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Wells Fargo technology leader Avid Modjtabai explored the past, present, and future of banking during her talk at the annual LendIt Fintech USA conference.
Photo Credit: LendIt Fintech USA

Modjtabai: The future of banking — it’s personal

Wells Fargo technology leader Avid Modjtabai explored the past, present, and future of banking during her talk at the annual LendIt Fintech USA conference.

May 3, 2018

Avid Modjtabai doesn’t need a crystal ball to tell the future of banking. That’s because the technology is already available today to provide customer experiences that could only be imagined 25 years ago, she said recently at the annual LendIt Fintech USA conference of global leaders in online lending technology.

In her presentation — “Reimagining Banking for the Post-Digital Age” (23:40) — the head of Wells Fargo Payments, Virtual Solutions and Innovation reflected on the evolution of digital in banking and the dramatic transformation it continues to create for financial institutions and their customers.

Today, the financial services industry has moved into an era where technology is built into nearly every interaction, and that is having a profound impact on the relationship between businesses and consumers, she said.

“You could almost say it’s not just business anymore. It’s personal,” Modjtabai said. “Banks are working every day to stay ahead of these changes because our customers want to work with companies that keep up with the pace of innovation that they see in their daily lives.

“In this time of great change and high expectations, we have made a commitment to leveraging technology and innovation to make our customers’ lives easier,” she said.

Mobile technology and digital commerce have increased consumer demand for simple and fast money movement, so a top priority is providing frictionless payments to customers, according to Modjtabai. “We know our customers increasingly want to pay in real time, and banks are best positioned to deliver the payment capabilities they expect,” she said.

Wells Fargo launched ZelleSM, the bank-owned person-to-person payment service, last year. It is the only P2P service that lets customers move money directly between participating bank accounts in real time.

Other highlights from Modjtabai’s presentation:

  • On using customer data: “For years, we’ve talked about segments of one; mass customization. At the time, we did not have the technology to make that happen — but today, we do! We can deliver contextual, hyper-personalized experiences to each and every customer, in the moment, wherever they are.”
  • On the promise of digital: “Today, three quarters of our customer interactions — nearly 8 billion a year — are through digital channels. For some of our customers, digital is the only way they interact with us. In fact, they interact with us 10 times more than non-digital customers. This gives us a much bigger opportunity to know them.”
  • On fintech collaborations: “Fintechs have challenged us to think differently about how we use data creatively to provide fast, simple, and personalized experiences to customers. Banks and fintechs complement one another, and the most innovative solutions will likely be a product of fintechs and large banks such as Wells Fargo working together.”
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