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Portions of the following commentary have been excerpted from the July 17, 2018 BIGcast series, entitled “Out-Partnering Your Competition,” with host John Best. Jeffery Kendall, Senior Vice President & GM of Global Banking & Financial Solutions at Kony, and John Janclaes, CEO of Partners FCU, were both interviewed.

Advances in digital banking have forever lifted US borders, and customers are no longer anchored to physical branches. In the same way, innovation itself is without borders, and it’s wise to pay attention to the advances happening overseas, especially in countries where digital-only banks are leapfrogging over traditional banks, and they’ve evolved and adapted more quickly.

New thinking and approaches from all over the globe are revealing some Interesting trends that can have relevance here in the US. For example, by looking beyond the US, it’s obvious that they have far more advanced technology in peer-to-peer payments than what most domestic banks and fintechs have on their roadmaps. These advances are the result of the natural evolution happening in countries where transacting through digital channels is the norm. This phenomenon has pushed the horizon of innovation out further in some countries than in the US. We can all learn from this.

Paying attention to emerging technology abroad – both what works and what does not – can be very useful to US banks and credit unions. It’s a skillset that should be in the wheelhouse of any digital banking partner brought in to help lead a team through digital banking transformation. A whole-world view matters because financial institutions can better compete by learning from what’s happening across the globe and getting ahead of any problems encountered abroad before they emerge here in the US.

Ultimately, all of this is about collecting information to improve and transform the customer’s end-user experience. Financial institutions that can apply a holistic global understanding – and those that understands the best technology from around the world – will succeed on the battlefield for customers which is now digital.

Outside of the US, there is more advanced work in peer-to-peer payments than what we have on the roadmap in the US.

When you stop to think about having to build and architect a product to support all of the different currencies and payment environments that we might come into, it demonstrates the value of having a system that is flexible and open –and making it integrate with all systems, domestic or foreign. The diverse set of digital banking customers that Kony serves throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the rest of the world, it becomes clear how valuable this experience has been for our US customers. With these customers, Kony navigates the global payments ecosystem and has to support payments and P2P providers from all regions – a Korean bank, an Indian bank, an Australian credit union, or financial institutions in any country.

My advice to financial organizations looking to engage a digital banking transformation partner is to factor in global experience to the search process. Companies with a true open platform and multi-channel solution will have easy integration with core systems and will improve the user experience, which has a distinct and measurable impact on any bank’s profitability.

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