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Chris Neal
DATE PUBLISHED
13.07.17

We chat to David McHenry (Head of Global Treasury and Payment Advisory UK at Silicon Valley Bank)

We chat to David about technology, biggest changes in the last 5 years, what he couldn't do without and his wishes for solving problems with new technology. David immediately offers up that he thinks it’s a wordy title, but does encompass the large scope of his job, overseeing product development and acting as a payments specialist to oversee the needs of the bank’s corporate clients.

David is from the US and started out in San Francisco, an excellent location for anyone wanting to focus on Fintech and the start-up market. He’s been in London since 2011 in his role at SVB. We asked David four questions about the impact of technology on his role at Silicon Valley Bank.

What has been the biggest change in technology in the last 5 years?

Where to start! So much has changed, so I’d probably say it’s the acceleration and pace at which technology is now changing, particularly in payments and banking tech. We used to have to develop technology or products around core banking systems that were developed quite some time ago, which meant new payment offerings or other products were built on top of systems that may have been developed 30 or 40 years ago.

Invite only Talking Tech events

Attendees will learn from one another industry experts (by invite only) on topics around using technology to drive business performance, over lunch in a beautiful setting, hosted by Answer Digital.

Now there is a thawing of old legacy systems which is opening up opportunities through a nimbler approach to integrations and API’s. We’re also finding that our clients are becoming easier to integrate with, as their technology infrastructure changes and develops. Getting access to their data or their systems means we can accelerate new technology development even faster than we could previously. This has been a big change over the last 5 years but particularly accelerating over the last 2.

"We’re also finding that our clients are becoming easier to integrate with, as their technology infrastructure changes and develops."

What issue can tech now solve that it couldn’t when you started out?

Again I would look to the changes in integration platforms and the ability to integrate across multiple systems through an API. Previously client interface happened at an arms length, so over email or in branch for example. Now through the smart use of integration with an API, the data is fully integrated with systems, which means you no longer need to go through the process of downloading data into a line by line spreadsheet, then map it to the right fields in another system before uploading it and finally seeing the data in the system you need it in.

It’s there already. For example, a client using the accounting system Xero could log into their Xero platform and the data from our bank will already be within the Xero platform – because it’s already integrated. This creates a much more seamless journey and gives clients more control over their data. This only used to be available for very large organisations. Now it’s becoming available across all types of businesses and organisations, regardless of size.

What do you wish you could solve with new technology?

I’d still like to keep improving access to data for clients, such as being able to see more in depth data around credit card usage for example. Larger organisations such as Amazon are already providing this deep and immersive data for their bigger corporate clients, but I’d like to see this available more widely.

What is the most useful bit of tech that you regularly use in your business?

Data and the reporting and analysis access to data allows. You can now slice and dice data in so many ways, it becomes much easier conduct trend analysis and offer advice and guidance for success.

We’ll be catching up with David at our event later in the year where we’ll bring together leaders in technology and marketing from some of the most well-known names in retail and finance to share ideas and experience. Attendees will learn from one another on topics around using technology to drive business performance, over lunch in a beautiful setting.

This is an invite only event for industry experts, so please register your interest below and we'll keep you updated.

Invite only Talking Tech events

Attendees will learn from one another industry experts (by invite only) on topics around using technology to drive business performance, over lunch in a beautiful setting, hosted by Answer Digital.

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Read about Chris
Chris heads Answer Digital Finance where delivers innovative solutions for clients in the finance sector. Chris has a wealth of Financial Services design and delivery experience, from delivering some of the first mortgage trading platforms, to enabling digital integration with Wealth Management platforms.
Read about Nigel
Nigel sees his job as ranging the whole gamut of a project, from presenting some very pretty high level pictures at a conceptual stage, driving that through application design, development, testing, deployment and supporting the operations team. Nigel likes good design fused with a common sense approach.
Read about Imran
Imran is driving Answer Digital’s expansion in London, using his extensive network in the financial services and payments industry, to bring Answer Digital’s fintech expertise to The City.