Fintech Blocks

How communications APIs are transforming the banking customer experience

  • Twilio is used by many top financial institutions to scale their communications with customers.
  • The firm's head of financial services will be joining us at The Big Bank Theory conference in November.
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How communications APIs are transforming the banking customer experience

Welcome to the Tearsheet Podcast. I’m Tearsheet editor in chief, Zack Miller. I’m excited to share with you some news about our upcoming online conference, The Big Bank Theory. This year, we’ve combined two of our tent pole events: Challengers and Embedded into a single event, November 10-12. We’ve assembled the top companies and professionals creating and scaling this generation and next generation of digital banks. 

Those may be traditional financial brands, like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, or new banking brands, like N26 and Current. Or, in the future we may just bank with the brands and software we resonate with — like a driver banking with Uber, a retail customer with Walmart, or a small business owner with Intuit. 

Go here to register for free to this year’s The Big Bank Theory. 

This year’s conference is sponsored by Publicis Sapient, Explorium, Argyle and Twilio. 

I spoke with Twilio’s Bijon Mehta recently. He runs the firm’s work in financial services. I’m sharing some of the most important parts of our discussion on the power of embedded communications tools in today’s financial ecosystem.

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The following excerpts were edited for clarity.

Removing complexity with embedded tools

“We’ve taken the complexity and complication from the telco world globally, and put a layer of API’s on top of the telco network. We call it our super network, and it allows us to offer customers the ability to embed communications into their offerings, using very few lines of code.”

Moving into data for deeper engagement

“More recently, through an acquisition we made of a company called Segment, we’re now increasingly focused on the data element of what most firms are dealing with when it comes to understanding what their customer’s needs and preferences are, and being able to serve those up. We like to think of ourselves as an intelligent customer engagement platform.”

APIs ‘shortcuts’ in financial services

“I first got involved in APIs back in 2003, when I was working at Citibank and overseeing the execution of our foreign exchange trading with different firms. Obviously the world that has evolved a lot since then. I like to think of APIs as a way to shortcut the building of different capabilities. Tt’s best seen in the fintech world. I almost think of them as like Lego blocks. Instead of building a two factor authentication solution, because there’s nothing truly unique there, corporations can just take Twilio’s two factor authentication.”

The replatforming of financial services

“I like to refer to it as the replatforming of the industry — in one fell swoop, they’re skipping SaaS, evolving beyond SaaS into APIs. We’re powering the ability for all of Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management advisors to securely and compliantly text message with their customers. We provide an infrastructure that allows the advisor to not just communicate with the end client, but also the end client’s required third party advisors, like a lawyer or an accountant.

On the digitally native side, [we work with] Wise. We’re powering all 3 million plus customers with secure two factor authentication. We’re working with Nubank, the world’s largest challenger bank, providing them a full blown contact center offering.”

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