Miriam Wohlfarth, Co-founder of Banxware, a white-label Software-as-a-Service provider for embedded financial services, spoke with Samee Zafar (Director, London). Miriam is a successful FinTech entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in payment, banking and eCommerce. During the interview, Miriam outlines her views on Open Banking and how it is changing the financial services landscape in Europe.
1. How do you see open banking changing the financial services landscape in Europe and elsewhere?
More and more “amazonized” customers around the world are seeking simple and holistic solutions. The perfect scenario for them is a central place where all financial transactions can be done and monitored, i.e. a kind of virtual shopping centre in which the customer chooses the financial services that suit his needs. For me, the most significant trend in future banking is creating centralized ecosystems around the needs and relevances of the various customer groups. The most successful future players will eventually be those who are playing the most relevant roles in their customers' everyday life. These will most likely not be the banks. Many of them will probably be Tech companies that strongly care about excellent user experience and have the data competency to understand what kind of financial products are important for their ecosystem and their customers. Open Banking and Banking as a Service will be the foundation to build and offer these financial services as a non-bank. They will act as enablers for cooperation among third parties. Therefore I could not agree more with what Bill Gates said in 1994 “Banking is necessary, but banks are not”.
2. What are the top / most critical elements that a fintech must source / develop to leverage the full benefits of open banking?
When we look at the most successful companies of our times, we can see super smart end-to-end user experience (e.g. Apple), products that are thought backwards from the customers perspective (e.g. Amazon) and an excellent appreciation of software and data with a tech DNA (e.g. Google). If Fintechs work very customer-centric and use their ability to connect the dots to understand the market and the data, they can build relevant products with a smart UX that are easy to use - this will definitely work!
3. What are you reading currently and what is the most recent movie you liked?
I‘m reading “Zukunftsrepublik”, a book I co-author that makes suggestions on how to improve and optimize Germany as a technology location. Not super new, but my favourite movie was Parasite.
4. Tell us about a personal goal or ambition.
I want to learn basic coding skills.
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