We recently had the pleasure of hosting a panel of industry experts to discuss how financial technology (fintech) is disrupting the world of banking. More importantly, we learned what's needed from traditional organizations in order to stay competitive. Along with some of Rangle's innovation leadership, we heard from fintech trailblazers Andrew Graham, co-founder of Borrowell and Michael Garrity, CEO of Financeit moderated by tech analyst and host of Globe & Mail's tech podcast, "I'll Go First", Takara Small. Let's get into it!

Find the full discussion, here.

First up we heard from some of our own Rangle leaders, Mandy Bitar, Farouk Dossa, Howie Howatson and Staples Canada's Senior Director of Store Technology and Services, Arun Ramdeane.

Takara took no time diving into the big questions, noting that despite each panelist working in diverse areas, they all share a common goal - innovating and working with companies to deliver the best customer experience. And since customers are always chasing the next best things, how do you work towards giving customers what they want and what they need?

Arun lays it out simply: you can't predict the future. That's just the reality. But what you can do is set yourself up to react to the future. And I think that's what we're looking to do - how do we build a foundation and get the feedback you need to understand the market changes? When we talk about innovation and change, those are very hard things to do and very hard to quantify just through a discussion. However, when you can create a small proof of concept (POC) or show a small quick win, you can actually demonstrate a result. That makes it easier to have a conversation with the 'powers that be' around that result and its impact across the business.  At the end of the day, the small wins gives you data.  

Having a customer centric approach is key, as Howie states, we now have an entire customer base out there who are gourmands of experience. Everybody has a very high bar of what they expect out of experience.  Everyone has a super computer in their pocket which serves them immediately, and they will drop things immediately if it isn't reaching what they consider to be the bar.

In closing, Mandy added that if you're working with technologies that are very old and accruing technical debt, a monolithic application for example, you won't be able to iterate as fast to keep up with the pace of where the digital world is going. Moreover, there isn't a specific tool to solve this for everyone - instead it's important to pick the right people to help you choose the right tools.

The theme of prioritizing customer experience continued as Andrew Graham of Borrowell noted, what we've found is that there's so many digitally savvy people at every age now, and we're seeing that in our users. There's people using platforms like Facebook at every age and stage. The idea that it's only Millennials that are online and are interested in services like ours just isn't right - the average age of a user on our platform is 40. There are  people at many stages of life who are concerned about their credit and they have goals they want to achieve. That being said, when it comes to credit and not feeling super confident about credit, many people prefer technology than face-to-face.

Taking into consideration that millennials aren't the only users of fintech services, it's also important to note that urban dwellers aren't the only ones who should benefit from fintech either.  "I literally grew up in the Northwest Territories," says Michael Garrity of FinanceIt, "We've developed our applications so that they work on  slow speed and can still get the job done. So we really think about product design for multiple use cases, and slow internet is one of those things."

All in all, the key takeaways from our panel and experts is that yes, expectations are hard to keep up with, and your product may be servicing a broader demographic than you thought. That's why it's more important than ever to keep the customer in mind from your product or transformation's inception, that way you will succeed in not only meeting, but surpassing customer expectations. Interested in innovating together? Let's get in touch!