Innovation Lessons from Fintech Frontlines



We’re getting ready to host another day of panels and fun with the Lean Digital Speedway at SXSW Interactive. This is our second year, and we thought we’d give you a sneak peek of our upcoming panels.
Would it come as surprise if your neighborhood banker said to you, “We’re more like a software developer than a bank”? We weren’t entirely shocked either when an executive who participated in our study of innovation in the financial services sector made this confession. Customers’ needs and competitors’ responses are evolving faster than ever, and mid- to large-sized financial services firms are scrambling to keep up with the pace of innovation.
But it’s no small feat keeping up with customers that are looking for the best user experience possible, regulators that want to avert another financial crisis, and the internal teams that each have their own (and sometimes, competing) agendas.

Don’t miss our panel: Innovation Lessons from Fintech Frontlines

To learn a bit more about the trends affecting firms, join Thelton McMillian, Founder & CEO of Comrade – a CI&T company, Jim Van Dyke, Founder/CEO at Futurion, Allison Landers, VP Digital & Customer Experience at Prudential, and Joe Jordan, Senior VP, Digital Banking at Regions Bank on Monday, March 12th at 12:30pm at the Courtyard Marriott Austin, Rio Grande Room (2nd Floor), for our panel: Innovation Lessons from Fintech Frontlines.

5 important trends in fintech

While banking dates to the 14th century, the financial services sector has never experienced such a dramatic pace of change as it is today. To explore the realities, challenges, and opportunities related to doing business in such a dynamic business environment, CI&T conducted a study among executives responsible for some of the biggest digital innovations projects in fintech or payments. Among the study’s participants, three hailed from top North American banks, while others worked at global payments providers, insurers and investment management firms, among others.
Here’s what we learned:
1) Turning ideas into reality typically took two years
During the interviews with our subject matter experts, we learned that project durations vary widely—ranging from six months to five years—with the typical project duration being 24. Whether Lean, Agile, Waterfall, or Scrum, the project’s duration was highly dependent on the innovation methodology chosen—with some yielding better results than others.
2) Innovation is a top-down exercise, unfortunately
It was striking, though not entirely surprising to learn that some of the more traditional financial services firms only allow innovation ideas to originate from their most senior executives.
3) Risk managers can be your greatest ally
We typically think of risk and security-focused teams as being risk averse, and for obvious reasons. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they stand in the way of innovation. In fact, we found that risk- or security-focused team members were viewed as incredibly valuable during the ideation or problem-solving stages.
4) Mobile-first is for laggards
Mobile devices are driving over 50% of Internet traffic; and there’s plenty of reason to expect this figure to increase. It wasn’t that long ago when firms were creating their first websites; and today many have adopted a mobile-first strategy. But among the top innovators, they are currently developing a mobile-only environment—almost relegating web to an afterthought.
5) Conquering complexity is a team sport
Our study also found that the fastest and most innovative firms tackle complex projects by creating cross-functional teams as early as the ideation stage. And by keeping this team intact for the full duration of the project, they are better equipped to get across the finish line.
Join us to learn more. Click here to learn more about our “Innovation Lessons from Fintech Frontlines” session and RSVP for all events here.