Podcast: FIs invest in digital experiences, AI and data

Financial institutions are looking to technology providers to keep up with digital capabilities requested by clients.  

Based on consumer needs, technology service provider Fiserv is “making a big bet across all of our digital assets,” Fiserv’s President of Core Banking and Integrated Solutions Dudley White tells Bank Automation News on this episode of “The Buzz” podcast. 

As clients continue to demand digitalization, Fiserv is focusing on creating “a really strong digital presence,” White says. 

The company is providing FIs capabilities in the following areas of technology: 

Fiserv clients include tech giants Microsoft and Google as well as banks, including Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Evermore Bank and Marlborough, Mass.-based Main Street Bank. 

Listen as White discusses the digital experiences financial institutions are developing to meet client expectations. 

Get ready for the Bank Automation Summit U.S. 2024 in Nashville on March 18-19! Discover the latest advancements in AI and automation in banking. Register now.

The following is a transcript generated by AI technology that has been lightly edited but still contains errors.

Whitney McDonald 0:03
This episode of The buzz is brought to you by bank automation summit us 2024. This annual event is tailored to resonate with financial services professionals focused on business optimization through technology and automation. Learn how to overcome implementation challenges by hearing firsthand from C level executives from institutions, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo city and more. There is no better place to get a read on the competition than at Bank automation summit us 2024 Register now at Bank automation My name is Whitney McDonald and I’m the editor of bank automation News. Today is February 6 2020. For the buzz welcomes Dudley White. He is the president of core banking and integrated services at Fiserv. He also served in executive roles for payments and a CIO of risk management solutions for the provider. He’s here to discuss the following tech trends that his financial institution clients are interested in. Those trends include digital channel investment, AI investment, modern core platforms and data insights. Thanks for being here, Dudley.

Dudley White 1:02
Great. Thank you, Whitney. I really appreciate you having me. On the podcast. It’s it’s an honor. A little bit about myself. So Dudley White, I have responsibility for core account processing at five serves. I’ve been with the company now for five years. And it’s been a it’s been a great journey in the five years. I initially came on as a CIO for one of the business units. After about a year, I moved over into a payments leader role. And then about two years ago, I moved over into the core group and took on responsibility for a subset of those course. And then in May of last year, we made the strategic decision of bringing all of our cores together. And I’m thankful that I have the responsibility of that core cloud processing group. Prior to Fiserv, I worked at Equifax and played several roles there. At one point I had responsibility for technology and analytical services. I was also the CIO for the US business for a period of time. And then for three years, I had responsibility for global product management, as well as product innovation. And before that, I worked at a company called S one played several roles there, across a couple of different functions. I my last role was working in Southeast Asia. So I had responsibility for Singapore and Thai operations, also responsibility for international professional services. And so a wide variety of responsibilities all within the financial services space. Prior to s one, I worked at Deloitte Consulting. And I’m a I’m a proud University of Georgia Bulldog and the Double Dog with undergrad and graduate degrees from University of Georgia.

Whitney McDonald 3:01
Nice. Well, thank you again for joining us lots of background of course in the industry. So we’re so excited to have you on the podcast and and get your perspective on on what you’re focused on at Fiserv today. So with that we just closed out 2023 We’re kicking off 2024. Let’s start with just what are some common trends that your financial institution clients have been asking for within the technology realm? What are the hot topics?

Dudley White 3:28
Sure, there’s, there’s a lot going on right now from within the technology space. I think it first starts with digital. So we are making a big bet across all of our digital assets. So everything’s tied more to that omni channel experience. So the ability for us to have a really strong digital presence, we have a platform that we call like an experienced digital or XD and that is a really important for us, we know that the banks, banks that have more digitally engaged customers are more loyal, and more profitable. So the investment in that omni channel experiences is very critical. Another key technologies AI, alright, so when you look from an AI perspective, you know, we use the term AI as kind of one big term, but really, there’s different forms of AI and conversational AI has been in place. We’ve leveraged it significantly, it’s helped from an operational costs primarily within the client services or customer service space. I think you’ll see more applications of generative and predictive AI. And there’s, you know, things that in addition to the technology from a regulatory and from a business rule process that has to come in play there, but you’ll start to see even more investment from an AI perspective from a technology standpoint, and everything around the open A As API ecosystem, so the ability for us to work in an environment not just with banks, but with fintechs. And we’ve already curated many relationships with fintechs, through our open API approach, and I think everything around that is, is critical. The whole concept of a next generation core as well. So having a, a cloud native core is critical, I think we’re not think I feel very strongly were the leaders in that space. And really all of our tours from a standpoint of not thinking of a core just in isolation, but thinking of a dual core approach. So having our whether it’s our DNA core premier core platforms, coupled with our new digital cores allows us to really be innovative and bring new products to market, I’d probably be remiss if I didn’t mention cyber, right. So from a technology perspective, everything from a cyber perspective, we’ve we’ve invested heavily from an encryption standpoint, it’s actually when you look at our spend over the last two years, it’s been very focused on building that moat around our platforms. And really focusing from a cyber investment standpoint, I think we’re very much the leaders in that space. Those are some of the key technologies and focus, I probably would be remiss as well, if I didn’t mention cloud. So you know, providing that capability for different deployment options, whether it’s in house, whether it’s hosted with us from an ISP perspective, or providing cloud capability in cloud just allows for that full resiliency, that ability for self healing platforms being able to from an operational standpoint, the the improvements there. So that’s a probably just the tip of the iceberg as far as technology focus and 24. There other things I can mention, like blockchain, that the you know, the items that I mentioned, are, I’d say are top of mind for us from a technology perspective.

Whitney McDonald 7:16
Yes, and lots of technology trends that you did just go through, definitely top of mind within the industry that kind of reflects perfectly what our coverage has been for the past year. So that’s good news, when it comes to tackling what your financial institution clients are looking to implement when it comes to all of these projects, and we don’t have to break down all of them. But maybe you could just walk me through what those client conversations look like, how does Fiserv really meet those needs that your clients are asking for when it comes to implementing this tech?

Dudley White 7:49
Yeah, and I think it really depends upon the customer itself. Right. So the discussion with the smaller community bank would be different than some of our larger FIS. So from a community bank perspective, they’re really dependent upon us for a lot of their innovation. And they really trust us from not only technology perspective, but also our position in the market from a guidance standpoint. So, you know, when you I mentioned digital, and I mentioned everything from an omni channel perspective. So being able to sit down first, and I think mapping out a true digital strategy is huge. I didn’t mention in the first question, which I should have, but you know, data has become king as well. And whether you’re this smaller community bank, or the the larger FIA or credit union, it’s critical for you to have a full view of your customer from a data perspective. And we’re making some very big bets with our Open Data solution, either managing that data for you to be able to provide you with KPIs and benchmarks to truly understand your space, or are working on it together or giving you the the capabilities to drive that. So I think having that digital piece having a true data strategy are those discussions. And I also had mentioned the from an API perspective, the ability for banks to be able to quickly integrate with third parties is critical. So when when we when we have these discussions, we tend to try and create a roadmap that you don’t want to do everything all at the same time. Right? There’s some things that are foundational. I think that the the API ecosystem is critical to accelerate some of the other components. I mentioned before the next generation core systems I think, is foundational because that can accelerate the rest of the innovation. You build those foundational pieces first. And then after that, you’re able to go to But I’d say some of the other components. Alright, now let’s figure out what we can do from a generative AI perspective to potentially reduce some of your, your back office and loan processing cost, right. Let’s see what we can do from an overall client services perspective, to reduce the the time for resolution for incidents and things like that, let’s see what we can use AI for, for reducing some of your loan processing costs. Right, and then you can continue to go to other advances across your technology roadmap, do we are you currently in house? Do you need to really look at a public cloud strategy and go through that transformation? So what we try and do is, you know, change is difficult, I think it first starts with the core. So to the extent that we can create a core that extends to all of these critical surrounds, whether it’s data, whether it’s digital, whether it’s your API ecosystem, having your core fully integrated, allows you to first address the core and then expand into these other key surrounds that will accelerate new product innovation and growth.

Whitney McDonald 11:14
One thing that you mentioned, of course, being generative AI, that’s one theme that you can’t necessarily get away from right now. Just out of curiosity, are you hearing more from your clients interest on where Gen AI can fit into the institutions? Yeah,

Dudley White 11:29
absolutely. So I, I actually did a presentation at the National Bankers Association, in q4 last year, specifically around AI with a focus on generative AI and what some of those applications can be, I think, on the onboarding process, it can be significant from a accelerating that process. Also, I think the ability for customers to get a better view of a viewpoint of their portfolios with some predictive analysis as well as far as where their portfolios may go, what if type scenarios from a generative AI perspective, I see two benefits for the customer from a self service perspective. But I also see the benefits for the bank’s reducing some of their operational costs, whether it’s onboarding or whether it’s on backend processing, leveraging AI to really improve their efficiency.

Whitney McDonald 12:28
Yes, and I think that just as you were mentioning, we’re just on the cusp of seeing more and more with with AI, believe it or not Gen AI, it’s all moving so fast. And you’re seeing that implementation, quickly changing as as the months go on, even as the days go on. It’s

Dudley White 12:47
changing as we’re speaking, it’s changing. Exactly.

Whitney McDonald 12:51
Now, speaking of implementing all this technology we’ve seen throughout 2023, I’m anticipating the same this year, technology spend just continues to be a priority for financial institutions, even as spending pulled back in other areas across banks. Technology remains an important effort. Not surprisingly. So when it comes to making sure that institutions are tech forward, I think the term that you used as being a next gen institution, maybe you could explain what that really means to make sure that you are on the forefront of technology.

Dudley White 13:30
Yeah, and you know, and I, I do use that term, I fell victim because I think it’s a term that everyone’s using. The reality is, it may be a bit of a misnomer. It kind of implies a then versus now, when, when actually from, you know, with my responsibility from a core perspective, it’s more about continually evolving, evolving the platforms. So, you know, to me and next gen platform, most important allows for open access, right, the ability to accelerate new products, on next gen platforms or cloud native. So, you know, in today’s digital world, in the past, it was about three nines, or four nines, but now it’s really about always being available from a from a platform perspective. So having that full of resiliency. So for me, next gen is about quick innovation, new products, helping financial institutions grow their their deposit base. It’s about systems that are resilient and reliable and self heal. It’s about systems that really play within that ecosystem for integration. So the concept of Next Gen. Really all of our platforms have been within that mode. It’s just that we continue to evolve as the technology allows us to advance those capabilities.

Whitney McDonald 14:50
Now, maybe you could give some examples and you don’t necessarily have to name them but some some bank clients that are next gen some examples of what they’re doing. That would put them into that that folder.

Dudley White 15:04
Sure. So and I don’t mind naming, we actually have a, on our investor day, in November last year, we had a testimonial from a bank, on premise bank, I think it’s one of the greatest examples. So they were, they are a bank that was on a, our premier core. And we implemented a dual core approach with them. And within a period of six weeks, they were able to increase their deposits by just a little bit south of a billion. And it’s that type of rapid acceleration through new products offering. It also expanded their reach, right, they were a smaller community bank within the Mid Atlantic, and now they’re able to offer all their services across 50 states. It’s about putting that digital first API first capability. In the in the hands of our FIS, whether it’s leveraging a premier or FinTech or a DNA core, it’s just a great example of us being able to take a customer and really expand its reach and grow deposits do next gen capability. Great. Um, and I can give you another example, as well. So call federal in Virginia, it’s a it’s a credit union. Similar to what I mentioned before, as far as innovation, we were able to use our digital capability, they really wanted to move much more to tablets in their branch to focus on holistic member experience versus transactional actions, much more of that kind of customer experience approach. And our digital capabilities significantly helped and improved. Customer said and new surveys and information. So you know, the digital experience can help you expand your that next gen can help you expand your your reach, but probably just as important to improve your customer service.

Whitney McDonald 17:10
Thank you for leaving a couple and talking through those examples. It’s great to have uses and how the technology is actually performing and have those takeaways. So thank you so much for talking through that. Now we we’ve given those examples. We’ve talked through the technology, and naming some of those was was the investment in cloud and the desire for cyber and AI and data analytics. If you were talking to a financial institution that’s getting things going in 2024, it’s kind of a clean slate, it’s a new year, what are what are those technologies that you would really recommend a financial institutions start with, to keep up with competition to make sure that they are on a tech forward path? What would you really start with on the tech front?

Dudley White 17:56
Yeah, so I’m going to invest in that scenario, kind of assume that the core is in place, right? So from a, from a core account processing, I, you know, I’ve mentioned it in several times, but it just, it starts with digital, right. So that ability for that a seamless omni channel solution. So from a digital perspective, but then even able to drive the customers to the branch as well. I really didn’t discuss brands technology and branch experience. But you know, one of the things from a digital standpoint, I think it’s a bit of a misnomer. We’ve never felt this way, but that it’s digital only, it’s more about omni channel powered by digital, but then also being able to drive those higher valued customer experiences to the branch as well. So I, you know, my advice would be start with a very strong digital digital approach, as I mentioned, those are more loyal customers with higher balances and, and a higher margin, but not to be lost is the need for the the service from the branch as well. And those two are not. They’re not opposed to each other, they actually are complementary to each other. Yeah,

Whitney McDonald 19:15
I think that’s that’s great advice. And I think it goes with the theme of what we’ve been talking about, and the digital front. Now looking ahead to this year. It would be great if you could talk us through what’s on fire service product roadmap, what you’re excited about for the year what’s coming for for 2020? For

Dudley White 19:35
sure. Yeah, I mean, I really am jazzed about are the investments that we’re making. You know, we’re on this journey. I talked about kind of the evolution from a next gen perspective, or the journey for all of our platforms to be real time, you know, where as I mentioned digital, we are, you know, in a in an era now from everything needing to be real Time, we continue to refresh kind of react frameworks and everything that we’re doing from a UI and usability perspective. So, really excited about the investments we’re making there. I mentioned cloud every, you know, it’s a race to cloud. So we we moved. I think, in our credit union space, I may be off by one or two, but 88 new customers to our portico cloud solution in 2023. And I think we’ll move another 138 or so and in 2024, so very excited about our cloud transformation. And I, you know, some of the other things I talked about from an open data, I think that we are at the forefront of what we’re doing around providing the tools and the capabilities, so that FIS have a full 360 view of their customers. And I always refer to our I talked about Open API, but we we have a we have technology and tools, I kind of I call it somewhat speed dating for for banks, right, the ability for banks to be able to really look through the different fintechs that are out there and make decisions as far as who they want to have relationships with from from an innovation perspective. So, you know, I’m excited about all of it. I think that uh, you know, we at our forum, customer event last year in in June, we had an experience Center and our customers were delighted to see where we’re taking from an innovation perspective, we’re where we are. And as far as where we’re evolving those technologies across data at rest API’s across, across blockchain, whatever the that innovative technology is where we’re involved across the board. So I’m very excited. Right. So

Whitney McDonald 21:57
before we close out, just wanted to make sure you had an opportunity to cover anything that you didn’t hit on or anything that we missed. You

Dudley White 22:04
know, we touched on all the key themes, but it’s probably worth reiterating the importance of customer service, and the investments that we’re making from a technology perspective, I talked about some of the AI tools that we’re investing there. And just the from a technology standpoint, as important as it is for innovation and product growth and everything I mentioned moving to the cloud, as important or cyber and the customer experience. And so we continue to invest in our AI tools like Maeve to improve that customer experience. And we’re very proud of of that investment in that journey that we’re on. That’d be the only thing I’d say we probably didn’t hit on as much as I would like, you know, in summary, the the investment and cloud the investment in what we had discussed as far as more in evolving of our core platforms, not necessarily next gen but the evolution as we continue to make advancements there. And then some of the breakthrough technologies didn’t mention rpa, but things around RPA as well as blockchain and AI are innovative new technologies that we are investing in as well.

Whitney McDonald 23:19
You been listening to the buzz, a bank automation news podcast, please follow us on LinkedIn. And as a reminder, you can rate this podcast on your platform of choice. Thank you for your time and be sure to visit us at Bank automation For more automation news,

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