Medium.com: The five most influential people in the future of banking: Brett King (CEO Moven, USA), Matthias Kröner (CEO Fidor bank, GER), Bank of Dave aka @FishwickDavid (UK), Piyush Gupta (CEO DBS bank, SG), Matteo Rizzi (General Partner SBT, Belgium) – the first two are founders of Life.SREDA’s portfolio projects.
Who is he?
Matthias has a great sense of humour. In his own words he’s twice as boring as most — he’s both German and a banker.
A bit like me, Matthias is an accidental banker. He started out in the hospitality industry and somehow got talked into an internship with a financial services broker.
They created a special programme for him as they’d never had an intern before. I guess they saw him as a bit special. And they were right.
Today Matthias is the boss at Fidor Bank. He’s overseeing a revolution(check the definition) in how a bank uses technology (it has its own operating system like Apple), how it it creates products and allows customers to easily share information.
Also, anyone punter that can code can develop a Fidor product -it’s fully open. It would be like me going into Pret as saying let’s have a Balinese coffee, because it tastes better, and having a right to do it.
What makes Matthias influential?
In short he has done the ‘hard yards’. His mission started during the financial crisis and his management team spent a lot of time using social media to get to know their potential customers and create a community in Munich.
The also invested time in working out how to have a business model where their costs of acquisition are so low that a regular banker would either trip over them or fall into depression.
All of Fidor’s processes are completed in 60 seconds. When a new savings product is launched, it sells out the next day because Fidor has spoken to its community to establish what a fair rate is, ahead of time.
As the CEO of Fidor, Matthias is now able to pilot his ship around Europe by simply shooting the local regulator a message to say he’s on his way.
Unlike the highly-publicised FinTech lot, Matthias worked out many years back that to have real influence over the future of the industry, he needed a banking licence and be a banker.
What is the best Matthias could do?
This is easy — Matthias should be doing TEDb or TED for bankers. Every banker on the planet needs to hear his story, to hear the actual numbers of how Fidor works.
I have the actual numbers in my notebook but I’ve not asked for permission to publish them, so I can’t share them here. I mention numbers because it’s something bankers understand and, in July 2014, Matthias told Breaking Banks that Fidor was acquiring customers at 20% of the industry average.
I’m pretty sure business folk in any industry would be interested to hear how a new entrant has cut an income statement line item by 80%! Matthias will tell you how, he’s that open about his way of banking.
Who is he?
Brett hails from the convict colony — an Aussie from Melbourne now running Moven, a tech startup partnering with banks to accelerate quality mobile banking experiences.
Brett often talks about how his daughter has never been to a branch and wonders why ‘cheque’ is spelt that way. It’s a hint why Moven is keen on Millenials.
I met Brett last June when he spoke in London and in the Q&A, I asked something to the effect of: “Isn’t banking more about keeping people in jobs than all this tech stuff”. It was my ‘in’ to chat at the end where he invited me to join his radio show, Breaking Banks, as a correspondent.
Brett is a great ‘success’ story and I purposely use that word. He’s gone from being a programmer at HSBC in Hong Kong, to running a compliance training business in Dubai, to becoming a successful author, and, to founding Moven.
What Brett has mastered, that others can learn from, is the art of translating what the customer needs (and the business wants) into a language that coders understand.
Having led an online banking project at Investec as a novice, I am well aware that this is Brett’s true craft and is the basis of his influence today.
What makes Brett influential?
Brett’s influence comes from what he has done — it’s a matter of empirical record. He’s taken his actual experience and used it to write books that influence how folks today think about banking.
Unlike someone like Chris Skinner (I’m not picking on you) who has also written a book, Brett is an industry participant, as CEO of Moven. It’s like the unspoken words when you have an MBA strategy lecturer that can actually tell stories about strategies he or she devised in business, and not in theory.
I also like the fact that Brett has chosen to host a radio show and its title (Breaking Banks) should not be seen as being anti banks. All he is really saying is that banks, and other financial services participants, are broken., And he is right – the financial crisis proved it.
What is the best Brett could do?
What interests me the most is whether Brett can use his influence to get some of the seemingly endless funds being dropped on ‘me to’ payment-type tech in London and New York into either blockchain-based startups or large-scale financial inclusion projects.