In conversation with Antony Jenkins, founder and CEO of 10x Banking
10x Banking is one of the new core banking providers.
The company says it has built a “next-generation banking operating system, 10x SuperCore” and boasts tier-one banks across the globe among its clients. A single ledger enables a highly configurable product model so banks can radically simplify their technology and truly transform.
I recently spoke to its founder and CEO, Antony Jenkins, and these are my three key take-aways.
Bring together the right technologists and industry specialists
After a long career in the financial services industry, Antony told me that there are two key challenges he has been grappling with throughout his career.
1: “Why don’t banks work better for their customers? Essentially, banks are built to sell products, not necessarily meeting customers’ needs.”
2: “Why hasn’t technology created real transformation in the industry?”
When he left Barclays in 2015 (Antony was CEO), he couldn’t get out of his head the idea that there had to be a way to do banking better. And if he was going to do banking better, he wanted to make it much better. So, he set up 10x. Its purpose: to make banking at least 10 times better. For the banks themselves, for their customers and for society. He paired knowledgeable industry practitioners with technologists who understand the power of cloud-native computing and the team got to work.
From his time at Barclays, Antony knew what good looked like in the space and what the expectations were from a performance, security and resilience point of view. So, from day one he decided that the firm should target and serve the largest banks in the world. As a conscious decision, it was critical so that they could appropriately architect and build the business around that.
Antony thinks that made 10x attractive to the market, “as they could see that we thought about the problem fundamentally differently”. The company wasn’t just selling you core banking software; it was helping transform your business.
By focusing on tier-one clients, 10x had to build a platform that was fit for purpose for customer numbers in the multiple millions.
Break down the silos and remember that transformation is about people, not technology
Integral to transformation in banking is understanding the impact a silo-based mentality can have on progress. The digital age should massively advantage banks. But they are hemmed in on three sides. On one side by fintechs. On another by big tech. And lastly, by their legacy tech. And this legacy tech is a massive impediment. It stops them from being able to innovate, connect the business and marketing to technology, and in this modern day and age, deliver products that can respond to a changing world at the pace that is needed. All this means many banks have hard-coded silos into how they work.
Antony told me: “When I was at Barclays, we described it as the bucket brigade. Someone in marketing would come up with a bright idea, and that would get passed to somebody in the IT department who would pass it on to engineering, and then as compliance had been forgotten, it would have to go back through the cycle.” People and processes aligned to the legacy stack.
Antony went on to say: “That is the fundamental point. All change journeys are really about people. And however much we talk about digital at its heart, it’s a challenge of people. I often get asked, ‘Who do you see as your main competitor?’, and I say the banks themselves because many people in banks will believe they can do this for themselves. And they might be able to envision it intellectually. But it’s pretty hard to execute that, particularly when navigating all organisational silos and power bases.”
10x has built a platform that works as a silo-buster between business, marketing and technology by putting tools in the hands of the business so that they can understand what’s going on at a product level and respond very quickly. This means product ideas can be imagined and launched rapidly – and these products can be optimised by understanding the data they generate.
By the middle of next year, 10x will have built out a complete suite of products across the asset and liability sides of the balance sheet, which will serve everybody from the mass market all the way up to the large corporates.
10x is an excellent start-up story. Antony has taken his observations and frustrations from his time at the most senior level in a tier-one bank and turned them into requirements for a new platform.
Creating this silo-busting, cloud-based core banking platform that offers flexibility and robustness, 10x is one of the companies enabling banks to genuinely transform so that they can actually focus on the end customer.
About the author
He is a passionate customer advocate and champion and a successful entrepreneur.