Belvo receives Citi Ventures investment

Open finance API platform Belvo announced that it has received an investment from Citi Ventures to expand its footprint into Latin American countries. The amount of capital invested was not disclosed. Sao Paulo, Brazil-based Belvo has raised a total of $56 million over six funding rounds. The fintech’s collaboration with Citi Ventures will help facilitate […]

5 questions with … Santander Bank’s Chief Consumer and Digital Transformation Officer Pierre Habis

Santander Bank appointed Pierre Habis to the newly created role of chief consumer and digital transformation officer in June, expanding his responsibilities to include oversight of the bank’s digital transformation.

Pierre Habis, chief consumer and digital transformation officer, Santander Bank

The $102 billion bank is focusing on modernizing its technology stack, which includes the launch of new robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities, automating for customer experience and digitizing back-office capabilities.

Bank Automation News recently caught up with Habis to discuss Santander Bank’s digital transformation plans under his leadership. What follows is an edited version of that conversation.

Bank Automation News: What processes has Santander Bank recently automated?

Pierre Habis: In our record management team, we’ve launched new RPA capabilities to help us respond to customer requests for information rapidly, especially during peak demand periods.

As part of a broader effort across the U.S., Consumer Business and Banking (CBB) will undergo a multiyear business and technology modernization plan, broadly categorized under the Horizon program. Project Horizon will transform Santander Bank by delivering capabilities that empower digitally savvy U.S. consumers to simplify their financial lives. The program will achieve this by relentlessly focusing on customer needs while simplifying the product set, automating cumbersome processes and delivering a future state, data-driven digital platform.

BAN: What innovative technology is on your radar for the remainder of 2022?

PH: At Santander, we are committed to simplifying our processes and integrating new tools and resources to make banking easier for our customers. We keep our customers at the center of everything we do and aim to deliver the best products and services through the channels that are convenient for them.

We know that technology has been essential in helping businesses to better serve their customers and expand their reach to meet new ones, which is why we are on this digital transformation journey. We are transforming our technology from the back office all the way through the customer experience to increase the efficiency of our operations and better serve our customers.

In our investments business, we are currently working with an industry-leading provider that offers a digital investments platform with a robo-advisor that lets customers access financial advice at a lower cost. The investing strategy may help customers grow their long-term wealth, and they get a personalized portfolio that we automatically manage and rebalance for them.

BAN: What global technology assets do you plan on leveraging to support the bank’s digital transformation?

PH: The Santander Group has 157 million global customers, many of whom are digital customers. And this number is growing. Unlocking the power of technology to enhance their experience and address their needs — this isn’t a new concept at Santander. The bank’s digital transformation is the next milestone. Santander invests approximately $5 billion annually in technology to enhance its customers’ experience, and the bank’s digital transformation is an extension of the group’s efforts. We will be able to tap into Santander’s scale, resources and global technology capabilities to help us drive down costs, improve service and acquire more customers.

BAN: What technology projects are you currently focused on?

PH: We have a digital investing platform geared toward customers who may be newer to investing and who have lower initial balances to invest. The service doesn’t replace the professional advice and guidance of a financial consultant. Instead, it complements our investments business and ensures all clients have quality investment options. It’s an exciting step forward in the bank’s digital transformation.

We are re-engineering the way we serve customers by closely reviewing our processes, technology stack and automation to reimagine our customer experience in an efficient way.

BAN: What’s your favorite piece of leadership advice?

PH: I grew up in bank branches, which instilled in me a deep understanding and appreciation for the importance of cultivating relationships. A personal touch and ensuring each and every team member feels valued has to remain one of the top priorities for any leader. This has stayed with me throughout my career.

Having relationships also builds trust, and team members are more open to sharing feedback, which pays dividends. Listening and learning from my team has powered my own growth and development. No matter where someone is in the career journey, from entry-level to the C-suite, we all should be learning and growing.

Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022, taking place Sept. 19-20 in Seattle, is a crucial event on automation and automation technology in banking. Learn more and register for Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022.

Newly rebranded Verimore Bank showcases tech transformation

Verimore Bank, formerly First Missouri Bank, recently underwent a complete core conversion that focused on enhanced digital offerings and in August rebranded to better reflect its ability to deliver advanced technology services. The $377 million Missouri-based community bank is now able to provide tech-focused mobile and business banking “a little more seamlessly,” Chief Executive Kristie […]

Revolut wants to compete with PayPal and Apple at online checkouts

Revolut Ltd. is launching a one-click payment feature in a bid to rival PayPal Inc. and other tech giants at online checkouts. Revolut Pay has signed up retailers including Shopify Inc., Prestashop, WH Smith Plc and Funky Pigeon, and will be available within the airline industry in the coming months, according to a statement from […]

3 Reasons why partnerships are the key to longevity for banks

Over the last decade, neobanks and fintechs have established themselves as key players in the financial industry, with more customers than ever before choosing their services over traditional banks. As the pace of change quickens and competition heats up, partnerships between banks and fintechs are becoming increasingly sought after.

At Wise Platform, we work with more than 50 partners and see first-hand the benefit of fintech-bank partnerships. Here are 3 reasons why we believe they are the key to creating financial services fit for the future:

  1. Partnerships help banks expand their offer and stay ahead of competition without dedicating significant resources.

Banks face stiff competition, with rival banks offering a broad array of products and services designed to keep pace with a customer’s evolving needs. Deciding where to prioritize innovation in a market that is rapidly demanding more digital products can be difficult.

On the other hand, many fintechs have grown market share by specializing in a core product. This specialization and ability to iterate quickly creates a unique expertise among these fintechs. Customers are responding to this specialization.  The most recent figures show that 75 percent of consumers globally* have adopted at least one fintech for money transfer and/or payment services. Indeed, at Wise, we now have over 13 million personal and business customers worldwide who use us when sending and spending money abroad.

Banks have an opportunity to bring these specialized fintech products directly into their own offering, recapturing and protecting their customer base by having leading products available in one place. Partnering with fintechs that have developed a unique product differentiation enables banks to provide customers the convenience of having a single source for the best product offerings, and a simplicity customers are placing a premium on today.

2. Partnerships are a quick, easy way to boost customer retention and growth.

Offering new services that make customers’ lives easier leads to greater customer satisfaction, retention and growth. Making customers’ lives easier can mean saving their time and energy, and of course, their money, too.

Earlier this year, Wise Platform partnered with Tiger Brokers (Singapore), an Asia-based trading platform that allows retail investors to easily and cheaply invest overseas. The build, which took just one month, has already led to customers saving, on average, $200 annually.

“Partnering with Wise Platform has been a quick, easy process. Most importantly, it’s improved our product and offer to customers. We’re able to offer savings to our customers, which they can either invest or pocket. We’re excited to grow and develop this partnership. ” – Henry Toh, Chief Financial Officer, Tiger Brokers Singapore.

3.Partnerships are a fast-track ticket to expertise and experience.

Through partnerships, banks can tap into the expertise of fintechs who have spent years developing a single product. Banks can incorporate a product without having to assume lengthy research and development efforts of their own.  With Wise, partners gain access to an advanced platform and digital user experience along with the expertise of over 600 engineers focused solely on international payments..

Therefore, Wise Platform not only saves banks and large businesses from having to invest in building or upgrading their foreign exchange infrastructure, it also enables them to benefit from our scale and expertise.

By taking advantage of readily available fintech infrastructure, banks disincentivize customers from searching for alternative banking solutions and gain a foothold with future generations of consumers. By striking while the iron is hot on partnerships, banks can offer new services, retain and grow their customer base, and ensure longevity in an increasingly competitive market.

To find out more about how a partnership could transform your offer, contact us today.

About Wise Platform

Wise Platform is Wise – but for banks, large businesses and other major enterprises. It allows our partners to utilize our infrastructure, meaning they can embed the best way to send, receive and manage money into their existing infrastructure, creating value for their business and customers.

Over the past decade, Wise (formerly known as Transferwise) has built a global payments infrastructure that has revolutionized how money moves around the world. Now, thanks to Wise Platform, other companies can gain access to our industry-leading, reliable service seamlessly. We save partners years of development costs and growing pains, allowing them to innovate quickly and serve, retain, and grow their customer base.

Note to Editor

*75% percent of consumers globally have adopted at least one fintech for money transfer and/or payment services – Statista.

AI, cybersecurity education key to avoiding fraud

Leveraging adaptive behavioral technology can help banks combat financial crime and fraud — but educating consumers on how to avoid suspicious links is key. Consumers reported losing more than $5.8 billion to financial fraud in 2021, an increase of more than 70% compared with 2020, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Today’s successful anti-fraud technology […]

UiPath stock price continues tumble

Robotic process automation (RPA) giant UiPath is taking a hit on Wall Street despite its recent acquisition of Re:infer, a natural language processing (NLP) company. The company’s stock has fallen 14% over the past 5 days, and 37% in the last month. For comparison, one year ago on Sept. 8, 2021, the company’s stock price […]

ML-driven Chase platform distills data for business insights

JPMorgan Chase recently launched its data analytics-based Customer Insights platform in order to provide its small business clients with a deeper understanding of their customer base through their transaction and payment history. “How do you let a machine learn the data and then translate it to a business recommendation?” Tony Wimmer, managing director and head […]

Goldman lends $140 million to Latin American fintech Xepelin

(Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. provided a $140 million credit line to help finance a Mexico expansion for Latin American fintech Xepelin Holdings Inc., which offers services including payments and credit to small and midsize companies that do business with other firms. “It’s our largest credit facility so far, denominated in Mexican pesos, and […]

A sneak peek at the fireside agenda featuring US Bank’s Eslick at the upcoming Bank Automation Summit

What happens when a PhD from MIT gets into a bank’s engineering operation?

Ian Eslick is going to tell attendees at the upcoming Bank Automation Summit. (Hint: It has something to do with systems thinking.)

Ian Eslick, chief technology officer for enterprise architecture and engineering at US Bank

The MIT grad, who is now the chief technology officer of enterprise architecture and engineering at US Bank, the fifth-largest bank in the country, will discuss four broad topics during his fireside chat at the Summit:

  • How to talk risk and compliance from a technology perspective;
  • DevOps for the cloud platform;
  • Data-driven governance; and
  • US Bank’s document automation processes.

Click here to view the full Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022 agenda.

Eslick, who joined US Bank in 2019, recently has been involved in a major process-reengineering effort at USB, as well as working on data-standardization at the bank, an effort that requires documentation automation at scale. He’s been engaged with “the chess game of trying to help the company transform,” as he puts it.

During the fireside chat at BAS Fall 2022, glimpse the unique way Eslick thinks about processes, automation and the future of banking and US Bank — thinking that has only evolved since his time at MIT.

US Bank’s technology and communications spend in the second quarter of this year grew to $350 million, a 0.3% sequential increase, although a decrease of 3.3% on a year-over-year basis, according to the bank.

Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022, taking place Sept. 19-20 in Seattle, is a crucial event on automation and automation technology in banking. Learn more and register for Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022.

City National Bank of Taylor reaches 95% eSign completion rate

City National Bank of Taylor has grown its eSign and digital document collection completion rates more than 90% since selecting fintech Lightico as its digitization partner. The $250 million Taylor, Texas-based bank began leveraging Lightico’s API-based, no-code, mobile-first digital completion cloud in May 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were looking for an alternative to […]

Fiserv scores Q2 wins with financial institutions

Global payments fintech Fiserv scored several wins during the second quarter as financial institutions (FIs) opted for its cloud-enabled core platforms for enhanced customer experiences. “Open-banking capabilities and access to APIs to connect to third-party applications are also top of mind for our clients,” a Fiserv spokesperson told Bank Automation News. “Modern financial institutions need […]

Highline taps Argyle for direct payments

Payments fintech Highline announced that it has extended its partnership with employment data platform Argyle to extract payments from direct deposit rather than checking or savings accounts. The platform’s APIs will help lenders — particularly those offering unsecured loans — receive payments more reliably while expanding credit approvals. The fintech aims to provide users with […]

Praxent boosts workforce amid multiple software launches

User experience and software engineering company Praxent has hired 45 employees over the last year to enhance the customer experience and keep up with new product launches. Tthe Austin, Texas-based company expanded its workforce following the launch of 40 products and software releases aimed at assisting customers in Latin American communities, along with financial institution […]

Bank of America sees 1B digital logins in July

Bank of America saw a record one billion digital logins in July as it continues to make technology a centerpiece of client engagement. The numbers come as the $3.1 trillion bank recorded 2.8 billion logins during the second quarter, an 11% year-over-year increase. Over the past 12 years, the bank has dedicated more than $35 […]

Movers and Shakers: MX names new CTO

Open banking fintech MX has appointed Wes Hummel as its chief technology officer, a role in which he will oversee the company’s engineering and information security teams and report to Chief Executive Jim Magats. “[Wes] brings a tremendous amount of experience building and leading high-impact engineering teams at the world’s leading technology and fintech companies,” […]

Bank of America invests in student cybersecurity talent

Citing 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions in the U.S., Bank of America has announced a partnership with Liberty Science Center in New Jersey to help high school STEM students in underserved areas acquire cybersecurity skills, and potentially, jobs. The $3.1 billion Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said the dearth of cybersecurity professionals was impetus for the program in […]

FedNow to launch in summer 2023

The U.S. government’s real-time payments (RTP) service FedNow is slated to launch by mid-2023, with technical testing of the pilot program starting this month. The Federal Reserve will begin rolling out the service between May and July 2023, the agency announced this week. Following the launch, thousands of financial institutions, regardless of geographical location or […]

Listen: How AI improves the commercial loan process

Artificial intelligence (AI)-based software can streamline the commercial loan process and remove inconsistencies in the traditional approach many financial institutions use today. Hugh Shannon, head of sales and customer success at commercial lending credit intelligence provider OakNorth, tells Bank Automation News in this episode of “The Buzz” podcast that AI allows the fintech to build […]

Nutanix reports 37% revenue jump

Cloud computing company Nutanix is seeing a jump in revenue as its clients continue to embrace digital transformation. The San Jose, Calif.-based software provider reported a 37% year-over-year increase in revenue of $1.2 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter that ended July 31. The company credits a customer base that is increasingly leaning into cloud […]