I Love Bureaucracy

I used to complain about “bureaucracy” all the time. I was trying to bring new technologies to Sberbank, and at every step I was slowed down by procedures that either did not apply or did not exist. And when they were applicable and had to be executed, another level of organisational resistance intervened, the “bureaucrats” […]

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Fintech Thoughts

Many years ago, I was working for a large Canadian bank, managing two very different development teams — one using C++ to build a derivatives trading system, and one of Cobol programmers maintaining the bank General Ledger application. While the culture clash was obvious to any observer, nothing reflected it better than the big poster […]

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Moven Moving Forward

I have said many times that competing with banks, trying to disrupt banking through new technologies and new business models has a small chance of success. My theory is that, while some incumbents may be slow and blind, I don’t think it is possible for all incumbents, all banks, the industry as a whole, to […]

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On Open Innovation

My conversation with Dimitrios Salampasis, an open innovation researcher (@dsalampasis) What does open innovation mean for the financial industry? For a corporation, adopting open innovation means understanding that there are a lot of ideas in the ways of doing things, processes, technologies that will not necessarily come from the company. For large corporations, and most banks […]

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Magical Thinking?

Many things in life are quite difficult to understand, a long list that is getting shorter through scientific advances. But after thousands of years of living in a complex world that we mostly did/do not understand, we have developed various coping mechanisms, magical thinking being one of them. From Wikipedia, magical thinking “is the attribution […]

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An interview for “Piata Financiara” Romania — on bank branches, cloud, 2008, 2014

On branches vs online services We see here the dynamics of a field being fundamentally disrupted by technology. The growth of broadband internet access, cloud computing and mobile devices/smartphones have made possible technology solutions that allow banks to deliver the same and better services to their customers without requiring a visit to the branch. Even […]

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What’s Next?

Honor Gunday, the CEO of PaymentWall, has shared with me a picture of a (real) checkout counter displaying  14 card readers – one from each acquiring bank. This happens when  you sponsor the transaction cost, have bank competition, and no integration. The technology has reached the level of ubiquity and un-ease of use where a […]

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