Archive for the ‘Chris Skinner’ Category

Wesabe Launches Springboard

November 25, 2009 7 comments

Skipper: Kowalski, options.
Kowalski: Just one, close your eyes so you don’t see it coming.

“The Penguins of Madagascar”

Wesabe recently announced their Springboard web application for banks and credit unions.  In case you missed it, Springboard is an online PFM that can be branded by any financial institution (FI) that signs up for the service.

While I think Springboard is a great way for FIs to finally take a leap into offering an online PFM service, I’m more curious of how banking tech vendors will view this new service.

Wesabe is doing something that is unheard of in the financial industry.  They are offering an online, consumer facing banking product that a FI can have up and running in HOURS.  Think about that for a moment.  Your FI’s CIO could go the Springboard website, select the plan she wants, break out the corporate credit card, and have an online PFM product running for their customers in a day or two at most.

I don’t know of another banking tech vendor that offers implementation like this.  No salesperson to haggle over features and pricing. No project manager to coordinate all the departments needed to make it happen.  Just five minutes to fill out the registration form.

I believe this is another sign of Chris Skinner’s idea of banking-as-a-service coming true.

Photo by Jeff Howard

Your Firewall Isn’t The Problem

March 6, 2008 2 comments

Chris Skinner over at Finextra recently wrote an article I’m sorry, you are firewalled out. In the article, he told a story of how the CEO of a major, strategically led, global company was surprised that Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion. He was surprised because he’d never heard of the company. He then conferred with his direct reports and found that none of them had heard of YouTube either. The CEO then attempted to go to YouTube’s website and was stopped by the company’s firewall.

The conclusion was, management is effectively blocking themselves through policies they dictate for the company. Because websites such as YouTube, FaceBook, LinkedIn and MySpace are blocked, management doesn’t know the value they could bring to the company.

Hogwash. Firewalls and policies aren’t keeping management in the dark. Lack of inquisitiveness and communication is. In the example of the CEO, the direct reports must not have read any trade magazines or websites in the past couple of years. YouTube, FaceBook, LinkedIn and MySpace have constantly been mentioned on sites such as Infoworld, Computerworld and CIO. I’m willing to bet there were plenty of employees at that company that knew about YouTube. They just weren’t asked because they’re lower level employees.

And that is the crux of the problem. Innovation and strategy doesn’t only come from the top and filter down the organization chart. Anyone in the organization can have an idea. Anyone could also be keeping up with technology. Sometimes, it’s as simple as asking the employees around you.