FINTECH VENTURES IN THE NEW NORMAL

COMMUNITY WEBCAST

16 APRIL 2020

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100-HOUR LAUNCHPAD:

CEO CHALLENGE

GROWTH EXPERIENCE

In recent years, Unionbank has been a rockstar of dynamic innovation in the local banking industry. But now that the world has shifted in profound ways in response to the global pandemic, how must the “poster child” of innovation respond?

In this exclusive webcast, Andre Yap and Miguel Aranaz of Ignite House team up with Unionbank Fintech Group head Arvie de Vera to talk about stakeholder-centered innovation, and what the future holds for the PH fintech industry post-COVID.

In recent years, Unionbank has been a rockstar
of dynamic innovation in the local banking industry.
But now that the world has shifted in profound ways
in response to the global pandemic, how must
the “poster child” of innovation respond?

In this exclusive webcast, Andre Yap and Miguel Aranaz of Ignite House team up with Unionbank Fintech Group head Arvie de Vera to talk about stakeholder-centered innovation, and what the future holds for the PH fintech industry post-COVID.

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GROWTH LESSONS

KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR FINTECH & DIGITAL VENTURES IN THE NEW NORMAL

KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR FINTECH & DIGITAL VENTURES IN THE NEW NORMAL

CONCENTRIC DIGITAL LEADERSHIP

Think of Digital as concentric circles, with your organization in the middle. No matter how digital you have been transformed – if your customers are not digital, if your partners in supply chain, production, distribution and after sales are not digital – then you are yourself that much less digital. Your digital leverage is only as good as the digital leverage of those around you – because digital is about interconnectedness. To reap your fullest reward, your digital transformation must push into digital leadership – from inside, starting with your people, culture, systems; expanding out concentrically to your partners and customers; so that your full ecosystem is as digital as can be. This is what we call Concentric Digital Leadership. What is obvious here? The key driver is not digital, it is not tech; it is Leadership. Who are the leaders who will push boldly and lead? People like Arvie and Unionbank will be tremendous partners in this. The pandemic shows how critical this is, life and death. This should be a concerted national initiative – to push Concentric Digital. We’d love to see our top CEOs and corporations commit to this. In a sense, they have no choice. See next points.

TALENT & LEADERS

Even for those CEOs whose organizations are in a great position to thrive post pandemic, the challenge is a) do they have enough talent given the enormity of what can and should be done in the ecosystem, and b) do they have enough leadership and processes to continuously push the next level, especially given the outbound challenge of Concentric Digital (see previous). Your first and best move as CEO is to shore up your bench – either by hiring the right people or partnering with them.

CONTEXT

Technology is not the driver of Fintech. The driver is empathy and compassion – what Arvin calls Context. It’s all about people, their pains, needs, aspirations, how we can make it better. Tech won’t figure that out, only people who care can. And beyond figuring it out, who will grit it out when the going gets tough? Only people who care. I believe we showed a method and discipline in this 100H Challenge to bring out the Compassion in people as the source code of all Innovation. People who care can and will.

STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT

Filipinos normally gravitate towards all things heartfelt, but the pandemic has amplified this fact more than ever. These days, any solution that positively impacts the nation can get the attention of stakeholders, which is why Arvie encourages people to escalate projects that wouldn’t have been prioritized pre-pandemic. Per Arvie, “You’d be surprised at how fast you can get things done.” Case in point; Arvie was able to launch a project with five to six institutions in just a span of three weeks! With people willing to collaborate, we could utilize existing resources and technologies to enable us to sprint solutions versus starting from scratch. It’s all about striking while the bayanihan iron is hot!

WHO GETS AHEAD,
WHO GETS LEFT BEHIND?

We have done in 30 days of lockdown what we have been saying and saying and saying we should have done three to five years ago. People are working from home, using digital tools, doing electronic banking, telemedicine, and so on. Technology is suddenly not as scary as it seemed only weeks ago. We are learning to trust and be worthy of trust in a digital world. Necessity has forced adoption – personal behaviors and organizational practices – at unimaginable speed and scale. This in turn will propel massive invention, innovation. Necessity has two offsprings who will drive each other: adoption and invention. Again, if you are a leader, the message is crystal-clear: strike while the iron is hot! Lead or get left behind. It is a decision, not a result.

ZONES OF OPPORTUNITY: NEW NORMAL VENTURES FROM ARVIE & TEAM

The Fintech industry has three potential zones of opportunity that can be explored in this time of crisis based on the current state of key stakeholders: a) those who are coping (needing basic banking transactions), b) those who are surviving (getting access to funding or looking to go digital), and those who are thriving (doing well and are capable of digital transformation). According to Arvie de Vera, since there have already been a lot of conversation around the first two, he encourages people to think about bringing more value to companies who are keen on what is coming next. But why stop there?

If we start with the fundamental question of who we deeply care about, our zones of opportunity can go further in ways we otherwise never would have thought possible for our core business.