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PwC: Closing the gap between banks and FinTechs

We sat down with PwC’s FinTech Leader, Anna Maj, to discuss why it’s more important than ever to build bridges between financial institutions and FinTechs in order to scale innovation and create frictionless financial futures for all. 

Here’s what she had to say. 

It’s not a question of if, but of how 

With almost 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Anna Maj is quite the expert when it comes to building sustainable collaborations between banks and FinTechs. 

According to her, there has been a radical shift in the way banks and FinTechs approach collaboration: 

“Just a few years ago, industry people asked themselves if it’s possible for banks and FinTechs to collaborate. People even debated if FinTechs were enemies or friends of financial institutions. Today, nobody asks that question anymore. Now everyone is asking how we can collaborate, not if we can collaborate,” she says and continues: 

“What we’re seeing today is a new standard in which banks and FinTechs are building an Open Finance ecosystem together to the benefit of the consumers. And that’s a very exciting journey to be a part of.”

Know your customers’ needs

One of the things that Anna Maj enjoys the most about the new collaboration between banks and FinTechs is that both parties bring important capabilities to the table: 

“FinTechs have a tradition of understanding their customers very well. Typically, the new entrants find a market niche and precisely target customers within that niche as well as provide better customer experience,” Anna explains, then counters: 

“On the other hand, FinTech companies can often benefit from banks’ strategic overviews. Even though you have an innovative technical solution, you need to think about the broader perspectives of things, as well as the context you’re in - legal, regulatory, compliance - it’s all about the end-to-end process.” 

Speeding up innovation with new partnerships 

As PwC’s FinTech Leader, Anna Maj acts as an advisory force between corporate clients and start-ups. Her job is to create bridges and fill in the gaps to help the banking industry speed up innovation: 

“In general, the banking industry has lots of resources and experience with security, compliance and regulatory matters. But what they are slightly lagging behind is the ability to provide new solutions in a fast and nimble manner, and that’s where FinTechs come into the picture,” says Anna Maj. 

According to her, there’s a lot of agilenss in the FinTech scene that can foster the innovation culture and speed up the innovation process for banks. While both FinTechs and banks have something to offer each other, it’s ultimately the businesses that really win in the end by contributing to a collaborative partnership that meets their needs.