Money20/20 USA: Standard Chartered talks digital ecosystems

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TMT and Fintech Head, Cash Management at Standard Chartered, Anand Natarajan, discusses the value of creating digital ecosystems in fintech

Money20/20 USA 2023 saw the leading lights of financial services come together in Las Vegas to connect and offer key insights into the future of fintech.

We spoke to Anand Natarajan, TMT and Fintech Head, Cash Management at Standard Chartered, about the value of creating partnerships and managing digital ecosystems across the fintech and financial services divide. 

Standard Chartered: Banks and fintechs – Partners, not competitors

“Almost all fintechs will have somebody who manages bank partnerships, which is sort of a role that has morphed and developed over the past few years,” says Natarajan. 

While historically partnerships would have been managed by treasury teams, Natarajan notes this was because the angle for fintechs initially was “How can I use a bank?”

“The role has shifted away from that,” he adds. “There are now two ways a fintech can work with a bank. You would need somebody on the fintech side who can actually speak to banks, talk their language, sell the product, and figure out what is best for both parties.

“Many of the people we speak to at some of these fintechs are folks on the payment side or the product side; people responsible for payment partnerships. So I think that shows you how the thinking has evolved, both from a bank side and the fintech side as well.”

This drive to create more digital partnerships in fintech represents a broader culture shift too. As Natarajan says: “I don't think it's a question of banks vs fintechs anymore. I think it's always going to be bank and fintech together.

“You could be a fintech who wants to expand into EMEA, for example. How are they getting the payment out? At the end of the day, they need to use a bank. So there's always going to be a bank at the back end. 

“The question is: Where does the aggregation happen? Is the aggregation happening at the bank level or the fintech level? 

"For Standard Chartered, it’s about looking at things holistically. For a bank, it really doesn't matter where aggregation happens as long as you're supporting the flows end to end, how those flows originated, whether directly through a bank or fintech.

“At the end of the day, we are still supporting the flows. That's why, for us, the relationship between banks and fintechs today is really about collaboration.”

For more from Natarajan and Standard Chartered on the value of bank and fintech partnerships, you can click on the video link above. 

Want to see more from Money20/20 USA 2023? Stay tuned to our website for more content, which will be rolled out in the coming days.

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