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Jo Ann Barefoot explores how to create fair and inclusive consumer financial services through innovative ideas for industry and regulators

Barefoot Innovation Podcast

Filtering by Tag: Simple

Its Still Simple : Josh Reich One Year Later

Jo Ann Barefoot

This episode updates one of the very first ones we did in our Barefoot Innovation series, last year. Episode Two featured the two co-founders of Simple, Josh Reich and Shamir Karkal. A year later, we all found ourselves back at the same conference where we'd recorded that program. Shamir has now taken on a new role, leading the open platform innovation of the very innovative bank that bought Simple, BBVA.  Josh, though, is still CEO of Simple (a fact that he says tends to surprise people). So on a very rainy afternoon in Southern California, he and I found a place where we could duck out of the weather (you may hear the deluge in the background), and talked about how Simple has progressed in the year just past.

So...very few people are more fun to talk with than Josh Reich, but I think my favorite thing about this episode might not be the podcast, fascinating as it is, but rather something the podcast led me to. In our conversation, Josh talks about a customer whose dog chewed her debit card - twice! Simple sent her a customer appreciation package with the second card, and she was so grateful that she made a YouTube video about getting it.

Every banker in the world should watch this:  customer appreciation reaction video

I won't update the full show notes here - please look at Episode 2 for the basics on Simple which, again, is now part of BBVA bank.  And if you missed it, be sure to listen also to my podcast with Manolo Sanchez, the CEO of BBVA Compass, who I think may be the most innovative bank president anywhere. BBVA is all-in on fintech innovation.

Also, Josh and I did not get to a key update, which is the big move Simple made last year to eliminate ALL its checking account fees. I'm linking to his blog post here explaining what they did and why.  Remember, Barefoot Innovation is a search for better solutions for financial consumers through all kinds of innovation. BBVA and Simple are making this search in a great many interesting ways.

So enjoy hearing Josh's insights, ranging from how to succeed when a big banks buys a small innovator, to the make-or-break power of a bank's culture, to the incredible efficiencies of growing a bank without branches - he shares some numbers -- to his advice for regulators.

And watch for fantastic episodes coming up: Oportun CEO Raul Vazquez; Betterment CEO Jon Stein; two of the country's top compliance officers, together; and Blythe Masters of Digital Asset Holdings - to name a few.


Regulation Innovation Video Series: Briefing One - The Five Tech Trends Driving Financial Transformation

The Five Tech Trends - the latest video in the Regulation Innovation Video series.

Meanwhile be sure to sign up for our new video series, Regulation Innovation - Thriving on Disruption.

These are short briefings - 10 to 15 minutes each - designed to be the single easiest way to understand the huge issues raised by fintech, in both technology and regulation, and how best to address them.

Since fintech is far more about "tech" than "fin," we're starting the series with The Five Tech trends transforming finance.

Plus we have a lighthearted little extra, straight from my own kitchen, on how I was inspired to some thoughts about innovation by a very unusual gadget.

The briefings are designed share in meetings and training sessions, from board rooms to business and compliance teams. They come with access to a subscriber-only website with resources and advice. We have group pricing available - just contact us!

Please sign up for them, and also to get my podcasts by email. And be sure to leave reviews on ITunes.

Please consider a donation to support our efforts to bring the best thought leaders in the financial innovation world to you.

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The Innovative Bank – BBVA Compass CEO Manolo Sanchez

Jo Ann Barefoot

Episode 6: The Innovative Bank - Manolo Sanchez, CEO of BBVA Compass

Can banks be innovators? If so, how?

In Episode 6, we tackle that topic with one of the most innovative bank executives in the world – Manolo Sanchez, the chairman and CEO of BBVA Compass. 

BBVA is the Spanish bank that bought the U.S. startup Simple, whose founders we featured in our podcast Episode 2 (“The Cheerful Disruptors”). Today’s discussion picks up the bank side of that equation.

It’s our first conversation with the leader of a large bank.  BBVA has over $700 billion in assets and a global reach. And what an interesting bank it is. When I first met Manolo several years ago, I had no idea they were heading into one of the most notable innovation strategies in the industry. Since then, they’ve made huge investments to modernize and integrate their IT, and have stood out for their active experimentation with innovative startups – working with them in various ways, and always, especially, learning from them.

A native of Spain, Manolo has worked for BBVA for nearly 25 years, holding positions in the corporate, investment and correspondent banking divisions of the bank. He is a graduate of Yale University and earned his master’s degrees in international relations from the London School of Economics and in advanced European studies from the College of Europe. His career has taken him to Paris, Madrid, New York, Mexico City and Texas.

As Chairman and CEO of the U.S. bank BBVA Compass, Manolo today lives with his wife and three children in Houston, where he’s a leader in a wide range of community-strengthening institutions. The bank also has major facilities in Birmingham, where it has anchored economic development including a newly-opened LEED-certified technology development center.

Manolo sets the tone for this “innovative, principled and customer-centric company” — and earned recognition as American Banker’s 2014 reputation survey leader — with the principle, “We work for a better future for people.”

In Episode 6, he explores the fertile landscape of financial innovation from the viewpoint of a major bank with a multi-year strategic vision to make BBVA the “next great bank in the U.S.”

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