Q&A: Carlos Figueredo, CEO, Open Vector

CEO at Open Vector, Carlos Figueredo, spoke with Open Banking Expo to offer insight into his thoughts on the Open Banking landscape and the current ‘state of play’ ahead of the event later this month.

1.What opportunities does Open Banking offer your business?

Open Vector was established specifically to assist governments, regulators, fintechs and financial institutions to adopt and implement the Open Banking movement. Our credibility and experience comes from the team at Open Vector having held key roles in the UKs Open Banking initiative within the Open Banking Implementation Entity. Open Vector is the only commercial company to have the experience of having delivered an Open Banking initiative. The opportunity for Open Vector is that we are able to credibly offer our consultancy services globally based on this experience.

2.How do you think Open Banking will revolutionise the financial services landscape and are there any sectors you think will be impacted more than others?

 

Open Banking is the biggest financial revolution to hit the financial sector in over 25 years. This movement will revolutionise the way that we interact with the financial sector and how we share and consume data like never before. The sector that will suffer the most may well be the banks. Why? Because they simply need to understand that innovation will come with or without them. If they do not embrace collaborative innovation, they will become the well known cliché of the next Kodak and Blockbuster. It will also hold true for the one track minded large consultancy firms that have eaten up or straight up stolen IP from smaller firms and consultants for years providing false promises of delivering services they simply did not have the true know-how to do so.

3. How you been involved with any partnerships with other financial services companies? If so, how have you found the collaboration experience?

 

This is an era of true collaborative innovation. There isn’t a one stop shop company anymore. In today’s Open Banking movement, it is all about knowing your strengths well and finding the partners that can deliver with you and for your client where you can’t. This is the true essence of Open Banking. Creating trust in consumers.

4. In your mind, what sort of company will be a winner in the banking sector in 50 years?

 

The winners of the future will be the fintech’s that clearly understand the power of collaborative innovation and work to create trust in its customer base through the honest but timely delivery of products and services. They will also clearly understand that the power is in the data and that this is a customer centric era where we understand the consumer and take products, services and solutions to their fingertips. This is where banks will fail if they continue to think as banks as we know them.

5. What can other jurisdictions learn from how the UK has embraced Open Banking? And, what can the UK learn from other jurisdictions?

 

At Open Vector, we highlight that we will help other countries to adopt Open Banking based on not only what we did right, but definitely what we did wrong. So on that note, the UK has not embraced Open Banking. The UK needs to learn from other countries where there is a much higher level of collaboration across the regulators, banks and fintechs to find the way to jointly create products and services that will strengthen financial inclusion but most importantly social inclusion. The UK has much to learn on these last two items. Open Banking in the UK was purely a regulatory exercise to comply with the CMA order but we are far from being the leaders in Open Banking innovation.

6. Who do you admire in the industry and why?

 

I admire those countries that we are engaging with and creating key partnerships that have taken the UK mandate and have seen much further to the true opportunity of embarking on a journey of financial and social inclusion, because they can see the benefit of this movement for much more than just a regulatory standpoint.  Also to realise this innovation is strictly consumer centric and the opportunity of cross border, single standards common grounds for collaboration through a stronger than ever fintech community and strong regulatory framework that will create things that we are yet to imagine. This will bring the financial sector and its products and services to every and any person that needs it and not the old scenario of clients going to bank branches. These countries taking the leap are the ones I admire.

7. What is the big Open Banking idea / theme / regulation or innovation that journalists have missed so far?

 

As mentioned in the previous point and further above, journalists are missing to report that this is not about the banks, not at all. This is about how collaborative innovation:

  • supported by governments and regulators that can see and embrace the future and implement regulations that support it
  • fintechs of all sizes that are being given the opportunity to create the unimaginable and work with financial institutions that they might never have been able to do so before
  • and finally, for financial institutions that do not want to be left behind, embrace innovation and reinvent themselves for the consumer of the future, will shift the power to the consumer regardless of their location, or financial risk and how the value in a company will be in its data and what it creates with it. This is the vision, the big idea that is not being reported.