During London FinTech Week, we caught up with Han Veldwijk, recently appointed as Head of FinTech at Lloyds Banking Group, to follow his career journey so far and get insight on how Lloyds Banking Group is collaborating with FinTech organisations.
Before I explain what I do at LBG, let me shortly explain why I do what I do. Banking is changing rapidly. Technology in all walks of life is driving different expectations from customers for their banking services – we need to respond to this. Think of the ease of when you order on Amazon and make a 1-click payment, or how you step out of your Uber not thinking of the bill. It’s a frictionless experience.
In joining Lloyds Banking Group, I was delighted by the opportunity to work with so many bright and talented people in one of the largest banks in the UK; taking this role was a no-brainer. The fact that LBG has appointed a Digital director to their board and announced investment of £1bn into their digital transformation told me that the Group puts its money where its mouth is.
Our challenge is to understand what is happening in our industry, what forces are shaping the future of banking and how we can respond to these opportunities and solve real customer problems.
In my work, with a team of extremely talented people, we research continuously how we can improve our proposition, looking at the outside. One example is the FinTech market scanning that we run. This is an instrument for leadership teams to understand their business area; showing ways to adapt to opportunities in that market. It could be launching a new product, reinventing a process to massively reduce costs or change the business model all together. Next to looking at FinTech strategically we also enable the bank to run experiments. It might sound strange to hear banks and experiments in one line. ‘Running experiments’ is a way for organisations, both small to large, to be better able to operate successfully in high uncertainty and de-risk innovation.
Our team often runs experiments with FinTech companies – a good example being Swave. We focus on startups that have solved a single, meaningful problem for a group of customers and found a way to build a business model around this. The relation between Lloyds Banking Group and FinTech ventures is very beneficial for both parties. The FinTech has access to subject matter experts, launching customers and scarce assets like data sets. For us it is beneficial because we learn about new business models, see the results within our market and deduce important lessons to stay ahead and deliver value to our customers.
Before Lloyds Banking Group I worked at Rabobank for eight years where I managed the operations side of retail banking before moving into FinTech. There I had the opportunity to launch a portfolio of instruments that enabled Rabobank to meet future customer needs, such as company-wide LEAN STARTUP trainings and a portfolio of new ventures like GRPPY – banking services for millennials and engagement programs with the FinTech ecosystem. I was also Executive in Residence at Startupbootcamp which gave me valuable first-hand experience when working with FinTech start-ups.
So how is Lloyds Banking Group collaborating with the FinTech ecosystem?
A lot of the focus is around combining the drive, speed and focus of a startup with the power, vision and influence of Lloyds Banking Group to develop great products for customers, that is what makes my work matter.
Imagine just how LBG’s aggregated insights in payments could help an SME business test new propositions, and how we give the same capabilities to the private banking client.
As a business there are many advantages to being big and well established. However there are also advantages from being small and we need to combine all these sources if we are to deliver the very best services to customers. This is why we have a long term partnership with Startupbootcamp, sponsoring both their FinTech and InsurTech accelerator programs, which provide a bridge between many of the world’s best new businesses and Lloyds Banking Group.
Collaborating with the FinTech sector also provides inspiring examples of agility and working practices that refresh our thinking and our own approach to delivering digital services. To continue deepening our FinTech participation, we’ve also recently launched a FinTech Mentoring program to connect 100 experienced LBG colleagues with startups and are continuing to explore how best to interact and engage startups through a dedicated portal.
WoraPay is a startup that came out of the Startupbootcamp FinTech program that we have supported recently and our collaboration has been mutually beneficial. Check out the video to find out more.
These commitments are testament to our determination to play a large role in the FinTech community and to engage in the FinTech debate.
As the banking industry is increasingly open we can expect to see more collaboration and deeper collaborations being a crucial part of success. We welcome people to join us as part of our ‘Digital Espresso’ series or our ‘Espresso Martini’ FinTech panels series such as the FinTeens session held recently during London FinTech Week, from which a simple discussion can escalate into further opportunities.