I’ve been flying the “can’t we all just get along?” banner for some time. Credit unions and community banks?- there’s a lot more that should unite than divide us. Fintech firms as friends or foes of financial institutions?- sure, some will choose to compete head-on but there are plenty of mutually beneficial avenues for collaboration.
I seem to have found a kindred spirit for my crusade in Fintech Talents, whose one-day North American event takes place virtually on Wednesday, March 24. Fintech Talents has done an impressive job convening all three of these vitally important groups under one (metaphysical) roof. According to its website over 150 credit unions will be participating- and I’m told that number has already gone significantly higher. Over 100 fintechs will also be represented, as well as a similar number of banks- the big boys are welcome, but the list appears to favor nimble newcomers (Varo, Daylight) and innovative community players (Citizens Bank of Edmond, Midwest Bank Centre).
I’ll be moderating an afternoon panel on “Innovation Powered by Payments,” including leaders from Curve (a wallet app with over 2 million EU/UK users and plans for imminent US market entry), Very Good Security (a modern “zero data” security platform) and PayPal Ventures. An hour or so later, BIG founder John Best will facilitate a discussion with four credit union executives on “Creating a More Perfect Union” between CUs and fintechs.
Here’s a sampling of some other speakers and topics that pique my interest:
One of my favorite recent BIGCast interviews was a conversation with Rob Curtis, founder of LGBTQ-focused banking startup Daylight. Rob will be sharing his thoughts on “Designing Digital for All.”
It’s no secret credit unions face the issue of a graying member base. Recruiting more new Millennial and Gen Z members is certainly a priority, but equally important is optimizing services for existing older ones. Fintech expert (and Digital Town Hall guest) Theo Lau will tackle the topic during “Focus on Aging- Financial Services for Longevity,” along with Ramsey Alwin, CEO of the National Council on Aging.
“Bringing a Neobank to Market”- The name says it all, but the session also features ground floor perspectives from a couple of recent startups- Radius and Challenger.
The arrival of a new administration in Washington- along with the upheaval caused by the pandemic and associated economic downturn- has generated plenty of speculation about looming changes to financial services oversight. Join leaders of the Philadelphia Fed, the Financial Data & Technology Association, the Institute for Institutional Finance and Cross River Bank for “The Regulatory Briefing.”
And I haven’t mentioned perhaps Fintech Talents’ most unique feature- it’s free! (as long as you sign up by March 19) See you there on March 24!