Jeff Yabuki on Defining Innovation in Financial Services


I was recently asked to provide my definition of innovation in financial services.

Doing so requires looking at the industry from the outside in.

As consumers, we don't spend our days thinking about the mechanics of financial services. Our thoughts tend to be focused on outcomes – accomplishing financial goals which may include buying a home, putting children through college, saving for retirement, or maybe even taking a vacation. And some people think about much more immediate concerns – do I have enough money in my account to pay a bill that was due yesterday?

Money is emotional. And financial institutions are on the front lines of that energy, helping people navigate the complexity of managing it. Innovation in this industry is not ethereal; it's about solving real-world problems for real people. The financial services people use – and the technologies that enable those services – have to fit seamlessly and beneficially into their lives.

Jeff Yabuki on Defining Innovation in Financial Services
Fiserv President and CEO, Jeff Yabuki, discusses how defining innovation in our industry requires an "outside-in" approach.

Innovation is functionality.

Successfully delivering financial services functionality requires the ability to execute on ideas in a purposeful and intentional way. Making the complex simple is not easy. Ensuring security and compliance is paramount – and pairing that with industry insights makes new ideas possible.

Through our partnership in the INV Fintech Accelerator, Fiserv is serving as a connection point between financial services startups and our thousands of bank and credit union clients. INV facilitates the successful melding of vision and reality by connecting high-potential startups to the ecosystem in which financial institutions operate. As a result, viable projects receive a jump start while Fiserv bank and credit union clients receive access to cutting-edge and workable advances in fintech.

Innovation is expertise.

We know financial services technology. For more than 30 years we have been partnering with financial institutions to serve their customers. We have broad knowledge in areas such as account processing, payments, risk and fraud, digital solutions and much more.

We are building new technologies that will allow consumers and businesses to transact financially – safely and securely – when they need it. We are studying new technologies and looking for ways to further enhance services for our clients in a mobile-first – soon to be mobile-only – world.

Innovation is experience.

The pace of change is accelerating and people's expectations for innovative experiences are the same for financial services as they are for retail or any other facet of life. People want speed, ease and convenience in all that we do. And when it comes to money, we want to move and manage it at the point of thought. Delivering the services people need as part of an experience grounded in excellence is how innovation will manifest over time.

Innovation comes alive at the intersection of experience, expertise and functionality. And in a world that is more digital and interconnected than ever before, Fiserv is uniquely positioned to innovate to deliver financial solutions that move in step with the pace of people's lives.

Fiserv is committed to driving purposeful and focused innovation through the development and delivery of new solutions, strategic partnerships and investment in other forward-thinking companies. We've underscored our commitment to innovation with the Fiserv Innovation Network (FIN), which serves as a unifying umbrella for our innovation initiatives that culminates each year in a showcase of ideas from across our global associate base.

Underlying our drive for innovation is a desire to create value by enabling faster time to market so we can bring the latest capabilities to our clients to serve their customers more quickly, while serving as a catalyst to move the industry forward.

Delivering innovation at the intersection of experience, expertise and functionality. That's an important way Fiserv is providing innovation for our clients and the broader financial services industry.

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