Yves is Flinks' Content Strategist. He tells the world about the dramatic changes happening in finance, one story at a time.

2020 Fast-tracked a Thousand Digital Initiatives—So Where Do We Go From Here?

By Yves Lavoie on December 18th, 2020

Reading Time: 4 min

After our lives abruptly shifted to digital in March, digitization took center stage at strategic meetings across the industry. 2020 is the year that fast-tracked a thousand digital initiatives—but if, just like us, you’re not sure whether it lasted 12 months or 12 times that, this article is for you.

It’s a pause to breathe, gain perspective, and ask the important questions: after a year of new challenges and opportunities, what have we learned, what should we celebrate, and where do we go from here?

Suddenly, all the noise was gone

At the beginning of the year, what we saw was financial businesses taking their time to figure out what digitization and open finance would mean for them. Projects were envisioned, but few turned into actual initiatives.

Comes March, the combination of public safety measures and economic uncertainty froze the market.

When businesses faced the threat of shutting down, lofty ideas were replaced by unmitigated pragmatism.

With all the noise suddenly gone, concepts like digitization and open finance were boiled down to what mattered the most: serving their customers and preserving the bottom line.

Back in March, we told you that digital finance is the way forward—and promised we could help. How much ground did we cover?

In March, we published an article titled Digital Finance is the Way Forward, where we promised to help our clients stay connected with their customers.

Three cheers? More like millions of cheers!

Fast movers among our client base went back in business toward the end of April.

The big lesson of 2020: once risk analysis and business transformation align, digital initiatives move forward very quickly.

From our perspective, the rest of the year was also very straightforward: provide our clients with tools to build the services their customers need.

For some, it is all about digitizing and automating manual processes. We’ve had clients turning their brick and mortar businesses into digital powerhouses. In 2020, they blasted past the old standard of “having an online presence,” and rebuilt entire business processes on new digital grounds.

Today, they make it easy for new customers to validate their identity and start using their product—in minutes, and without having to set foot outside their homes.

For others, this takes the shape of building entirely new data-powered products. We’ve worked closely with our clients’ product teams to help them get the potential of financial data. They now detect fraud in user activity faster and with more accuracy than ever before. They’ve rebuilt their credit risk models to be able to make the right offer to each customer, based on what’s been happening in their financial lives recently.

We’ve enabled some of the oldest and as well as some of the newest financial institutions in the country to drive the kind of digital transformation that will allow them to remain on top of the market for years to come.

We went live with more clients than we can count, and here’s a little known fact:

Every time a client makes their first live connection with Flinks, we have a ritual where the whole company cheers for them.

When new clients go live, we celebrate them.
Success should resonate loud and clear.

It’s very simple: we’re powered by the idea of enabling innovators to do things differently. Helping them enhance their current products or bring new ones to the market keeps us flexible and adaptive. Their success means they’ve learned from us, and we’ve learned from them.

Over the past few months, here’s something important our clients helped us fully realize:

In a market that’s changing so quickly, the baseline should be that businesses have a nuanced understanding of their customers at all times.

It led us to improve our data enrichment capabilities in order to support deeper analysis of user behaviour.

Where we go from here

This is where we collectively stand, after a year of new challenges and opportunities.

In 2020, we’ve seen an unprecedented leap forward: financial businesses of all sizes are investing now in the tech stack that will enable their growth over the next decade.

As we all draft our plans for 2021, the obvious question is: where do we go from here?

Flinks’ first hand experience with innovators gave us a front row seat to the power of open finance. It already makes it possible to meet the needs of consumers in novel and exciting ways, embed services everywhere, and redefine business models.

Our commitment for 2021 is to open up even more opportunities for innovation, by delivering the data tools and expertise you need to power your business with financial data and serve your customers better.

Together, we’re creating new precedents—and it’s exhilarating.

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