Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Financial Services and the CFO of the Future

Lynne Sampson
Managing Editor

Back when I was still a student, my first part-time job was working as a teller for a big bank. In those days (and I’m dating myself, here) automatic teller machines, or ATMs, were a pretty recent innovation. If fact, they were so recent that only a few branches in my hometown had them.

My branch wasn’t one of them.

As a student, I typically worked evenings and Saturdays, when there might only be two tellers on staff.  On a busy evening, customers could easily wait 30 minutes or more for service. At the end of the month, when most people got paid, the lineup of customers waiting to cash their paychecks stretched out the front door.

How times change.

I can’t tell you the last time I was in a bank branch. I can tell you that I walked right up to the teller’s wicket and got service right away. ATMs now perform most routine transactions, and the staff is there mainly to help with less common requests, like exchanging foreign currency. I rarely even go to the ATM, because I hardly ever carry cash. I do nearly all of my banking online, and my iPhone lets me pay for everything I need.

The big bank that I worked for is still around, but I don’t bank with them anymore. Why? Because 20 years ago, an upstart competitor was first to market with online banking. So I switched.

I’ve been with that upstart bank ever since.

The CFO’s Role in Driving Innovation

My story is probably one that every CFO is familiar with—and it’s one they hate to hear. Financial services institutions are under tremendous pressure from competitors who are first to market with new products and services. These institutions have a choice: innovate, or lose customers to those who do.

In this hyper-competitive environment, CFOs play a pivotal role in defining the future of their organization. Part of the reason is that many of the hottest new technologies fall squarely into the charter of the finance function. For example, blockchain (distributed ledger technology) promises to revolutionize the management of financial assets, supply chains, healthcare networks, and other value chains. Intelligent process automation is beginning to automate many routine finance tasks, from fraud detection and internal audits to the financial close.

In fact, new research indicates that CFOs are poised to lead a productivity boom of up to $2 trillion over the next decade. This makes CFOs the natural champions to drive innovation and productivity gains—not only within their own departments, but across the entire organization.

In a webcast with American Banker, you’ll hear from industry experts who will take a closer look at some of these new, emerging technologies, and how financial services institutions can leverage them to build a digital business. Cutting-edge technologies are already helping finance leaders to be more efficient, transparent and compliant, and to reduce risk in their journey to digital transformation.

Please join us with American Banker to hear about practical applications and use cases, where to begin, and how best to get there.

Register now for the American Banker webcast.

American Banker Webcast

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