B-Hive strives to boost collaboration between banks and fintechs
The rules of engagement between incumbents and fintech suppliers of new products, which banks then white-label to their customers, need review.
The rise of potential fintech disruptors and the challenge for incumbent banks of digitalizing their businesses and staying abreast of these innovators – while still keeping their ageing operating systems running – has changed the job of chief technology officers.
It comes with higher pressure and more scrutiny, but greater excitement.
“There are two jobs in banking that I see as particularly interesting,” says Fabian Vandenreydt, executive chairman of B-Hive, a Brussels-based member association that promotes cooperation between large incumbent insurance companies and banks – such as ING, BNP Paribas, KBC – and fintechs.
“First, architects today in charge of, say, payment engines or risk-management systems at banks are rarely just buying and monitoring a single, large solution. Rather, they want to ensure that they can integrate new components that may be coming in all the time from different recent and maturing start-ups. That’s very cutting edge.
“And the second exciting job is that of partner manager inside the bank for these fintech providers.”
Vandenreydt was head of capital markets and innovation at Swift for more than 10 years before joining B-Hive, and before that a consultant, after previously working at JPMorgan.
He says: “The innovation scene today focuses a lot on how fintechs should pitch their solutions to banks.
“But we’re seeing more inquiry coming the other way, with banks outlining a business problem to select potential vendors – perhaps fraud detection, regulatory compliance, payments, data analytics, identity management – and asking them to present solutions.”
He returns to the component manufacturing analogy, saying:“Twenty years ago, a bank might buy a whole solution from one large, established vendor.