Sibos 2020: Banks must persevere with difficult fintech partnerships
Partnerships between banks, fintechs, and vendors remain a valuable learning opportunity for the industry, even if they aren’t always easy.
Speaking at the Sibos 2020 virtual conference, Matt Comyn, CEO of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, says banks must be ready.
“You’ve got to be prepared to try out some different [partnership] models and different ways,” he says. CommBank has explored a range of tie-ups, he adds, including classic cooperation and some instances of equity interest.
“I think it’s really important from a large financial institution that we very much approach those relationships with a lot of empathy and try to understand, in detail, what it’s like to be on the other side.
Comyn says that there is a deserved adage that people can go broke trying to partner with banks because they can be put through a lot of processes before approval.
“What we really want to do is just accelerate the metabolism of the organisation. Technology and digital is absolutely central to our strategy.”
The CommBank CEO says the pace of change in the industry will only continue to accelerate: “It’s important that we are leading in this space and not working from a position of urgency.”
Comyn says Commbank has already made two big digital bets disproportionally to those made in other banks in Australia. One, an investment into internal relationship management systems in the 2000s, the other, a core banking implementation in 2006.
“[It’s] hugely important to innovate internally and try to overhaul the customer experience. Some of the really enjoyable parts of the job are going along and seeing what teams have come up with.
“We’ve [worked] on this idea of trying to connect our customers with benefits that they didn’t know they’re entitled to outside of banking.
“This has scaled in importance particularly in the context of COVID-19. We’ve added more benefits to make it easier and more seamless for customers to participate in everything.”