The role of FinTech companies in payments industry and enhancing digital capabilities of financial institutions

The role of FinTech companies in payments industry and enhancing digital capabilities of financial institutions

By Tibor Bartels, Head of Transaction Services Americas, ING Bank

Interview ahead of Payments USA
Can you please tell the Risk Insights readers a little bit about yourself, your experiences and what your current professional focus is?

I started my career 15 years ago with ING bank as a trainee. The system at ING rotates trainees through the business, so they can get a complete picture of how the business works and a feel for what might be right for them. For me, that was client coverage.

Eight years ago I moved to ING’s Transaction Services department in our Head office in Amsterdam as a treasury product specialist for US based multinationals.

Based on that experience I was asked to build an-on-the-ground team in New York covering the entire Americas. I have been doing this for 4 years now and have various specialists in my team that service our Americas clients with solutions to improve liquidity management, cash management, working capital and traditional trade.

What, for you, are the benefits of attending a conference like the Payments USA and what can attendees expect to learn from your session?

Attending Payments USA, and conferences like it, allows me to talk to clients, peers and other service providers. The dialogue helps to keep me abreast of market trends, technological developments and general issues multinationals face in day-to-day business.

In your opinion, how can we look to effectively incorporate open banking into the US markets?

We should first say the change is coming. As part of ING, I’ve already seen some of the impact open banking is starting to have in Europe. This changing international legislation and increasingly improving technology and client requirements will force banks to keep investing in innovative products to remain relevant for their clients.

It goes without saying we live in an unprecedented age of financial innovation. New payment related solutions are introduced on an almost bases by traditional banks, fintech companies or other via other industries (Amazon Pay, Apple pay etc.). This is combined with the fact that margins for banks are decreasing due to automated solutions and higher regulatory costs and clients are less brand-loyal than before.

It is therefore key for banks to adopt innovation mind-sets, as well as making sure funds are available to develop new products. I believe it’s this and greater collaboration that will truly usher in open banking here in the US.

What are the key considerations that need to be made when enhancing digital capabilities for financial institutions?

It might sound obvious, but three words – Relevancy, Ease and of course Security.

At ING we have a purpose statement of “Empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business”. For us that’s a starting point, all concepts or ideas have to meet that purpose, and I think it equally applies to the development of digital capabilities.

Clients don’t just live in an isolated world of finance. They’ve seen how tech innovations have made their lives  more convenient in so many ways and they expect the same from both Retail and Wholesale banking. They are rightly expecting and demanding new solutions that will make their lives easier.


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