Working in the FinTech sector is like coming and going, requires a high degree of professionalism in a thoroughly relaxed working environment and is above all characterised by innovations as well as good, clever and future-oriented ideas, according to the widespread consensus. But who are actually the brains and doers behind these creative thought processes, at the interface between finance, digital technologies and entrepreneurship? In our Series The faces of the FinTech industry we regularly ask a person from the payment and banking industry the same ten questions. This time Ulrike Moritz answers our questions.
May we introduce…
During our everyday work we meet exciting people who work in the same environment, who we meet only once or from time to time or who we have already grown very fond of in our private lives – each of them has a story of their own. We have a few of these People from our nearest FinTech environment to give them a face. To share why this industry is much more to them than just another way to pay their rent. We would like to briefly portray and introduce these people and their vita in a very special category and have designed a questionnaire that is always the same.
This time answered Ulrike Moritz our questions. Ulrike is Product Lead at finleap connect
Who are you, what do you do?
I am Head of Switch Products at finleap connect. This means that I am responsible for all products related to account switching (account switching assistance according to ZKG, account switching self-service and securities account switching service).
What were your first contacts with the payment and banking industry?
At the age of 11, during the opening of my Knax account at our local savings bank branch!
And really: I completed a dual course of study at a savings bank. At the same time, I also passed the examination for bank clerks. After that I worked in a management consultancy in Financial Services Consulting and now at finleap connect. So you could say that I have spent my entire professional life in the banking world.
When did you first notice the word FinTech?
During my time in counseling. I have accompanied many digitization and process optimization projects at banks there. And at some point there were suddenly these small startups that offered individual processes or products in a much more customer-friendly or efficient way – and thus became part of our portfolio of measures for banks.
How do you define FinTech?
All-inclusive? Start-ups in the financial industry that try to solve an old problem differently or are the first to develop a new trend. I personally do not judge this by the degree of innovation of the technologies, because I think that a new combination of existing technologies or processes can also become an innovation.
What do you think established companies do better than FinTechs?
Established companies are simply much more structured from their history than FinTechs, or startups in general. This is reflected not only in the form of organisation, but especially in the processes.
In my view, structure can help to keep the thread in the right direction and to work towards a goal. I have the feeling that FinTechs get “tangled up” more often precisely because of a lack of structure or processes. In any case, structure and clear processes can be a double-edged sword: no organization or missing processes can distract from the goal, but too much structure and too rigid processes can also slow down.
“Structure and clear processes can be a double-edged sword: No organization or missing processes can distract from the goal, but too much structure can also be a brake”.
What can you learn from FinTechs?
Pragmatism and a hands-on mentality, which often contribute to a higher decision-making ability. So a better error culture. Mistakes are allowed on the way to the goal, because they enrich with experience and are not “demonised” per se.
Why do established (large) companies actually find it so difficult to go digital?
I think that it is less a problem of mentality than a “legacy” problem. The grown structures of the own process and IT landscape often make it difficult or impossible to further digitalize products and services. The consulting tool or back-office software from the 1990s / 2000s cannot even be completely renewed – there are far too many interdependencies between the systems for this to happen, so that it often becomes a mammoth project. Instead, only minor changes are made that do not exploit the full potential of digitisation.
What would you do professionally if you were not working in the payment and banking industry?
Phew, when I think back to my boyhood dream, I would probably be in the mounted police (mainly because of riding). But since the training period was too long for me with about 6-7 years, a career in the economy was my alternative ;)
Which company would you like to work for one day?
Google – to see how this company manages the balancing act between start-up mentality and global corporation.
Who would you like to have a beer with?