Leda Glyptis: “We’ve been trying digital transformation for 20 years, and it’s not going very well”

The banking expert and author addressed the challenges of digital transformation at Finovate Europe.

Leda Glyptis has been in the banking and fintech industries for two decades. She has worked as Director of Innovation at BNY Mellon and Chief of Staff at 11:FS, among others. She has also contributed to several industry publications and been named one of the Top 100 Women in Fintech by Innovate Finance.

Attending Finovate to represent cloud-native core banking provider 10x Banking, where she is currently Chief Client Officer, and to give a keynote speech, she opened with a hard-hitting line about digital transformation.

“We’ve been trying to do digital transformation for about 20 years in a variety of ways, through technology projects, ways of working projects, partnerships, scouting for the best fintech ideas and partners, and looking for the best unicorn at places like this,” Glyptis said, “and it’s not going very well. Progress has not been as deep or as radical as we hoped.”

“The industry has had the approach of ‘I like my bling where I can see it’.”

Leda Glyptis

She gave two reasons for why digital transformation was failing in fintech:

  1. The industry has had the approach of “I like my bling where I can see it”, meaning time and money is spent creating digital assets where they can be seen by clients, partners, journalists, and the public. Too much time and money was spent on creating things that looked right, that created the right expectations in consumers, but were problematic due to digital capabilities that worked well on a good day but on a bad day required someone to go into the mainframe and pull out the data and reconcile it.
  2. Workers who go to work in the morning who do a job defined for them and measured in ways they haven’t necessarily questioned. We tried to make the future fit into our way of understanding the past. Progress has felt slow. Ways of working have changed, and young talent wants to work for companies that aren’t plagued by these issues.

Compliance challenges

Digital transformation can pose significant compliance challenges for businesses in finance, since it often involves the collection, storage, and processing of sensitive data such as personal and financial information. This means businesses need to comply with GDPR and CCPA, which govern how data is collected, stored, and protected.

“The rest of the economy has gotten with the program and we have not. Everything around us is digital first, apart from finance.”

Leda Glyptis

Glyptis believes finance is lagging behind the rest of the economy. “Everything around us is trial native and digital first, apart from finance. It’s no longer a choice, it’s a necessity required by the economic imperatives of the world around us, the consumers, the businesses we serve, and thankfully by the regulator – because if the rest doesn’t convince us then this will,” Gylyptis said. “It’s the turn of risk and compliance departments to change their definition of risk and what their job is, whether you know you’re doing it well, whether you know if I’ve been exposed, not just vis-a-vis material impacts but also vis-a-vis the regulator.”

She said companies must focus on:

  • Data privacy, with businesses ensuring that they have proper consent from customers before collecting and using their data, and that the data is secure and protected from unauthorized access.
  • Maintaining robust cybersecurity measures.
  • Ensuring vendors comply with relevant regulations and have appropriate security measures in place to protect data.
  • Putting processes in place to ensure record-keeping and electronic records are accurate, complete, and accessible when needed.

10x Banking went on to win Best in Show at Finovate for its technology that enables banks to move from monolithic to next-generation core banking solutions with its cloud native SaaS core banking platform Supercore.