Andrew Bateman

Andrew Bateman

Head of Corporates and International Banking at FIS

We speak to Head of Corporates and International Banking at FIS, Andrew Bateman, about ways international banks can stay relevant in an era of innovation

Hi Andrew. What can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career so far?

It’s fair to say I have had the opportunity to work in different areas during my career and it has taken me to many places around the world. I graduated with a degree in physics and started my career as a treasury analyst in the aerospace & industrial power industry. 

After four years, I moved into fintech, following the implementation of a new treasury system, you could say I liked it so much that I joined the company!

Following the acquisition of the company by SunGard, where I continued my career, I held several roles within professional services, presales, sales and then regional leadership. 

I was the COO for Asia living in Singapore, VP for LATAM in Brazil and the President of Energy Solutions in Houston.

In 2015, SunGard was acquired by FIS. I’ve been with the company through that period of change and continued to grow alongside it, holding different positions and helping the business to transform to adapt to market and clients’ needs. 

I’ve been at the helm of our Capital Markets Buy Side business, led the transformation of our Technology and Services operations, brought together over 10,000 colleagues and most recently been part of the transformation of our sales organisation

For those unfamiliar with FIS, what are the company's core activities?

FIS is a financial technology provider that partners with 95% of the world’s leading banks and over a million global businesses to help them grow and innovate for their customers. 

We focus on advancing the way the world pays, banks and invests through trusted innovation, system performance, and flexible architecture. Our technology is used across a wide range of industries, including retail, insurance and banking and capital market investing.

What does your job as Head of Corporates and International Banking entail?

My role involves looking after our sales group outside of the US. This is primarily focused on selling banking and payment solutions to financial institutions customers and treasury, payments and cash management solutions to non-financial corporations.

It’s a great role and an exciting time to be taking it on. The industry and FIS itself are going through a lot of change at the moment, so a key part of my role is also helping shape the future of the organisation, as well as supporting and empowering the international sales group throughout this period.

How can today's banks stay relevant during this ongoing era of innovation?

The need to transform quickly is there. And the challenge is how you make that happen whilst maintaining the stability of your environment. This often means managing legacy applications that are less flexible with new technology solutions that can adapt and grow your business.

Having a strong digital strategy is key to staying relevant during this period of ongoing innovation. Banks need to be agile and have the ability to transform quickly, and you can’t rely on the traditional enterprise architecture model we used to aspire to. 

Instead, customer databases should be centralised to break down silos and back-end systems should be containerised so they can be improved upon without impacting the rest of the organisation.

Of course, we also can’t talk about innovation without mentioning AI. A strong customer experience is important to stay relevant, and AI is showing signs of upgrading this. Banks should be investing in the technology now to give themselves an edge over competitors.

Do you feel modern-day banks are doing enough to retain the trust of their customers?

Retaining customer trust is a top priority for modern-day banks and every senior technology and business leader is constantly thinking of two things - cybersecurity and fraud.

Digital native generations are making for an increasingly tech-savvy customer base. Our Trust in Generative AI survey showed that 44% of ‘Boomers’ expressed a total lack of trust in AI, compared to 21% of Millennials, and just 12% of Gen Z consumers. 

We need to meet these generations where they are and that means moving towards a more digital environment, without opening up cybersecurity risks. To combat this, modern-day banks are continually asking themselves how risks can be minimised and eliminated, and how data leaks and breaches can be prevented.

It’s a similar story with fraud. The growing accessibility and sophistication of generative AI is having a knock-on effect on the sophistication of fraud. Banks have to continually think about how they can protect their customers and themselves from it.

One issue we are seeing is the difficulty of protecting the customer and also the customer experience. It can be cumbersome to go through a number of questions to make a big payment but it’s a necessary evil to protect the customer and the bank. 

So, while banks are rigorous in their efforts to protect customers and maintain trust, the next stage will be doing this while simplifying the customer experience.

What technological innovations are exciting you at the moment?

Similarly to many others, AI is of course top of mind when it comes to technological innovations. It has so much potential to revolutionise different industries and I’m excited to watch its development unfold.

I’m particularly interested in seeing how AI can improve productivity in the workplace. For example, what efficiencies can it create and how can it minimise the seemingly ever-growing number of team meetings?

Additionally, we have to consume so much information now through emails, messaging platforms and meetings just to do our jobs, I am confident we will see this being streamlined and improved upon.

Tell us something we don't know about you

I have spent a lot of my life experiencing different cultures, having lived in five different countries across four continents. This has had a direct impact on my core values, especially within the workplace.

I dedicate a lot of my time to workplace diversity initiatives. I am a member of FIS’ Diversity and Inclusion Board, and I’m also a sponsor of our working families network, a group dedicated to educating working families and supporting flexible working.

What are your personal and/or professional goals for this year?

FIS is experiencing a period of evolution at the moment and I really want to be a key player in this journey. I want to help shape the trajectory and future of the company and on a similar but more personal note, I’ve got a daughter applying for college this year, so I’ll be dedicating some of my time to supporting her on her own personal journey.


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