FinTech Connects... with Lisa Frazier, EVP, Head of Innovation, Wells Fargo

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Global digital innovator Lisa Frazier who leads innovation at Wells Fargo, will be delivering one of the opening keynotes at FinTech Connect. Entitled ‘ Future proofing finance: What’s driving the banking experiences of tomorrow’ this will be surely one of the events highlights. Read some of her thoughts here on the future of the industry.


What does innovation mean to you?

In my view, innovation is about three things: applying new technologies to banking and wealth; creating new business models; and building an “innovation DNA” into our organization’s culture. Our focus is to drive innovation with customer value at the forefront. We take a three horizon approach focusing on efforts that transform today’s bank and build tomorrow’s bank.

Do you see innovation coming as part of a greater cultural change within banking?

I think innovation has always been important in banking, but the pace of change is getting faster, and that means innovation is more important than ever in order to be a relevant part of our customers’ lives. I believe it’s critical that innovation is part of an organization’s culture—all employees need to feel like they have the tools and opportunity to contribute to creating meaningful change.

What is Wells Fargo’s approach to Open Banking?

Open banking is an important part of the future of banking. Through IoT and mobile, customers will increasingly access financial services through technology platforms or ecosystems and choose the most convenient place for banking. APIs and open banking create a better customer experience by providing more transparency, control and enhanced security. Wells Fargo Gateway is our open banking channel that offers APIs to allow business and wholesale banking customers to integrate Wells Fargo products, services, and information into their own digital environments.


How can banks build UX that is personal without alienating the consumer? How do you overcome those overarching concerns around personal data?

Data is a key enabler of our digital experiences and helps us deliver a customized, seamless experience for our customers.  I think the most important part of personalization is delivering experiences and insights that provide the customer with real value and provides them the information to better guide their decision making.

What do legacy banks like yourself need to do to survive in an increasingly crowded market?

Competition is a great thing, and we embrace what competition brings to financial services, which is an evolution of banking and banks. It is truly an exciting time. Startups and other non-traditional players are playing an important role in reshaping customer experiences and compelling change in the financial ecosystem. But they are not the only ones; traditional banks are empowering innovation as well. Banks have the advantage and experience of bringing solutions to scale in a heavily regulated industry in an increasingly challenging cybersecurity environment. Changing the future of financial services will not be done by a single company or a single type or size of company. It can’t be done in silos. It requires diverse thought and collaboration among people and companies around the world.

How do banks ensure they keep the customer relationship and don’t become ‘dump pipes’?
The answer is relates to an earlier question—it is about building personalized experiences, leveraging data that makes our interactions with customers relevant and contextual wherever they require us to be.


Positioned where you are, in Silicon Valley, are you checking in with the tech giants and discussing banking innovation with your peers there?

Being located in Silicon Valley is a great advantage for us. We have great relationships with all types of companies here – tech companies, venture capital firms, and numerous startups – we have discussions about banking, technology, and innovation.

You have been someone who has championed female leadership in fintech, can you tell us a little about what you have done?

Most recently under my leadership, the Innovation Group partnered with Quesnay’s Female Founders in Fintech competition to help mentor up and coming female fintech leaders. The competition not only provides mentorship opportunities, but also networking opportunities, and cash prizes to help scale their big ideas. We also support other organizations with hands-on mentoring. I am always pleased to share my personal learning and experience founding, advising, and working in startups.

What is the one technology you are most excited about for the next 5 years?
What is the one technology you are most concerned about?

My crystal ball isn’t better than anyone else’s, but I think applications that will enable speed, relevancy and efficiency, such as Artificial Intelligence, will be critically important in the near future. 


Register for FinTech Connect on 3–4 December at ExCeL, London.