Payments Leader

Client Enablement Onboards with Agility by Michael Tostrud, FIS SVP, General Manager of Client Enablement

April 9, 2019

Michael Tostrud, FIS | SVP, General Manager of Client Enablement

Innovations from fintechs have greatly expanded the array of choices for both consumers and businesses. In turn, the pressure continues to build for financial institutions of every size as they race to keep up with the demand for ever-increasing omnichannel engagement and ease of use.

It’s easy to become paralyzed in the face of more solutions, more decisions to make, more expense and more time pressure. However, the real risk is in sitting on the sidelines as a spectator.

The Challenge for Banking Partners

Just as financial institutions must modernize their enterprises to position themselves for growth, service providers are also adapting to a new reality. The success of both parties means no one can “go it alone” in the days ahead. Integral to future success, partners must be judged by how well they adapt to constantly changing customer demands and expectations.

Transformation to Client Enablement

The onboarding procedure that processors, such as FIS and our peers across the industry, have historically employed has been more manual, and client-by-client. A great deal of that has been associated with legacy technologies and workflows, which were slower to implement. But slow is a non-starter today.  

The present moment demands a more efficient, cost effective onboarding process, one that allows financial institutions to adopt more innovations, more quickly and more cost effectively than ever before. A fresh approach to onboarding at FIS – Client Enablement – brings big opportunities for empowering clients to do just that by providing more clients with ways to take meaningful actions to address the reality of where the market is heading. For example, recent Client Enablement campaigns have delivered solutions across the entire spectrum of solutions, from security and fraud essentials, to faster payments and P2P innovation.

A dedicated and cross-functional Client Enablement team provides the “glue” that aligns all stakeholders together to execute each campaign before moving on to the next one, at which time a new cross- functional team is put in place. Goals include:

  • Providing clear criteria, processes and alignment to act in clients’ best interests
  • Identifying the most compelling new product solutions to help clients run their operations more efficiently, connect more deeply and meaningfully with their customers and grow long term
  • Enabling adoption of more solutions, more quickly and more affordably
  • Promoting continuity in how solutions are packaged and delivered
  • Ensuring consistency in execution

Client Enablement extends the principles of the Agile philosophy beyond product development into execution. The Agile philosophy – based on an iterative approach and breaking down silos within organizations – has steadily gained ground in product development since its introduction in 2001 with the creation of the Agile Manifesto.  Perhaps the most important and most significant aspect of this fresh enablement approach is the involvement of client feedback in every step of the planning process.

As FIS and our clients move forward together, it’s critical that we work as partners, whether we are trying new approaches or applying existing ideas in new ways. We need to think and act boldly, collaborate effectively and find creative ways to solve our toughest problems together. That sometimes means altering the course along the way. With an Agile enablement program that embeds a client feedback loop, continuous learning is applied to improve and quicken the pace as we adjust to new realities we face today.