple times in this session. I've got a couple of guys on my innovation lab that live and breathe cryptocurrency and because I've got a large portfolio it's hard for me to keep up, as you referenced, I leverage them. They're out in the metaverse, they're out doing this in their personal lives. The Liberty X acquisition, Chris and Kyle and the CTO there, Cragin, live this day in and day out and I just immerse myself with them on a regular basis to keep pace and to make sure that we understand where it's going. So for anybody that's truly interested in this technology space, follow leaders that you find, follow me who also follows other leaders, follow people that are in my team and nobody knows everything but we cross section, we read a lot, we're on a lot of forums and we make sure that we know what's happening in the market best we can.

Tim Vanderham:
So most importantly I can be talking to you, Jim, I can be talking to our customers and we can keep guiding them in the right way because at the end of the day NCR it will take advantage of this new ecosystem, of this growth. Because we're a public traded company we have to do that but we're going to do it in a way that is friendly to our banks, our credit unions, our retailers and our restaurants which I would argue not all FinTechs and not all the decentralized essential lives finance companies are doing so it's fun for me to be able to look at the tech and then figure out how I can apply it to our customer base to really advance them moving forward throughout the rest of this year and into the future.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting. The power of self education has never been more important because it's the only way, not just about banking but anything going on, that if you sit still and stay in the past that the future gets further and further away. I think I mentioned it before our call publicly about a ropes course where... In a ropes course you go from one rope to the next and if you don't let go of the previous rope you get further and further away from your destination and I think that's an analogy that you have to take and it's one of the reasons why I'm doing the podcast. I started two and a half years ago basically to find a new way to educate the marketplace and I really appreciate you being on the show today, Tim, it's been a great conversation. We will revisit this in the future. Thank you.

Tim Vanderham:
I appreciate the time, Jim. Great to talk with you as always and look forward to the future as well.

Jim Marous:
Thanks for listening to Banking Transformed, rated at top five banking podcasts and winner of three international awards for podcast excellence. We really appreciate the support you've provided since we started this endeavor. If you enjoy our show, please be sure to provide a review on your favorite podcast platform. Finally, be sure to catch my recent articles on The Financial Brand and check out the research we're doing for the Digital Banking Report. This has been a production of Evergreen Podcast. 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, the future of banking is based on commerce and payments. Now more than ever bankers must embrace the change that's all around us in that universe.

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