Slideshow 'The Furthest Thing from Uber': Overheard at Digital Banking 2016

  • June 28 2016, 1:10pm EDT
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Bankers, fintech entrepreneurs, regulators and other financial services players gathered in New Orleans last week to discuss the future of the industry at American Banker's Digital Banking 2016 conference. Here are some of the highlights of the conference. For more, check out the hashtag #digibank16 on Twitter.

Legal Gray Areas

"We openly encourage innovators to meet with us, but they may not always get the firmest answer you want," said Gary Stein, Deposit Markets Program Manager at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, noting that many of the agency's staff members are lawyers. He added that it's "hard to write a rule that anticipates every future out there."

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Fast and Easy?

"Getting a mortgage is the furthest thing from an Uber experience," Manolo Sanchez, Chairman and Chief Executive of BBVA Compass, said disapprovingly during his keynote speech. He also likened batch processing to telling teens they have to wait for two days for Netflix — the way it used to be before streaming.

Come at Us, Bros

John David Thompson, Chief Technology Officer of Western Union, had a message for all the cross-border payments companies that think they can put his company out of business: "We don't see massive disruption [to our business], we see it as an evolution over time."

At the End of Our Rope

"We are one data breach away from having to quickly deal with authentication issues like passwords," said Jim Marous, co-publisher of The Financial Brand.

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The Pocket Banker

"Banking has gone from something people did once or twice a month [to] a companion activity," said Gavin Michael, head of digital for JPMorgan Chase's retail bank and American Banker's Digital Banker of the Year for 2016.

Millennials' Inheritance

"We are facing an unprecedented transfer of wealth coming and all of us in this room need to figure out how to make that [transfer] as frictionless as possible, as secure as possible and as easy as possible," said Edward J. Achtner, Digital Executive of Bank of America.

Strange Beast

CBW Bank, a community bank with a fintech bent, is "like a zoo animal to the regulators," said its chairman and chief technology officer, Suresh Ramamurthi, who acquired the institution in 2009. "We've been through six exams."

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Not Feeling Wells

"Millennials would rather bank with a technology company than a stagecoach company," said Chris Britt, chief executive at Chime, which makes a savings app. He was making a sly dig at Wells Fargo's logo.

Stuck Like Glue

"Data portability can be a First World problem — it's a real pain to get data out of Citi to move to Wells Fargo," Steve Ehrlich, Lead Analyst for Emerging Technologies at Spitzberg Partners, said during a panel discussion about identity, which is often framed as a challenge for the developing world.