Aequilibrium Blog

By Sim Tatla • June 12, 2017

You Have Digital Banking Questions, We Have Tech Answers! (Part 2)

We’re back with Part 2 of the Q&A with our CEO, Adrian Moise, and Director of Product Design, Matthew Corstorphine!

They had a lot to share last week, and have even more tidbits to share this week on their thoughts about the world of digital banking.

Who do you think are the biggest competitors for financial institutions in digital banking?

M: The big players, like Google and Apple—they have a lot of influence on user behaviour. They pick what they want to release because they can. They want to offer a new phone, so they do. If they want to provide a payment solution and digital wallet, they will, and they did! And, if they want to offer a financial credit-type establishment in whatever shape or form, they will.

A: They’ve already entered the payments space and facilitate transactions on different devices. MasterCard is also coming into the mix and becoming a digital platform. It’s not just a plastic card anymore.

When should banks hire internal specialists? When should they work with an outside organization?

M: When banks are looking to create better user experiences with their application, they need to level up their internal technology team first.

Then partner with external experts to look at the next steps for their app. These strategic partnerships will become more and more valuable in the next year.

A: And no organization is good at everything, and that’s okay. Keep in mind that if your core values are X, you might have a hard time attracting the in-house talent you need because they don’t resonate with your why. This doesn’t mean change your why. You can either create a mixed organizational culture or stay focused on what you’re really good at, and then partner with someone who’s really good at something else.

Look at Scotiabank. They spun off this separate lab, their Digital Factory, that’s a completely different environment and culture. Rather than diluting both cultures by meshing them together, they’ve allowed everyone to focus on what they’re really good at.

How can banks stay competitive with the legacy systems, regulations, etc. that have been in place for decades?

M: It’s easier said than done, but they need to change what’s in place.

A: There’s something called platformization of the core banking system where banks don’t need to reinvent the wheel. They can look at how to turn their core systems and capabilities into something that others can build on top of, as opposed to having systems that are set in place and restrictive of evolving.

What advantages do financial institutions have compared to FinTech companies?

M: From a tech standpoint, they have a huge resource of data that shows how users interact with their applications from a web and mobile perspective and where the behavioural changes are happening. That’s gold. They just don’t have the in-house capability to spin it in a specific direction.

A: They already have customers and a high-degree of trust from those customers. They also have resources. Banks understand they need to change, that’s not news to them. They have the resources and skills needed to deal with regulatory constraints, issues, impediments, lawyers, and domain expertise that small FinTech startups don’t.

Okay, last question and probably the most difficult one of all: If you could only use one app for the rest of your life, what would it be?

M: Oof, that’s a heavy one. Probably a Google product that has something to do with AI. And I don’t know if it exists right now. I’d love an app that fulfills the needs I look for in every regard. In the forefront, it would be in the direction that Google’s going right now with RCS and messaging.

A: Google for me too. If you have a digital assistant, like Allo, that levels up to be advisory and can think ahead, that would have to be it. There’s obviously a risk of AI becoming so smart that it’ll outsmart humans, but that’s also a level of trust to consider when building this kind of technology. At the end of the day, these are tools. Like a knife—it can be used to do harm or it can be used to cut cake.

And that’s it for Part 2 of our Q&A with Adrian and Matthew! If you have any lingering questions or want to learn more from the Aequilibrium team, drop us a line at or say hello at @AequilibriumInc.

Aequilibrium is a digital design and software development studio. Speed, craftsmanship, and user experience are at the helm of our creations. Get in touch to work with us or to say hello—new friends are always welcome!

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