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Top investors share their vision for digitizing banks and easing daily banking

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The way by which we communicate has fundamentally changed over the past several generations. Once upon a time, we relied upon mail to carry our messages far and wide. Now we can communicate with anyone, anywhere, at almost any time.

In the same way that the convenience of technology has changed the way we communicate, so too has the way we interface with money. With digital banking systems the norm and instantaneous access the expectation, individuals like Tom Stafford of DST Global are focused on re-crafting these new norms.

Tom Stafford recently sat down with Nikolay Storonsky of Revolut at the Bloomberg MoneyConf 2018 to be interviewed by Oscar Williams-Grut. During their conversation, the entrepreneurs and innovators explored what it means to best serve their more than 1.5 million mobile global customers while adhering to the importance of digitized banking and easy daily access.

Making Waves & Making Changes

Tom Stafford is both the managing partner at DST Global and one of London’s most aspirational entrepreneurs. First opening his firm in 2016 in London, Stafford has since become a global figurehead in multiple fintech efforts.

Featured on a panel alongside Revolut’s Nikolay Storonsky, Tom Stafford of DST Global went to bat on the topics of global banking, consumerism, and the convenience of accessible daily banking. Homing in on the concepts so often discussed by the teams at Bloomberg, Tom Stafford of DST Global laid out a few concepts that he felt were worth exploring.

Probed by Business Insider’s Oscar Williams-Grut on the idea of unbundling global banking, Stafford was effusive in his resistance to the concept entirely.

After being questioned, Stafford replied, “I never believed in the unbundling concept in the first place. I think there are certain quite specific transactions that you might want to take out of the bank. Very large loan types, and insurance products. Et cetera.”

Building Better and More Accessible Banking Systems

With the importance of accessible technology, Tom Stafford and Nikolay Storonsky discussed how the future of banking can change in an instant. During his appearance at the MoneyConf presentation, Stafford looked at how technology and the internet will become vehicles for the change that consumers are looking for.

During his presentation and panel, Stafford made sure to outline how other bankers have enjoyed the institutions they’ve existed in, all while not providing any innovation. For Stafford, this meant that there was an opportunity to move forward and claim potential market share.

Exploring this topic, Stafford stated, “I always think of it from the user’s point of view. From the consumer to the SME or the enterprise POV.”

Stafford gestured to Storonsky of Revolut as an example of accessible and better-built systems. Stafford said, “FX Transactions on Revolut are free. I mean, what banks give anything away for free? If you think of that concept of free, reinvesting your economics into your customers, that is the watchword of the internet.”

The Importance of Convenience in Digitizing Banking

Clunky applications with a variety of outbound destinations can quickly become a headache for even the most ardent tech lover. Stafford added, “Their point of view from daily banking: They don’t want to have 18 different applications. They want to have one app or one service that provides their daily banking needs.”

As can plainly be understood by their conversation, Storansky of Revolut and Stafford of DST Global both understood the importance of convenience and accessibility. Stafford went one step further when he pointed out that callers didn’t want to be stuck in a queue for 45 minutes while waiting for an operator to take their call, much less an operator who didn’t even know who they were.

As Stafford and Storonsky explored the future of banking and digitized financials, it became apparent that convenience and accessibility were two topics that are never going to vanish. At the end of the day, Stafford believes that consumers want to be relatively unplugged from the overall experience.

Stafford said, “What I want as a consumer is for all of that stuff to be abstracted away from me. I press a button, and a burger arrives. The only thing I want to do is when the burger’s cold, I complain. When the burger is fine, I don’t.”

Tom Stafford added to his burger metaphor, “That is how I see banking going forward.” Stafford said to Williams-Grut during his panel, “The fundamental belief that I hold is that the best talent, utilizing technology and the internet, will effectively take over almost all industrial vehicles that exist today and in the future.”

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