When we talk about innovation in financial services, we often focus on the digital-first challengers, the future-proofing banks or even the influence of Big Tech. But if there was one sentiment echoed throughout the day at FinTECHTalents Virtual Building Societies, it was this: Innovation is Wherever You Build It.
We should not overlook the power of transformation taking place at the smaller end of the scale. Institutions working at the heart of their communities, to serve real people and make a difference to their financial lives. Innovation in its truest form is human-centred. It is about teams of any size, experimenting, forming partnerships and being open to learning through failing.
Innovation is not always about being the first to adopt the latest and most advanced technology trends, which may not even be applicable for the services an organisation provides. In fact, it may not even be about technology at all. It can simply mean introducing new solutions or processes that can be applied easily, for the direct benefit of the intended users.
An enlightening panel discussion at FTT Virtual Building Societies, featured representatives from three community-based financial institutions. Some of our favourite quotes included:
- “How do we take our value and essence and make that relevant in a digital world” – Dean Waddingham, Hinckley & Rugby Building Society
- “We want to be unique in our customer service and serving our members. That’s always at the forefront” – Valerie Walwyn-Tait, Plane Saver Credit Union
- “We have a genuine relationship and authenticity with the community. We take that ethos and find a way to express that digitally” – Josh Rowland, Lead Bank, United States
What was fascinating, was to see just how much this diverse group of organisations had in common, in terms of their goals, values and approaches to innovation. As Josh Rowland, poignantly noted what united all three panellists and the institutions they represent is that “our value is our values.”
Watch the full session recording below: