The Expert Perspective with Megan Caywood, Chief Platform officer at Starling Bank

This week on ‘The Expert Perspective’ we were very excited to catch up with Megan Caywood who serves as Chief Platform Officer for Starling Bank, a technology company with a banking license that is disrupting finance at its core. Megan has been pivotal in steering Starling to become one of the most promising of the so-called UK challenger banks and as chief platform officer, she has helped to mastermind the ‘Starling Marketplace’, an app based suite of financial products.

Named on the Forbes 30 under 30 she took time out to share some of her hard-won wisdom…

How do you see finance in 10 years?

In sum: mobile, global and connected. Financial services are increasingly moving to be mobile based (native apps on iOS and Android in particular), and additionally, many Fintech startups are beginning their journey to become globally accessible (which is even easier when companies are mobile-based), and I believe these shifts will come to full fruition within 10 years. Finally, connected – APIs are changing the way financial services are built and brought to market, and enabling a connected ecosystem which is improving user experiences while simultaneously increasing competition and innovation throughout the market.

A company you like in Fintech?

Flux – they’re working to make Receipts and Loyalty digital and a natural extension of your banking app (e.g. receipts naturally just appear as part of a Transaction in your Banking app, and you naturally just accumulate and redeem Loyalty and Rewards as you make purchases on your bank card), which just makes sense. It’s crazy that this space is still paper-based, and it’s really cool to see the innovation they’re bringing to this space.

Could you share an interesting article, piece of content, blog post you have read recently? Why did you choose it?

This article on Inc – “Jeff Bezos Just Shared His 3-Step Formula for Success–and It’s Absolutely Brilliant” I chose this because it captures simple truths that are so true and brilliant (though complex in their execution) that have wide applicability to companies of all shapes, sizes and sectors.
 
A source of knowledge for our readers that would help them on their journey to adapting to Fintech disruption?

I like to recommend the book The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz – it’s a great book that overviews challenges faced when starting a company and gives advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. I also like to recommend The Lean Startup by Eric Ries – it gives great advice and a framework for succeeding and is worth reading.

Advice to a 20-year old who wants to be in finance?

Finance is undergoing a revolution, particularly in terms of technology advancements. There is great opportunity to be part of this transformation, whether you join a financial technology startup or an established company. My recommendation is to dive in, embrace having a beginner’s mindset and look for opportunities to do things differently/better. A fresh perspective brings a lot of value, so trust your gut and don’t be afraid to bring those perspectives to the table. Also, when you identify a problem or opportunity, anoint yourself to do it! Don’t wait for permission or expect that someone else will do it.

 

 

More expert insights into the Fintech revolution can be found here.

 

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