Fintech is Bringing Data to Banking, and It’s Going to Change Everything
As the rush to innovate legacy finance and its surrounding institutions continues, companies across the fintech space are rushing to build tech-infused brands while designing and marketing innovative financial products. Paul Walker, Senior Vice President of Revenue and Partnerships at Helix, spoke with deBanked about how tech’s impact in finance will not only impact how money moves in a B2B space, but how it will impact the lives of everyone who works to earn and spend money.
Walker spoke about how many banks are sitting on stockpiles of potential revenue, but just don’t have the infrastructure to leverage it. “[Fintechs] are data driven companies, and banks have not been data driven,” said Walker. “They’re sitting on some of the most valuable data you can ever imagine, but it’s the fintechs that are able to apply and anticipate areas of a consumer’s need [with this data] that not even the consumer knew they needed.”
According to Walker, fintech’s incoming impact on banking will hit both consumer and commercial banking pretty quickly. He spoke about how things like payroll information can be leveraged by banks as a harnessing tool for data on particular individuals who might be ripe for certain financial products.
“Imagine something like [banks] tracking the fact that your payroll or direct deposit changed by 20%, that might indicate that you got promoted,” said Walker.
“If you got promoted, is that a good time to go and engage you in a [financial] service that might be appropriate?”
Walker continued to speak on how smaller fintechs are bringing new ideas to traditional financial products and services on a widespread basis through approach via a problem solving lens.
“Using context is where these fintechs have done a change in things, some of the things are fundamentals like paychecks two days early,” Walker said. “I think fintechs have really tried to think about these points and new services.”
Walker spoke about how fintech has impacted every facet of the financial system and how the industry’s vast array of companies makes up a pretty large basis of his company’s clientele. With a history of banks and credit unions being their primary customers, Q2’s branch into Helix appears to be an effort to meet a rising demand of tech’s desire to incorporate themselves into legacy banking.
“From a tech perspective, more-so than anything, one of the interesting things we’ve done which what appeals to a lot of folks is our long history of working with a long line of banks and credit unions,” said Walker. “Over the last few years, we have been on the forefront of working with fintechs, and I think we’ve brought some really unique partnership models to market.”
“We’ve combined the things that fintechs do really well, and the things that banks and credit unions do really well, especially in regards to oversight and understanding the regulatory environment that will keep someone out of hot water in a highly regulated space.”
When asked whether innovation is truly exponential, Walker was hesitant to identify a point in which innovation reaches limits. According to him, innovation has no limits. In Walker’s world, finance seems to be just a subset of societies’ immersion with technology.
“I don’t think innovation ever stops, and I think that’s the basis of technology,” he said. “I don’t think its specific to just finance, but when tech and finance converge, there’s an opportunity to say ‘how do we do this better’”.
Walker expanded on how innovation has changed legacy products over and over again in a short period of time, and how examples of this are just the starting point for what is to come. “Now we’re going from same-day to real-time payments. At some point, you’re not going to have a physical card, you will have a digital card.”
“I think data will continue to create innovation,” said Walker. “Ultimately, I’m confident that innovation is not a destination—it’s a journey.”Last modified: March 9, 2022
Adam Zaki was a Reporter at deBanked.