Inside Wells Fargo’s Innovation Group

Efma feature

14 August 2019

Lisa Frazier, Head of Innovation at Wells Fargo, will be speaking at the 47th Efma Congress in Paris on 17 to 18 October on the topic of customer-centric innovation. Ahead of the Congress, she reveals some insights into the current landscape in banking innovation and the company’s strategy.


I’m sure you’ve heard Bill Gates’ quote “Banking is necessary, banks are not”. Are major US banks frightened by new players?

Competition is a great thing, and we embrace what competition brings to financial services, which is an evolution of banking and banks. It is truly an exciting time. Startups and other nontraditional players are playing an important role in reshaping customer experiences and compelling change in the financial ecosystem. But they are not the only ones; traditional banks are empowering innovation as well. Banks have the advantage and experience of bringing solutions to scale in a heavily regulated industry in an increasingly challenging cybersecurity environment. Changing the future of financial services will not be done by a single company or a single type or size of company. It can’t be done in silos. It requires diverse thought and collaboration among people and companies around the world. 

Recently everybody has been talking about Facebook’s Libra. What impact do you think it will have in the years to come?

My crystal ball is not better than anyone else’s, so it is not possible to say what would happen with an effort like Libra. The development and use of new technology to better enable commerce and banking services is always of interest to us and helps fuel our own thinking on the future of banking.

What is Wells Fargo’s approach to innovation?

In my view, innovation is about three things: applying new technologies to banking and wealth; creating new business models; and building an “innovation DNA” into our organization’s culture. Our focus is to drive innovation with customer value at the forefront. We take a three horizon approach focusing on efforts that transform today’s bank and build tomorrow’s bank.

What do you think today’s customers really want from their bank?

Customers expect their banks – as well as other organizations and brands they frequent – to reliably provide the services they need, protect their money and information, and know them better to help them achieve their life goals. They want guidance at the right time for problems they are trying to solve. Banks should be looking for ways to deliver experiences that provide value in a simple, seamless, meaningful way.

What will you talk about at the 47th Efma Congress?

I’m very much looking forward to attending the Efma Congress and hearing perspectives from other speakers and attendees. I will be focusing on how digital experiences are just one piece of the bank of the future. With recent technological advances, the pace of change continues to accelerate, and therefore those that want to provide relevant banking services in the future need to focus on building new capabilities, shifting cultures and mindsets to better meet the ever-increasing and evolving demands of customers. Digital customer experiences are table stakes – we also need to be focusing on new business models, using data in smarter ways, and how to attract the talent we’ll need in the future.

Don’t miss out on Lisa Frazier’s session at the Congress titled ‘Putting customer at the center of everything you do’, which will look at the challenges in leading strategic and operational change to successfully respond to dynamic and empowered customers, digital disruption and disruptive business models, as well as how to prioritize innovation based on what your customers want and need. The 47th Efma Congress promises to be a must-attend event – sign up now!

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Keywords : Transformation , Innovation , Bank Products & Services

Geography : USA