What Digital Transformation Is and Isn’t, with Craig McLaughlin of Finalytics.ai



Craig McLaughlin

Episode Summary

There’s general agreement that digital transformation is an imperative for forward-thinking financial institutions. Where there’s not always agreement is in what “digital transformation” actually means. Unfortunately, some FI executives conflate digital transformation with simply buying and deploying new tech products on top of their old tech products. To be clear, digital transformation is not about buying technology; it’s about a paradigm shift in how FIs view themselves and what they do.

In this episode of The Digital Banking Podcast, host Josh DeTar welcomed Craig McLaughlin, the CEO of Finalytics.ai, for a discussion of digital transformation and hopw FIs can grow faster by improving their digital strategy. Finalytics.ai offers a platform that applies real-time big data and machine learning in a way that can address the unique needs of prospective and current accountholders. Its “segment-of-one” experience is based on individuals’ unique identities, orchestrating their financial journeys using dynamic segmentation and content to address their needs. This allows institutions to compete more effectively, drive consumer acquisition, and improve retention.

Key Insights

Digital transformation involves changes in an organization. Ask 10 people to define digital transformation and you’ll get 10 slightly different answer. According to McLaughlin, digital transformation is an organization going from doing things in a brick-and-mortar way with the addition of digital to an organization where the entire thought process is digital-first. “Also, the systems that an internal set of people are using are the same systems that a customer is using,” he said. “That’s how I think of digital transformation.”

Be flexible and partner smart. “I don’t think you can go and say, ‘We’re going to build everything in-house,’” said McLaughlin.”I think you have to partner smart.” He said that this approach benefits both fintech providers and their customers by keeping the provider smaller, more nimble and more focused. “It’s hard to get those people [at larger companies] to want to really go above and beyond for clients. The opposite is true at a smaller level where you get the benefits of having that kind of focused team and then you develop real partnerships to be able to guide those things forward.”

Whether it’s about a new client or a new employee, you need to be a team – you’re winning together. McLaughlin believes that whether you’re dealing with employees, customers, or both, it’s important to stay focused on the end result and work as a team. “We were having a conversation about a client and about what we can do. And we were trying to think through how we could approach some requests,” said McLaughlin. “The team on my side didn’t want to do parts of it because there wasn’t enough time to do it all in the way that we wanted to do it. The conversation I was having with the team was like, you can’t show up on the first date and say, ‘This is me, but I’m not ever going to do the dishes.’ You have to understand you’re in it as a team. Whether you’re doing it as a kind of a new client relationship, or you’re doing it as a new employee, you’ve got to show up, and you’ve got to be willing to get your hands dirty. You’ve got to be all about winning together and getting creative and jumping in.”

Guest At A Glance

Craig McLaughlin


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Craig helps FIs use data to win the digital customer experience. He has worked with some of the largest community financial institutions in the nation, helping them through digital transformation strategy, design, development, and data analytics.

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