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Video transcript: Accelerating Digital Transformation Through Partnerships

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Accelerate through partnerships

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Mary Agbesanwa:

Hi, everyone, again welcome to our UK FinTech week breakout session titled ‘accelerating digital transformation through partnerships’, we are starting in about one minute, but I do encourage you to share your name, company, where you're joining us from in the chat function as well.

We are going to start, because we have a jampacked agenda, and I definitely don't want us to run out of time.

Welcome everyone, thank you for taking your time out to attend this UK FinTech week breakout session, titled, as I mentioned, ‘accelerating digital transformation through partnerships’. This is an exciting hour and a half session, exploring real life case studies and examples related to financial services partnerships. Thank you all so much for taking your time out of your busy schedules to attend this event. This event for attendees will mostly be listening, but we do have some interactive polls during the session as well, and a wide range of engaging speakers. We do, of course, welcome questions in the Q&A and comments and reflections throughout the session in the chat as well.

To introduce myself, my name is Mary Agbesanwa, I am Strategy& operations consultant at PwC, working with FinTechs and banks, and I ran our latest scale FinTech program which is all about how we come work with interesting, innovative growth stage B2B FinTechs, with interesting innovative tech solutions. The purpose of the program is really to support scaling FinTechs on their expansion journey, so build relationships with ourselves, as well as to connect them to corporate clients. I already see some familiar names in the audience, so really good to see you all again.

To start, I really wanted to share a bit of background as to why we are having this event. You might have seen it in the world FinTech 2020 reports, 70% of FinTechs say they are frustrated with an incumbent financial institution’s process barriers when collaborating. However, we know that financial services will not be delivered by a single organisation going forward. This event is all about exploring how we can unlock and accelerate the creation of FinTech ecosystems, how FinTech ecosystems can come together to create commercial success, and just as importantly, good customer outcomes. These are the questions that we really want to dive in over the next 80 minutes or so during today's session. As you might have seen, PwC are sponsoring the theme of partnerships during this year's FinTech week, and as an advisory firm, we believe we are uniquely positioned to see client challenges. Everything from cost pressures to changing customer expectations, and we believe, we are correctly positioned to work with incumbent organisations and FinTechs to enable partnerships to solve industry problems. I am sure all of us on this day will agree that the right partnerships between the right players can completely transform this industry. However, the landscape is complex, and it is increasingly crowded, and navigating it can be difficult for all stakeholders involved. We are really excited to hold this session. We've got a range of speakers providing different perspective, but that's enough for me. Let's hear from our speakers.

Here you can see the rough agenda for this session, so for the next 80 minutes or so, please expect some interactive pause, a demo of our new Tysl next generation banking ecosystem, insights from us at PwC, as well as short TED talks or perspectives from our speakers. Then a closing with a live Q&A. It is pretty interactive. We do want you to ask questions, as I mentioned, using the Q&A function. If you haven't already introduced yourself basing your name, company, maybe where in the world you're joining us from, please do so. As you can see on the slide as well, the hashtag for this whole week UK FinTech week, #UKFW21, so do share your key learnings and thoughts across social media for those that couldn't attend or to amplify the message further as well.

Let's dive in, I am really looking forward to this. I really wanted to start off with the PwC perspective on partnerships in FinTech and financial services more broadly. I am joined by three consulting partners, Steve Davies, Darshan Chandarana and John Lyons, if you would like to come to the virtual stage, we go to chat to you all, welcome.

We can talk about what we think makes a good partnership from our experience working with both large organisations and FinTechs, so please start off with an introduction to yourself and the work you do, but I am really keen to hear your perspectives, and if I go to Steve first of all.

Steve Davies:

Yeah, thanks Mary, and good afternoon everybody. Steve Davies, partner in PwC in our digital banking business. I've been involved in FinTech for 6 or 7 years now, and it is great to be back in this event again and see everybody, see familiar faces, even if over the screen. One of the things, Mary, you asked for me to touch on is our work with Starling Bank. We've worked with Starling since inception, and it's been a real privilege to be able to do that, but also lots of other FinTechs that we've worked with as well. A couple of things, observations from my perspective would be, one of the things that Starling embraces is, as a FinTech itself, FinTechs working together and collaborating to drive customer outcomes. That's one of the big changes over the last 4 or 5 years, which is, it’s less about a bank or an insurance company or any company providing a sort of all in solution everything is done in house, it's about finding the right partners to deliver the right solutions for customers in the most effective, clever and a beautifully designed way as well. Starling’s marketplace is a great example of that. I also think the other thing for me, the other perspective is, for our own organisation working with FinTech, it requires us to be creative, and imaginative, and very sort of flexible and that's been a good learning exercise for us, but we've fully embraced that and lot of people that come to work in PwC, very keen to engagements as part of the community.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Brilliant, thank you so much Steve, and I really liked that point you mentioned around the creativity, maybe the agile approach we have to take in working with FinTechs as well, but also you mentioned around ecosystems. So Darshan, it'd be great to come to you for an introduction and your perspective as well.

Darshan Chandarana:

Sure, thanks Mary, hello everyone, and thanks for the T-up, Darshan Chandarana, also a partner here at PwC, working in the financial services space. I tend to play around in the digital transformation space, and within financial services across the board really. My career is a little bit different. To some I played around in banking, for the first 10 years of my life I was in technology in banking. The next 10 years I've spent in technology companies, so working for some of the larger players in the market, but just before I moved into consulting, I was the CMO of a FinTech. I've been on that side of the fence, I know what it is like to try and get the funding, try and work with people, try and get that first customer over the line, and partnerships are absolutely key to make that happen. Working with a wide ecosystem of partnerships is the right thing to do in lots of ways, but also part of my focus is really about how you leverage the bigger tech players out there, how do you work with the likes of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce, they all tend to have venture funds as well, and how that can work for you to your advantage. Part of the view here is, yes, we need to do the right thing for the clients and getting FinTechs involved, but also, let's leverage the widest possible ecosystem in the rightful way to make sure that we drive innovation forward across the board.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Amazing, thank you so much, Darshan. I really liked what you said around the different stakeholders, also the non-financial services firms involved in this as well. Last but not least, over to you John to share, we are about to see a demo of Tysl which we've been working on for a while and I know you've been close to that work as well.

John Lyons:

Yeah, thanks Mary and good afternoon. John Lyons, I am also a partner based out of London and my role is to build out digital platforms business, which is a real privilege. One thing I wanted to cover is, what makes good partnerships, because the Tysl asset that we've developed over the last few years and enhanced has 10 or more partnerships at any one point in time and that's been a real learning for us. I have to say the best partnerships that I see is when each party really understands the value and the goals that the other party is trying to achieve and there is enough diligence. So, it takes time to get to know each other, because there's no magic in this, there has to be a good fit in a number of different ways, and both parties need to see the incremental value of working together. We have seen a lot of challenges and with PWC in the early days, where small agile organisation meets big bureaucratic organisation, and there is no magic just to that, but people need to be realistic, they need to understand it and people need to be caring about that and understanding and have good communication and build trust between politic. It's like any relationship, it comes down to people and trust at the end of the day, and that's really important. As you mentioned, PwC, we've been developing Tysl banking platform for the last three years. Architecturally, it's designed to leverage an ecosystem of partners, and quite frankly, a lot of these plans provide much of the innovation of the end-to-end journey, so we just want to have that offering without our partnership model.

In a moment, you are going to see the mortgage demo. It starts with someone looking for a property on Rightmove and it finishes with someone actually moving in and using digital services to move their utility bills on completion. It follows a customer journey and not the product journey and that's really important. We want to achieve this, it's hard work scouring the market. As Mary said, there's lots and lots of crowded market, lots of FinTechs out there, but it's time well invested in finding the right partnerships, because that's really where the value is.

What do we bring to the table? Well, we bring our engineering skills we bring our relationships and industry. We design what we believe are the best user journeys with the right orchestration, with the very best business models; all the boring stuff as well, like regulatory compliance and strong and efficient risk and control frameworks, but together as an ecosystem we deliver the complete solution, and we couldn't do that without all of us working together. I have to say, over the last 18 months, accelerated through COVID, the demand for these services is really accelerating and we've seen a tip in this space, so it's very exciting. So, I'll stop there hand back to Mary and hopefully get into the demo.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Amazing, thank you John and thank you to Steve and Darshan as well. It's great to hear thoughts from yourselves, really setting the scene. You've already touched on some topics that we will dive into further later on in the session as well. I am now passing on to Daryl, who is a product owner in our new digital banking ecosystem team Tysl, that we've had a lot about already, and he's going to do a short demo and explanation. Once he's done, we will have time for about five minutes of questions, so if you do have any questions about what you would have seen, please do use the Q&A function, over to you Daryl.

Daryl Umakanthan:

Thanks Mary, afternoon everyone, good morning wherever you are. As Mary said, my name Daryl. I am a manager in our banking capital markets practice, but also work as our product owner for Tysl. Today, as John mentioned earlier, I'd like to take you through a demo, one of our three demo journeys, this is mortgages and really touching on how do we move from having a customer go from a product journey towards an outcome, and in this case, it's moving from a mortgage to homeownership.

Today's demo is about Abby, she is 33, she's an existing Tysl customer, and she's looking for her first home. These three value drivers that we've really focused on as part of today's demo. First is around, how does she know she's going to get a best deal, how do we build on the relationship she already has with Tysl, and how do we make it a really easy and seamless application process, so let's get into the demo.

The demo starts with Abby receiving a proactive email from Tysl. We’ve recognised that based on the rise of income into her accounts and the status of the property market, now is the right time to act, and she's got a call to action to visit Tysl homeownership hub, and knowing that she's a joint business and retail customer, she can get the best deal. Let's go to Tysl. A couple of things to call out just here on the homepage. Number one, Tysl is a full service bank, we've got personal, business and corporate banking, but also what’s in the name. Tysl is short for tessellation. What we've tried to pull through is highlight how the modularity that you can get in a banking experience, also covers through to the brand and you can see that from shapes that we've got here, as well as the name. A few things to call out, Abby, she is logged in, she's also got a personalised home page, around buy a new home, and we can scroll down and see what the options are. In this case, we're going to go for new home.

We mentioned earlier, as John touched on about property search, and what we’ve tried to do is, bring in the property search experience into Tysl, but do that through integration. That can be through anyone such as Rightmove for instance. Let's say, Abby is looking for a property, she's interested in Clapham. She's found one that she is interested in and we've pulled through some of the details. What we have here is actually one of our first integration points, so this is with Gazeal. Gazeal are a PropTech provider. One of the things that they have, is called a seller's information pack and what that lets you do is gives you a bit more detail about fittings and fixtures in the property, so you've got a bit more confidence.

Let's go back to Tysl. So, in here, we can configure our mortgage, she got a 50,000-pound deposit, wants a fixed term, we can adjust the valuation, the term, and the fixed period. We select on obtaining a bespoke offer. What we're doing right now is we are going to Mambu, our co-banking platform. We mentioned earlier that Abby is really keen to get the best deal and so she can see different providers and the offers that they like. She likes what Tysl has got to offer, so let's click apply now. In here now we get into the application journey.

What we've already done is, started support over some of the information that Abby selected when she was calculating her loan or trying to figure out what could be possible, so she doesn't need to re-key it. As an existing customer, we are also pulling through all the information that we've got on Abby, so she doesn't need to re-provide it back to Tysl, and I'll show you how we're doing that a little bit later on. The same on the employment information side. Affordability can often be quite a big friction point, when we think about a mortgage or homeownership experience. Here we've partnered with Credit Kudos, who you'll be hearing from later as well to help with the affordability assessment. Credit Kudos for those who haven't heard of them, they are an open banking powered credit bureau, and what you can do is select from a range of banks to be able to pull through certain information, we're going to use the Sandbox today.

Within Credit Kudos, there is quite a few different Smarts? and one of them, which is quite interesting in the API is also understanding actually what are the accounts that you're pulling information from. I've selected a credit card account, but we've recognised, they've also recognised that that's not the account we need, and we're asked to select another account to pull from either a current account or savings. Select a test account, and then that Credit Kudos integration is pulling back the data from a trusted source that's going to populate our form, and I'll show you a little bit later on some of the really interesting MI that we are getting off the back of that. As we get into other parts documentation, again as an existing customer, Abby has provided a lot of the information we need, but we've recognised that her driver's license has expired, and she is invited to undergo a biometric ID again.

From here, we've partnered with Yoti. A couple of really interesting things I want to call out. We talked about touching on the FinTech ecosystem. One of the real benefits that we've recognised from this is actually being able not to build our own innovation roadmap, but actually leverage the roadmap that's come from our FinTech partners. One of those is actually just right here. You can see that we've got a photo ID and a quick scan of your face, but one of the things that we noticed really quickly, we learned from speaking with Gareth, who you’ll see later, is that they've added in proof of address checks, and in the afternoon, we were able to add that capability, and deploy that into production. We'll select, let’s say, utility bill for our proof of address. Then we can go and select ID, in this case, it will be a driver's license. The second part is to take a selfie, unfortunately, Abby's not with us today, so I am going to have a go at stepping in, and we'll see how that works. You can see that's completed and we move through, say that has been verified. Click continue, we can view a summary of the application, make any changes if we need to. In this case, we will submit, and we can see that Abby has received her decision in principle, you can take a note of that reference.

Let's fast forward a little bit and show you what it's like to be a customer in Tysl. A few things to call out with the same ID or login, we can toggle between business and personal banking. We can check, spending over time, and also this concept of spaces. We talked about outcomes and one of the things that we're really keen to convey is, it's less about what are the products you have with a bank, but more about how does your relationship with the bank actually help you to achieve certain outcomes. In this case it might be home, it might be a holiday, or maybe saving up for a wedding, check your performance, but we can also connect apps as well for open banking. Let's go back to the mortgage. Let's say Abby has made an offer, it's been accepted. One of the things that we're doing here is actually extending the mortgage journey and coaching the customer through to their path to homeownership. I mentioned Gazeal earlier and one of the things that Gazeal provide is a reservation agreement. A reservation agreement is essentially an insurance contract that we have between the buyers and seller, and there's a path if the deal doesn’t go through.

John mentioned earlier about home setup, and here we are working with Just Move In at the moment and we're building out an API with them, that allows you to essentially book an appointment for services to help you switch over things like council tax, water, sewage, and light.

Now what I would like to do is, also show you what it's like to go under the hood of Tysl. We showed the customer experience, but what does it mean to be an employee at Tysl bank. In here, we've got the employee view, and let's go to Abby’s record. In here, we can see all the information that's been pulled through, was used to populate the form. We can see all of her relationships with the bank, but from a product perspective, her chat history, and also her recent applications as you can see, we use Abby a lot, so she's got quite a few. This is the one we created just now. In here, we can capture the details, we can look through a decision process, but also what we're doing is we're plugging into the FinTech. I mentioned Credit Kudos earlier, and we can start to hook in through to see actually what's the rich MI that we've got from a trusted data source that we can empower an agent to make a decision on. We can analyse their affordability, any risk factors and spending over time. Equally, on the core banking side. we mentioned Mambu, who we use as our co-banking platform to Tysl. In there, we can see the bespoke product that we've created for Abby. We can see some of the details through a payment schedule, and we can approve. One of the other items is, as we started to pull this data through, we can also get a rich set of MI so we can look at things such as the homeownership dashboard and we can track performance across journeys for customers engagement scores by team, but also business performance as well. Now, I know that it's generally not permitted to finish on tech for a demo, but one last thing that I just wanted to highlight is, the set of API's that we're building in, what does it look like to really have that ecosystem that we've got in place for homeownership, but that's a really whistle-stop tour for the demo, Mary, back to you, we've got a few questions as well.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Yes, thank you so much Daryl, that was an amazing demo, that really bought to life FinTech partnerships, really seeing everything come together there, and having gone through a mortgage application process myself recently, I really liked how Tysl was just so swift and slick, and you could really see all the different components, really thinking about how do we make banking more personalised for this individual, and really tailored to the next steps in their lifestyle, so really appreciate that. I know Darshan wanting to add a couple of comments as well.

Darshan Chandarana:

Just a couple of things really. What we showed was really a demo that we might put in front of the client and so on. If you look under the covers for the FinTech folks out there, think of this as really a short window. We've got so much to share, so much to tell, and bringing these components in to actually make it seamless. To be totally honest with you, we've made it a bit more clunky than it needs to be, because we wanted to show the seams between one product and another product, but when we do this for real, when we really put it in, there should be no view of where they are, what company they're using, it will be completely seamless. It would be absolutely focused on the experience for the customer, and making it that seamless journey from the right move conversation, through to your keys being handed over and removal men 15 minutes behind you. You should know that you've engaged with 15 different companies along that way and that they've used 30 different pieces of technology or 100 pieces of technology, that's the beauty of this. If it looked like we've shown the scenes, that was a deliberate action.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Yes, that was a really good point to emphasise, the future of FinTech in financial services is invisible and just integrated, that's fantastic. I see we have a question from Alan Moy in the Q&A function, if there are any further questions, please just put them in and we will try and get around to them. How safe is this for data privacy since many companies are offering digital recognition for the security purpose. I pose that question to Daryl or any other PwC attendees as well.

Darshan Chandarana:

Daryl can take that one first.

Daryl Umakanthan:

Really appreciate it, number one is on the data privacy side. The key things that we look to take into account is, number one, is how secure the integrations that we have. So, through about the penetration testing that we need to do, also any due diligence that we would look to do with our FinTech providers, and understand where that data was stored, more so than anything. Darshan, is there anything else you wanted to add on that?

Darshan Chandarana:

Yeah, just on the security and privacy side of things. ID&V is something that really has come to the fore since the pandemic has kicked in. We've worked with clients beforehand, who are playing around with ID&V, but they've had to accelerate that whole journey. Whenever we're doing this type of technology and whenever we're working in this sort of space, we work with InfoSec, we go through all the checks and the privacy elements and the security teams, we work with cyber as well to make sure that the solution we put in is as secure as absolutely possible, and so that's fundamental to any solution. Customer experience, yes, but also safeguarding privacy and adhering to risk and reg, those are all factors we take into account.

Mary Agbesanwa:

That's great, thank you and we'll definitely dive into that a bit more hearing from the partner side as well. We have another question from Emma in the audience. You mentioned there our three use cases and we saw the mortgage demo, what are the others?

Daryl Umakanthan:

Yep, so the other two are SME banking, it's actually a journey for a new to bank customer, this was just existing to bank, and it's looking at auto finance, so what's the process to look through that, and then how does that tie in with a relationship manager, which is really important in the SME banking space. Third journey that we've got is corporate banking. This is more looking at the middle-sized organisations. Obviously, that's a bit more complex as you start to look at multi directors and how do we onboard, and also look at things like automated decisioning as well.

Steve Davies:

Mary just to build on that, if I may, a couple of things. One, just going back to the previous question on privacy around ID&V short priority from Credit Kudos, probably got some points to make. When Freddy speaks later, he can also add to that. The other thing around the journey is, they are exactly that right and to build on Darshan’s point, this is not what we’ve just showcased, this is a PwC thing. For my framing, it’s got orchestration.

We've got different parts of them, we've got a full suite orchestra, different groups, playing different parts, rather than making the whole thing together. We might play a conductor role to assemble things to bring them together, but in reality, anybody who is playing orchestra knows, you play off the person next to you rather than the guy at the front waving the wand. That person is quite limited role, but it's how the whole thing comes together. This is really about making the whole more than the sum of the parts and that's the power of FinTech partnerships, which is about, if you do it right, it's much better in terms of look and feel, in terms of cost, in terms of safety and security than you would, if it is single business/traditional business trying cobble those things together themselves, so that's where we really want to make sure we have at that point.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Brilliant, thank you, we have a couple of more questions rolling in. The next one is, what would you say is the biggest challenge to scale up this platform, and probably if I can add on to that, what was the process like, because obviously there were only 10 lucky FinTechs selected to be part of Tysl this time around. What was the process we went through to select those companies?

Daryl Umakanthan:

I'll probably work backwards from what you mentioned. If I think through the process we go to select FinTechs, we’re obviously in the market, we've got a lot of relationships, we've also got our scale FinTech program and that keeps our finger on the pulse in terms of what's emerging and what's strong in the market. The second aspect is the joys of being as part of an audit firm. We do have some robust process. There's a lot of checks that we'll do, that includes AML and the like. We feel confident with the FinTechs we are partnering with, then and as we go into JDRs, we actually do a technical test with our own Sandbox to say, yes, does this work as required. That's the journey we've gone on, but we are always looking to refine and improve our platform, because it's such an involving space at speed. The question around scale is a really interesting one. for me it's more about how do we start to integrate more, and Steve's point around the orchestration factor is really key. How do we get that right as you've got more and more FinTechs and more and more partners in your ecosystem that you are in. Then how do you build that across journey so, are they separate, are they linked, are they integrated, those are some of the key elements that I would think of, I will throw it back to John and Steve if there's anything more to add on that.

John Lyons:

Just to add, we did go through a very thorough process around choosing the right partners as I said before, because at the end of the day, we develop this platform, we deploy this platform for real banks and real regulated entities. Therefore, we need to be confident around the level of maturity; the level of, you mentioned, security with diligence around some of the information security credentials that they have; and the ability to scale around the target environments, because quite frankly if we don't pick this up, then the banking client doing their due diligence wo;; only pick it up later. We do go through a lot of trouble in really understanding the FinTechs, understanding their maturity, understanding the maturity of their technology and the safety of that technology, and making sure we are doing the right thing for us, the right thing for our partners, and the right thing for our ultimate clients, the banks, we do spend a lot of time on that.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Brilliant, we've just come to time, so I am going to have to end this session here, but that was fantastic. I hope all the attendees are excited as I am. That was a brilliant demo, so thank you Daryl and really good to hear your perspectives as well Darshan, Steve, and John. If anyone wants to find out more, I see we still have questions coming in. We will share Daryl’s email in the chat function, so you can ask any questions if you want to arrange a demo for your organisation as well. Brilliant, thank you all for your time.
We are now entering part two of this event, so we will hear some different perspectives on the importance of driving FinTech partnerships and take parts in some live polls or some of you that are a bit more competitive, might call that quiz questions.

Let's start off with the first poll now, so I am just going to launch that for you all. You should be able to see this. The question is, by how much has the usage of FinTech apps across Europe changed since the beginning of the pandemic. Feel free to vote now, give you about 30 seconds. Brilliant, last couple of votes coming in now. Brilliant, I’ll just end there, and the correct answer was, C, 72% increase, which most of you put, which is really interesting. Yes, real big drive due to the pandemic in the usage of FinTech apps.

On that theme of FinTechs, I will now pass on to Freddy Kelly, CEO of Credit Kudos, which you've heard about a lot already, a challenger credit reference agency, utilising open banking to help financial institutions make better and faster credit decisions. Freddy is particularly passionate about the applications of new data and algorithms to promote better outcomes for individuals, and particularly those that have been excluded from mainstream financial services. Credit Kudos, as you saw, were a partner of ours to create Tysl and just hot off the press) on Monday, and now it's a partnership with Curve, the FinTech that brings all of your cards into one smart card in its forthcoming Curve credit product, so over to you, Freddy.

Freddy Kelly:

Thanks very much, Mary, I really appreciate being included in today's session and obviously really excited about our inclusion in Tysl as well. I'll give a quick introduction on the business that you saw some glimpses just then during the demonstration of what we do. Credit Kudos is a regulated credit reference agency and open banking provider. We sit at the intersection of open banking data, and credit decisioning. What that means is we're using both open banking data as a forward looking signal from customers when they're applying for credit, but also subsequently load performance data on the backend to understand those two things in context and see through machine learning what it is about open banking and consumer financial behaviour that correlates to credit risk and the propensity and ability for customer to repay. I thought that poll this time was really interesting. We've actually seen over 500% growth in people using our reporting system over the last 12 months. A lot of that has been driven by both the digitisation function, so people being at home and paperwork, and some of the stuff that you'd normally see in perhaps a mortgage process or a credit application just being completely impossible, but also the changing economic environment meaning that more data is needed to underwrite and something like open banking just gives a much more holistic picture of an individual and their unique risk profile. Lenders are very aware that that's more and more important now than it perhaps ever has been before.

I am going to start just quickly talking about our experiences in working with the Tysl proposition and how we fitted in. I'd like to think that it's a really good demonstration of how focusing on doing one thing really well means that through partnership you can combine the best solutions for each sort of aspect of a customer journey or customer proposition to get the best in breed and then come to a proposition like the one we just saw, where you've got different providers providing their specific core competencies and fitting things together. From our perspective, what FinTech means is that competition stuff that we all hear about. There is obviously no argument about the size of the market, but we are all innovating on different areas and this type of structure. Especially, now in a more API led ecosystem means that we can really quickly and fluidly fit different building blocks together to build propositions and go to market. We love that and we actively encourage our customers to do the same thing. In terms of what success looks like and how we found these things working best, obviously alignment around vision. around cultural fit, all that sometimes things that sound fluffy, but are really important, have made a massive impact in our experience.

The other thing, not just around shared vision, that we found really important is the shared client base or shared prospect, Trying to find a problem for a solution obviously doesn't work and so it's really important that you have a driving voice for what you're building, and we found it through working with the team PwC and with other partnerships that we've had experienced that kind of combined driver of this is the customer, the stakeholders, and this is the problem that we're solving for them. Just being very laser focused on that has been a key differentiator for successful partnerships versus those that perhaps aren't. The other thing that's worth mentioning, and Mary, you mentioned the Curve partnership earlier, the flexibility in partnership has been really key. We work around different solutions to achieve an end product, and whereas traditional financial services, there's this classic problem of loyalty by inertia, it's particularly in our industry, where the preferred solution is often the one that's less painful to integrate.

What we've found through the propositions that we've built now is that because there is a lot of flexibility, rest API's is standardised, OAuth is standardised, open banking is standardised. We've got this more level playing field now, where if you've got a really strong value proposition around one certain use case, let's say, lending or credit affordability, then it's really easy for you to fit in around the other component parts of that, that processes we've just seen. We are in a different era of partnerships and that's something that's definitely been demonstrated through our work with Tysl, with companies like Curve, and with others.

Just one parting thought on this before we go into any questions. The differentiation for us as a business in the realm of open banking and the massive vast area of opportunity that presents, is really on what we don't do rather than what we do. It's something that often people get wrong, hopefully this will be echoed by Steve and the team, but part of the reason that we were in the magic 10 or whatever we're calling ourselves, is that we know very well what the bounds of what we do are and what we’ve focused our attention on. When you're a venture backed FinTech company, it's really valuable to have a very clear mission and just know where that begins and ends. For us, that's how we get maximum value from this, this new emerging data source for the application of lending. It's not all the other bits and pieces that you hear about that are also very exciting about open banking. That sounds obvious, but it's a really important thing to remember and one to end on.

I remember Steve you also asked about the ID&V questions, so I can maybe just address that. The data sharing question is a really important one. It's the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about new data sources. One thing to be really clear on is that with open banking, we're actually in a much better place than we were with historical methods of ID&V verification or affordability verification, in the sense that it's customer first, the customers giving consent, it's explicit in the journey. There is no ambiguity about what the purpose of that data is, what the duration of the data is being held for, and what their rights are to revoke that consent. I think there is a separate and probably longer debate around what ID in the context of open banking really means, because for a long time, whether we explicitly acknowledge it or not, banks have been a key tenet of how we verify identity. It's, send me your bank's statement with your address on it, and whilst that's not their core product, it's an accident of the way that we rely on banks to verify identity at the moment. So, there are questions about how we translate that into an open banking ecosystem that probably fit more broadly into the open finance discussion, but that's probably one to where to take offline.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Amazing, thank you so much Freddy, you really did get our brains going with so many different points that you mentioned there, I particularly liked what you mentioned around the importance of the fluffy stuff, as you said, culture fit and vision when you're thinking about partnerships as well. If you have any questions for Freddy, please post them in the Q&A, indicating that they are for Freddy and we'll get to them at the end of this segment.

I'll now pass on to Gareth Narinesingh, who is commercial director for financial services at Yoti, who you also saw during that Tysl demo just then. Yoti provide identity verification solutions for banks and financial institutions more broadly and have worked with the likes of other FinTech such as Fetch.ai, enabling identification in blockchain-based ecosystems. Over to you Gareth, we can't wait to hear more.

Gareth Narinesingh:

Yeah, hi everybody. I hope you can hear and see me okay. My name is Gareth Narinesingh, I’m the commercial director for financial services at Yoti. Yoti is a biometric digital identity platform. We use facial biometrics to perform an identity match against the government issued photo ID of an individual. In a very short user journey, lasting usually no more than two minutes, we can prove that a person is real, and we can also prove that they are the person who they say they are. Now, we're designed and architected with privacy in mind, and security is at the forefront of the way we do things. If anybody would like some more information on that then I'm very happy to come back to that in Q&A. I know that’s a big question around at the moment.

What I'd like to do is just talk to you a little bit about my experiences of partnerships. The first thing to say is that, I want to offer a massive congratulations to the team at PwC for what they've done. For someone who works in innovation and product integration, what they've done is no small feat. It brings into the market something which is new, innovative, and quite frankly doesn't exist anywhere that I can see. That is really what we're all seeking to do. We are all seeking to build things, which didn't exist yesterday, and bring them to the market, because there is a client need or demand for that. That might be a business need, or it might be a regulatory requirement, that's the space that we play in. It's a space of innovation, which is really fast moving, and it's very exciting and that's why I love my job and I love this space so much.

What are clients looking for? Well, to put it simply, they're looking for as much utility service and functionality as they can get through as minimum number of API's as possible. What Yoti does, we provide a great service, the service is needed from a regulatory compliance perspective, but actually it's a cog that sits in a much broader wheel, which is wheel of customer onboarding, electronic KYC. We do a really core aspect of that with the ID verification, but we don't do the entire thing. Partnerships are about looking at what clients need from an end to end perspective and making sure that you can build and enhance the features and functions of a product to fit that claim, and no one person, no one organization can do that by themselves. They have to partner up with other products, other companies to build a technology stack, that then is accessible to the client, preferably through one API. As you know, the good news for everyone is that PwC have managed to do that with the Tysl project, so well done to you guys.

But when you're looking around for those partners, and those products, what's the mindset that you need to go through. Well, my view on the world is this, you need to take a risk. So, no two organisations are naturally going to be a great immediate day one fit for each other. You have to build a deep relationship, which means that you have to trust and believe in what the shared vision of what you're going to do, which is what Freddy actually said. From my perspective, I'd like to go one step further, and if that shared vision is for society, if that shared vision is for the greater good, then there is no better shared vision that you can arrive at with your partner's. Yoti is an ethical company, with B Corps registered, which means that we are here for the purposes of people generally in society. We're not here just for the benefit of our shareholders, which is something that a lot of elite football clubs could pay good note towards in light of the European Super League, but we also have a guardian council. Our guardian council holds our board of directors to account really for the work that we do, and the corporate strategy.

As I said before, innovation is a really fast-moving sector. Things do not sit still for a minute. If you're not building things quickly, that's not to say that you don't build things carefully, but unless you're moving at pace, somebody else is going to do it. It doesn't have to be someone in the UK, it can be someone else in the world, and they will get to market quicker than you. You have to find a partner who is equally willing to move at pace, that might mean working very hard, it might mean speaking every day, it might mean having tough conversations sometimes when you hit a bump in the road, but actually with the right relationship you can do that. That's really all I had to say about partnerships, my regard for Tysl as a product. If that's okay, back to you please Mary.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Brilliant, thank you so much Gareth, and I really liked what you said around taking the shared vision even further, thinking about the impacts and benefits for customers as well. Td thank you so much for sharing on that.

I am moving at pace, that’s really important as well.

We are going to do another poll. Let me just launch the second poll. This is to T us up for our next speaker Marilena from the British Business Bank. Just under a million small business loans were accessed to support their cashflow during the crisis through schemes delivered by the British Business Bank. Is this true or false? You have about 20 seconds to answer that question now, but yeah, we're really excited to hear from Marilena, director of Venture Solutions, and the Future Fund 1-billion pound plus funds launched by the government in May last year as a response to the pandemic. Her previous career has been spent largely, of course, in financial services, in corporate finance and investment banking, and we are really looking forward to hearing her perspective. The answer to that question is actually false, because as of the 25 of March, there were 1,630,155 government backed loans worth over 75 billion pounds given to small businesses. You can see the impacts of what the British Business has done, has been really impactful. Over one million small business loans have been given out, a tricky question there. Over to you Marilena, really interested to hear your perspective.

Marilena Ioannidou:

Thank you, Mary. Thanks for the invite today. I am just here to give a bit of background in terms of the British Business Bank and as part of that also the Future Fund, which was one of the COVID-19 scheme launched by the government last year. Just to touch upon the importance of partnerships in terms of ourselves delivering our mission that we have.

As you said, I’m a director in the Future Funds team as part of the British Business Banks, Venture Solutions and I've been in the Bank since its inception and even pre-inception, while we're designing the bank back in 2013-2014. We are a relatively newly established economic development bank, which was launched on the back of the financial crisis, where the government realised that, obviously, when things go wrong, the markets shut down, and immediately the first ones to be left out are the small businesses, that lose access to finance. In this way, the bank was developed to try and avoid such situations arise, and I have been at a position that even pre-launching of the COVID schemes, when we look at our funding, we basically were very much in partnership with the markets and all of our funding comes in the form of our funds investing alongside the private sector. A number of our programs are established across the debt and equity type of finance products, and there we have more than 180 or so finance partners that we work with to be able to provide funding to small businesses. A number of those partners are FinTechs, which cover also all sort of things from platforms to just tech-enabled finance providers, that allow smaller business to have a better access to funding. Through our programs, we had given more than 8 billion of funding and support to more than 100,000 businesses across the UK. Then we came out into the pandemic world in April 2020, where we launched a number schemes over the summer, including CBILS, BBLs, bounce back loans. Then shortly thereafter we focused on future fund, and through those, as you said, Mary, we have given actually more than 76 billion of support to date for more than 2 million funding facilities. That would not have been actually possible if we didn't have 100 or so plus delivery partners through which we could deliver all these schemes Partnerships basically lie in the core of what we do and being able to support our mission, which is to make the finest markets more efficient for smaller businesses and ensuring that there is supply and diversity of funding through any period of both good and bad in the economy.

In terms of looking at the future fund, and specifically on in our collaboration with PwC, the chancellor announced the launch of the future fund in April 2020 on the back of first the initial schemes announced for more debt focus. There was a very early realisation that a lot of the innovative early stage businesses, where many of them were non-revenue generating or non-profitable, they could not access some of the loan schemes as such. We launched the future fund, that was going to be looking at the ability to finance businesses through the convertible loan instruments, where, during such a period of crisis, people were not ready to price, how much is the equity work in a business, in the middle of not knowing what the outcome would be tomorrow of the business with the uncertainty in the markets. What has been critical, is the innovative way of which we look to deliver the program. Working very much with PwC in finding a way to establish a portal, so as to make the process a lot more efficient online for parties to come on board in terms of the investors and the investing companies apply for their funding and give their all the information, all done online through a portal. So, everything been done in one place, with all the information being made available and transparent.

For us, it was quite important to make sure there is this a smooth customer journey and as efficient as possible so as to make sure funds could be released quickly. It has been quite a tremendous effort to make that portal work. It showed how important it is to work collaboratively and also to be able to be flexible and agile, because a lot of this technology solutions, you should be able to amend quickly and fix, or enhance the capabilities, because as we get through the program, we realised things could be done better. Also, as we moved away from looking at the application process, we are also using the portal as part of our portfolio management, so it's quite tremendous. The ability of the technology today and the integration of so many different plug-ins and solutions to allow you to have a beginning to an end process from making an application, and then also managing the investments, and communication, and information, through a portal, which allows us to actually be looking at what we currently have, which is more than a billion plus fund with more than 1000 companies that you have invested in. The portal allows us to be efficient and being able to actually interact with all these businesses in the most efficient manner going forward. Also, collecting the information with one source of the truth, because the portal also accessed our CRM in addition to all the data and information that is captured there as part of the process and the ongoing portfolio monitoring. All of this showed the importance of our partnerships and working collaboratively with the PwC team to make sure you can deliver something which a few years back would not have been possible, given the technology, how it has evolved over the years. This is it in a nutshell.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Amazing, thank you so much Marilena, and yes, I am sure we will have some questions coming through. It is just so powerful to hear you say how integral having many different partners has been to your success as well. Really looking forward to diving into that and also although really interesting insights that come from their management information and data as you mentioned as well.

Time is up against us, which I knew would happen, because there are just so many interesting people, part of one event. For the final poll, we have the third question. You should be able to vote now. What percentage of banks have achieved the desired return on investment for the FinTech collaboration? You've heard us speak at lot about collaboration, partnerships, and ecosystem, all the jargon, what percentage of banks currently do you think have achieved the desired return on investment from these collaborations? You have about 10 seconds.

Brilliant, I see lots of words coming in. We will get to questions just after our next two speakers. If I end the poll there, most of you put 21%, but actually currently as at 2020, if you read the world FinTech 2020 report, only 6% of banks have achieved the desired return of investment from FinTech collaboration, which is just crazy, really shocking, so there's so much more than we can do this space.

I will now pass on to Luke Waddington, who is CEO and co-founder of Blue Fire AI, a pioneering capital markets intelligence platform, they were also part of our latest scale FinTech program. So, I’ll pass on to Luke to share for a couple of minutes around his thoughts, around FinTech partnerships.

Luke Waddington:

Hi, thank you so much for inviting me. Just a quick introduction. We are a company that basically automate human decision making, especially around companies. We are pretty good at saying when companies are making decisions, when companies are looking quite risky and maybe going into stress, but it's not about necessarily talking about Blue Fire, its talking about partnerships. I'd say there's one core point that I probably would like to make on this webinar, around partnerships. It sounds like a distilled and simple message, but it comes at the heart of partnerships, and that is, FinTechs work up to partnerships and they have very good outputs. Every time you talk to a FinTech, you'll hear about all these great outputs, and they control those outputs really well.

Then on the bank side, or the asset management side, or the client side, they control the outcomes. What we find is that those things are not always close to each other. People believe that sometimes they are, and use these terrible phrases like, plug and play, which I just think it doesn't exist in this world, because there's always a friction between the output and the outcome. When you actually delve into that phrase quite a bit, if the client you're working with wants a different outcome, that involves change, and it involves culture change, process change, workflow change. There's got to be a very upfront conversation about the difficulties of what that means. That's controlled by the client. Most of the time the FinTech can't control any of that outcome. Therefore, they could produce something very good, then they could spend a lot of time on a very good output, but if it doesn't achieve an outcome, and it goes to that 6% return on investment statistic, then the partnership won’t work. Upfront there has got to be case of what they want as an outcome.

The other thing, though, is that, if that outcome is much more about just wanting to do something better, it is not about change, then that comes about, and becomes a point about integration, and integrating into an existing process to make it better and cheaper. It has got to be a well-known conversation to know if that’s what you are aiming at. That’s an easier thing to solve, to go in and just do something better and cheaper, but that thing already exists. That can be target that’s much easier performed on, but that then cuts across the heart of some of the innovation and the pride we have as FinTechs wanting to always do something new and change the world. Sometimes you don’t have to change the world, you just have to do the world better and cheaper. Then, that can make a very direct line to a partnership. For me, this all comes down to the distance between outputs and outcome, and the narrow you can make that distance upfront, the more chance of success. The wider the distance between those two things, the harder it is to ever achieve any positive outcome. So yeah, that's my partnership two-penneth and you’ll probably see the hairiness and the unkept nature of my appearance and that is because I've been through the pain of the distance between the outputs and outcomes.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Brilliant, thank you so much Luke, I really liked how you are really honest about that, and you spoke about the upfront difficult conversations that need to be had, you spoke about the myth of plug and play. Yes, sometimes you have to, it is challenging, it is difficult, and I really like the analogy around the gap between output and outcome, and how we can make that smaller. Over to our final speaker, Sohail. Keep the questions coming in through the Q&A section. Sohail Raja is the head of execution platforms and UK chief digital officer at Societe Generale, over to you Sohail to hear your perspective.

Sohail Raja:

Thanks Mary, I’ll keep it short, in the interest of time. It’s a nice follow on from Luke actually. We've had a couple of dealings from other conversations and now through PwC scale and also through our global markets incubator, Luke and his team are working with our cohort in Asia. That's an example, going to back to Luke’s point about outcomes and opportunities, and that gap is important to be able to bridge. Me, coming from the business side of the platform business side, makes it a little bit easier to understand what those challenges are. Some of the challenges we may have had in the past is where we have had lots of ideas, lots of FinTechs approaching the bank, but not necessarily of value, or being able to resolve a problem or a solution, or be able to come back to the cost benefit or any kind of benefit really. That just created frustration, both on the bank stakeholder side and also from the FinTech side. What we’ve been trying to do, through FinTechs particularly in the UK, is develop partnerships with the likes of PwC and some others, which will formalise over the next year or so, to be particularly focused on those partnerships that will bring us outcomes in terms of good conversations, and solving real problems, and actual use cases that are being driven directly from people like myself and also other business stakeholders, who have a vested interest in terms of finding solution. That’s one aspect. The other partnerships are internal, as well. We mustn’t forget that from an incumbent perspective, that there are a lot of people in the organisation, you have a lot of knowledge, but don’t necessarily know who has come up with an idea before, there might be a solution to that. Probably already there maybe someone else, who is talking to another FinTech and then trying to bring those conversations in a smart way so that we can know exactly what is going on with the conversations. That could be somebody from my area, somebody at the business side, operational. Actually, innovation is one of the main areas that we worked with as well internally, SG Ventures, and the global markets incubator. Tying all of those in, to make sure that we're having a single conversation, both internally, but also with FinTechs themselves, so it’s an easier conversation to have.
The other side of it is, open source, is a big play for us in terms of our tech stack or FinTech stack. We have the model and a platform that follows exactly what you would find with other FinTechs in terms of cloud, in terms of APIs, in terms of agile and all of that lovely phraseology as it were. That was implemented over five years ago, within

ESG markets platform, which is our business to business wholesale platform.

Just on global markets incubator, we are running another incubator session with our team, based in Paris, but looking for UK B2B start-ups to be part of that, and the next cohort starts in May. We are doing that at least once or twice a year in various locations.

On the final part, regarding partnerships, other partnerships we work quite closely on, are with universities, for example. We are doing some work with UCL FinTech to look at hyper-personalisation and what that might mean for capital markets, because we talk about data a lot, it was mentioned a lot, but is getting to the point of how do we use that, what does that mean from a customer centric perspective, and how can we develop that. Also, looking at CBDCs, that’s being mentioned this week as well, working closely with Bank of France, but also with our internal start-up called Forge, which launched a structure product open solution, last weekend was tested.

The final area that I'm involved in, is partnering with University of Chichester, as I’m a governor there, where we are looking for aspects to understand what new models may look like, and what those business models may look like, and what those financial solutions are likely to be there in terms of both financial models, but also in terms of tech solutions. If you take one of the big areas they are involved in, they are games, be it sports, arts, and see what that might look like in terms of products and models going forward. That's my time up, I tried to keep it short anyway, Mary, that brings back some of the time back.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Brilliant, thank you so much Sohail, that was a great short talk. I really liked how you mentioned other partners that we haven't heard of already, thinking about universities as well, and also the intrapreneurship element, talking about Forge, your internal start-up as well.

Now I am going to dive straight into the Q&A. if you haven't already, please do continue to share your questions via the Q&A function at the bottom of Zoom. I would like to welcome back Gareth from Yoti, Freddy from Credit Kudos, Marilena from the British Business Bank, Luke from Blue Fire AI, and Sohail that we just heard from, as well as John Lyons from PwC.

If all our panellists can imagine that they are on countdown, 30 seconds or less for responses, we want to keep it pretty quickfire, so that we can get through as many questions as possible. I am going to firstly go to Credit Kudos. Earlier we spoke a bit about cybersecurity, and from our latest PwC CEO survey, the top threats causing extreme concern for financial services organisation is cyberthreats, where 51% of the UK financial services CEOs, said that was their number one threat, followed by pandemic, and over regulation as well. Would you agree that cybersecurity is a major challenge and maybe some other challenges those pitfalls that you've seen in your own experience or anecdotally through FinTech partnerships, over to you first Freddy.

Freddy Kelly:

Security is paramount, and no matter what we are talking about, new or old, that's always been the case. When it comes to the context of this conversation in partnerships, there is a natural challenge when big works with small, when it comes to how larger corporates deal with vetting suppliers. I am pleased, things like the Tech Nation standard that’s built around, how you do procurement is starting to come into play, but for us it's being able to stand up next to the best, and being ISO certified, having regular audits, having penetration tests, having all this stuff that you would expect. Given that we started with a blank sheet of paper when it comes to information architecture, we've been able to build with a very modern system in place and take advantage of things that didn't exist 20 years ago, when mainframes were commonplace. It’s something that had a strength in, because we were a FinTech, and we’ve built things from the ground up with that in mind.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Amazing, thank you. Yeah, I really liked that idea of building things your own from scratch as well. I am going to pose the same question to Gareth again around the cybersecurity. There is also a question for you in Q&A around whether Yoti can verify the ID for all nationalities as possible hoarders, so it’d be great if you could address that as well, but in particular around digital identities, everyone has bought into the idea that they're more convenient, but are they also more secure, so over to you, Gareth.

Gareth Narinesingh:

They have to be. I can't talk about all digital identity platforms, because they all do things in very different way, but the way that Yoti does things is by taking the ID attributes form the documents, whether that's the image, whether that’s the name, date of birth, surname, gender, passport number, etc. We separate each individual data attributes, we separately encrypt them by 256 bit AES, and then we fire them off into secure tier-three data centres in UK, so they are put into that service in logical fashion. The only person who can actually bring down that identity in the logical fashion to recreate the identity is either the client, because they've got a key, or individual, who has the Yoti app on their phone, they have got the private key to bring it down in one go. So, that is tip top security.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Brilliant, thank you so much for sharing and shedding light on that as well. I wanted to come to Marilena from a British Business Bank perspective, I know you’ve mentioned during your short talk earlier about the management information and the data that you have access to, can you shed a bit more light around that as well, and just maybe how you're managing risks in relation to partnership and your different stakeholders.

Marilena Ioannidou:

Thanks Mary, happy to. In terms of the portal, obviously there are checks in terms of the data, which also links to other data providers, which again that’s the beauty of lot of the technology in FinTech, so that you can make sure that does it accurately verify with the other sources if you're linking into Companies House data, PitchBook Data, Bowhouse data. There's so much kind of different sources experience. All the things that we have access to, is trying to make sure, how you relate that with other information and data, so that you can say is this correct. Obviously, part of the data analytics we are building up as part of the portfolio and the access of information we have, because if we think about them, how many businesses we have funded over the years, and how much data exists within the organisation, there's a big focus at the moment of how best to utilise that data and actually use it in a way to be able to it better in assessment of the book and overlays as well. These are things which is all building up at the moment, because obviously we are growing as an organisation our self. As I said, we are pretty new in many ways and the technologies out there, so a lot of that effort is being done to bring all of these things to come together, because that's important, because as the party said obviously you can't just take everything you're given, you have to test and find ways to verify from other sources as well.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Brilliant, thank you so much, and I'd also love to get John's perspective from a PwC perspective, around risks in relation to partnerships as well.

John Lyons:

Yeah, by all means. I had enjoyed those lovely four weeks from the period from the chancellor making his announcement to having the portal live. It's good we've had the demo of Tysl, because that was actually the platform that we reconfigured for British Business Bank, because there's no way we would have achieved that outcome without having that pattern and that solution built. Marilena is absolutely right, we have the integrations through a company called Judo, and out to enhance data with Companies House. We checked when the company was registered, we checked it was eligible, we went out to Bowhouse around previous investments. We use LexisNexis for the ID&V.

That pattern was there, it was built, it was integrated. It's only having those trusted sources of data that we can verify against, so that we could build that solution quickly enough and be confident that actually we had quality data being ingested and we could reject anything that we didn't think was right.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Brilliant, thank you so much John. I would now like to go to Sohail, because we've obviously dived quite a lot into the idea of partnerships and collaboration, and 86% of banks like FinTech partnerships as a top priority for them, but actually it can be hard to see what's really happening, is it all just talk. What do you see as the world of FinTech partnerships and the way to diversify and increase revenue streams and do you have real concrete examples of how that's happened?

Sohail Raja:

Yes, great question. As I mentioned briefly the challenge previously has been around to identify real opportunities when we're talking to FinTechs. That could be, I am sure, Luke can give a view on Blue Fire, but I will give another example with our efficiency play, which is part of the cohort that we are looking at going forward around efficiency, around costs, around workflow, and improving our customer input, or information back to clients, that has to really have a strong use case. We really need a business sponsor behind that and a real business case whether that would be a new profit line or increased profitability or reduce costs, will improve the relationship with a client, that's key before we even start talking to any FinTech out there who might be able to propose a solution. Without that most FinTech relationships and engagements won’t really good past the first door.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Agreed. Luke, similar question to you around FinTech partnerships, what have you seen around ways to really make them viable, and maybe criteria you are using to select partners as well?

Luke Waddington:

Yeah, what Sohail says is really important, and that's what you see with things like the work that Societe Generale had done is, they start to actually frame out what it looks like. It's not just about expecting an outcome, and you'll see me go back to that theme all the time, it's about having some structure to that. Therefore, when a FinTech or a partner turns up, there's an understanding of that structure. You can use frameworks like incubations, you can use proof of concepts, and these sort of structures, but they have to be well thought out in advance. There is a lot of just have a go and just experiment, go off and that's where there is a bit of romance in that, but it's not necessarily going to create a marriage.

Mary Agbesanwa:

I love the analogy, thank you, Luke.

Freddy, Credit Kudos, I would like to come back to you, and really maybe change the conversation a bit to talk a bit more about customers.

Especially, I know you're predominantly B2B, but you do have an element that works directly with customers as well. Given open banking is all about helping customers realise that banks don't own their data, actually they do. How have you thought about the benefit of partnerships from a customer perspective and do you have any thoughts around that?

Freddy Kelly:

Yeah, open banking is all predicated on trust. The conversation is irrelevant if you don't have trust and willingness from the customer to share data in the first instance. A big part of that comes down to brand for us. We've built our messaging around what we do for the end users as well as what we do for the businesses that use our products. That's been really important to drive the conversion rates that we have, which are really strong. Little things like if you Google our name when you're going through an application, you'll find something that's approachable and friendly, and isn't corporate and cold and blue. That's been a really important differentiator for us, something we've worked on. The other part of it is, you're looking for someone to be a trusted custodian of your data. Many of the companies we work with actively, like get value from us as being that independent party. When you think about credit risk, you don't want to be sort of marking your own homework when it comes to how you're processing this data. It's really important that there is another entity involved in that process and having that brand positioning is a factor for us and it does drive those partnership conversations definitely.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Brilliant, thank you so much Freddy. I'd really love to get John's perspective, because at PwC we're always talking about building trust in society and is actually really interesting to think about the differences between trust between technology companies and financial institutions. John, do you have a perspective on how partnerships that again can address this?

John Lyons:

Yeah, I do. Trust is fundamental, trust is a nice emotional word, but it has to have an element of business logic behind it as well. Particularly, in financial services where you are regulated, you have customer data that needs to be protected, and various things like that. Like all things there is an element of being clear when you enter into a partnership that actually it's going to work from a relationship and trust perspective, but equally you need to understand what the joint responsibility model is. You can't just have a go at something not quite understanding what each policy brings to the table and you have to have a goal and an outcome in mind, or else you do just iterate, and that's not a route to value, and both parties would want value. For me it is having that trust, it is having a common goal that you can both build behind, and both believe in. It is about having a joint responsibility model, so people understand what both parties are bringing to the table and then you're on a reasonable footing. I do think there has to be, particularly with large organisations and FinTech, there has to be a lot of give and take, there has to be a consideration for balances of power. Large organisations do need to be flexible and support FinTechs as they as they come through.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Brilliant, thank you so much John. I will really like to come to Gareth from a Yoti perspective, changing the conversation to, again still linked to trust, but really thinking about the fact that, how that might be slightly different from a B2B FinTech perspective. B2B FinTech definitely in 2021, it feels like is all the rage. We've recently just seen Ramp, become a unicorn in less than two years with their corporate credit card start-up and modular. There is so much happening in this space. What would you say, do you have any thoughts and opinions on the space, around B2B FinTech and trusts more generally as well?

Gareth Narinesingh:

Goodness, well, it’s about the ability for business to scale and grow and do really well to reach that ultimate goal of becoming a tech unicorn. Then you could not put a bet on who the winners and losers are going to be. Everybody has got products, everybody does things in a very different way, even in a niche sector like digital identity, there's at least three dozen global players, you can't pick a winner at this point, that's what makes it so exciting.

Mary Agbesanwa:

I love that, definitely always a lot of speculation in the media around, who's going to survive, whose business model actually works, yeah, definitely an industry in this space continue watching as well.

Marilena, I wanted to come to you, because I know we're short on time, but I really wanted to also talk about the aspect of diversity and FinTech as well. We've spoken a bit about financial inclusion, around access to financial products, but also from the future funds, you've got amazing amounts of data, and we've really seen that kind of female led start-ups receive less than 1 PE, in terms of every pound invested in the UK. Have you seen any interesting trends and really taken an interesting approach around diversity in terms of the companies that you're working with as well?

Marilena Ioannidou:

In terms of the way, the great thing we see with the future fund, obviously is a bit, democratises the way things are done, but at the same time, because it is an investor-led program, again it doesn't go to the heart of addressing, looking at the female founders and the situation, but obviously what if I’ve asked parties was to sign up onto the women in finance charter, and making sure parties understand the importance of diversity. A lot of work has been done in the bank as part of our funds, as well as looking at just diversity and inclusion, looking at ESG, and all of that is to the front of the agenda. We are seeing some changes, but there is a long way to go to come to a place where we feel that all those imbalances, and not just gender, but in all sorts, be gender, being regional, being social backgrounds, being anything else, it's not just about gender. There is a lot more focus on diversity and inclusion as part of the holiest journey, backed agenda. It's all about also changing both the investor's mindset as well as us, the founders. It has given both parties the tools and the opportunities.

A lot of focus in building up on our finance hub as well, and access to information, which is quite important as well to support parties from a more diverse background to have the tools they need to be able to access the finance they need, and giving them the best chance stocks is that finance. But we do see a change, but you can see there's still a lot of way to go, especially in the venture funds and space. As we said, in the future fund, we've seen a lot more diversity in the base, because obviously again it was a lot more open in terms of the way it was set up and availability of funding, and all of that. It was to allow us, many parties to come through as possible without prohibiting any. That's why we do have better statistics in terms of more than half of the part has been from diverse backgrounds, the same way with a mixed gender. Again, having better statistics than what you see on average, but still there's a lot of work happening and that's the focus with the bank as well as part of our whole ESG. As we have now, the new chief impact officer as well in the bank, and the focus is pretty much on that.

The agenda is changing quite a lot in terms of what we look, and what we will be looking from our delivery partners as well. They should be looking up the whole wider ESG when thinking about making their own investments and funding.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Yes, brilliant, thank you so much. I know, Sohail will have a perspective on this, just to quickly come to you.

Sohail Raja:

Yeah, I will be just super quick as we run out of time. I agree with the last point. There is still a long way to go. The reality is there. You can come up with plans, and processes, and programs of work and whatever, the reality in terms of the numbers and the diversification is obvious. I don't think we need to have a debate around that. The debate is around the, whether this brings more opportunities, whether it brings conversations around solutions that are profitable and add revenue. Not enough people are engaged in that, particularly, if we move away from the model, how people are involved in the industry to people with different socio-economic backgrounds, and those individuals that don't have the opportunity. You may have very good ideas and strong ideas, and understanding their backgrounds, if somebody comes into put something, . The fact that they might have three jobs is because they've got a poor background or not coming from a background where they've got money that will support them, and that should be seen as a positive, not as a negative. It should be seen as, ‘okay, we get it, we get that you want to improve things and come up with an idea, but because you don't come from the right socioeconomic background doesn't exclude you from getting that funding or the next level conversation.’ I think that's also important to realise as well.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Completely agree. Just as we close up my lights, we'll just quickly go to move from Luke from Blue Fire AI, around what would you say to maybe some people on this call right now that feel like they want to give up with working with corporates, maybe due to their pace or their onboarding requirements. Do you have a final word of inspiration?

Luke Waddington:

Yeah, don't die in the long yes, work out quite quickly, if it's a yes or no, and don't get too excited if it's, when people are all excited but there's not really a yes at the end of it, try and work out really early, and so would have fun in the quick yes.

Mary Agbesanwa:

Amazing, thank you so much, Luke. I'm afraid to all our attendees and speakers, that's all we have time for. Thank you all so much for joining us. I've really enjoyed this conversation. I've taken so many notes and I hope you have too. This 90 minute has really flown by, so hopefully you feel like you've learned a lot more about FinTech case studies, and partnerships and really diving into some detail around some real life use cases as well. If you enjoyed this, as a reminder, as PwC, we are running a couple of events during UK FinTech week, so we'll quickly share the link in case there are other events you want to attend as well. But otherwise, thank you for your time and take care.

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