Bridging the worlds of Financial Services and disruptive Tech Firms
Exclusive Interview with Matchi co-founder Warren Bond – London Fintech Podcast
Finance guru Mike Baliman’s latest Fintech podcast series aims to bridge the worlds of financial services and disruptive tech firms. Kicking-off the series with a bang, Baliman interviewed Matchi’s co-founder Warren Bond to discuss his journey with innovation as well as current fintech trends and tips for fintechs aiming to sell into banks.
Mike BalimanThis is a must-listen-to show for Fintech innovators aiming to sell into banks… Matchi is that rarest of things – a real game changer.
Matchi.biz is something of a combination of an innovation marketplace/database and a dating service. On one side, innovators sign-up (to sell) and on the other side sponsoring banks (to buy). It’s free to try and (IMO) amazingly cheap to use. I wish it had existed 15 years ago when I had my own Fintech startup selling in to banks.
My conversation with Warren Bond, co-founder of matchi.biz is a great way to start the London Fintech Podcast interviews as both this podcast and matchi.biz are about bridging the worlds of suits and t-shirts, of incumbents and innovators. If matchi.biz continue to deliver on their promise and scale successfully they will be that rarest of things – a real game-changer.
Many fintechs I meet are all too aware of the difficulty of selling into banks — notoriously long/slow sales cycles and highly bureaucratic processes. A recent survey by the CCgroup found that almost 75% of all IT investment decisions in financial institutions involve up to 20 people, with 15% involving 50 people or more. So many fintechs — in essence — try and avoid selling to banks.
Another sign of how hot Fintech is, is that "even the FCA" (in London) is to set up an 'innovation unit' to facilitate innovators dealing with the regulator
However, Banking IT (alone) is an $180bn p.a. marketplace (2013: roughly equally split into thirds across US, Europe and Asia). Furthermore, as Warren discusses, many banks are waking up and smelling the coffee fast and setting up innovation units to facilitate the purchasing process for Fintech.
Warren Bond, co-founder of Matchi.biz
Matchi.biz is about making this process far easier – especially in the sweet spot of something that is successfully working in one bank in one geography. Warren gives the example of one innovator who has sold into Chicago and is now having sales conversations all around the world. Imagine trying to that in the past without the interweb and a facilitator such as Matchi.
Warren also outlines the characteristics of innovations that make them harder or easier to sell into banks (something I have never seen any attention given to before). He emphasises the 75% of innovations that are “below the waterline” — unsexy, never publically visible, not written up in newspapers but very wanted. Equally for the banks we discuss how they can easily make themselves more open to innovation and not be out-competed in this current Fintech boom – either by the Fintechs themselves or by their more innovative incumbent competitors.
As well as matchi.biz, Warren co-founded the innovation consultancy Luminous and also co-founded "Sport for All", a social enterprise of getting kids into sport and off the streets which is active in 18 South African townships and has been visited by the UK Trade and Industry department — we could certainly do with that in the UK too.