24. Jennifer Openshaw, president, Finect
Social media banking grows in importance all the time. Not just a customer service channel, social media is a window into customers’ lives and a place banks need to be. Problem is, many banks bar employees from suing social media at work. Jennifer Openshaw, a veteran consumer protection expert, helped build Finect, a fully compliant social media platform for financial services professionals. The site encourages document-sharing and networking, and may help bankers see social as an essential part of their business rather than just a waste of their employees’ time.
International remittances are broken. Banks are exiting the space due to fines and headaches, and those that remain charge too much and are too slow. Robert Bell aims to fix all that. He is currently concentrating on building up money movement infrastructure in underserved areas of the world, such as the Pacific islands and southern Africa, but KlickEx has the capacity to provide fast and cheap interbank payments across international lines. KlickEx won Best Startup at SWIFT’s Sibos conference in Dubai in 2013.
26. Michael Dooijes, head of strategy & innovation, Rabobank/CEO, MyOrder
Michael Dooijes is too cool to be a banker, even though he works at Rabobank in the Netherlands, so he also took on the role of CEO in MyOrder, a restaurant-ordering app. Dooijes spends much of his time explaining to bankers in boardrooms what is actually happening in their industry. MyOrder has some major plans in the works, but Dooijes would use his ninja powers to stop us if we tried to tell you.
Matt Wilcox went over to “the dark side,” – leaving a bank to work with a vendor — but as with Anakin Skywalker, that only increased his power. Wilcox was known as an innovator during his years at Zions Bank in Salt Lake City, and now at Fiserv, he has the opportunity to expand an innovation agenda across many banks. When we are able to catch up with him these days, he is usually rushing from one meeting with an innovation ream at a bank to another meeting with another innovation team – and loving every minute of it.
28. Simon Redfern, Open Bank Project
Open Bank Project is based in Berlin and the group has the philosophy than banking should be transaparent – hence the name. Redfern is in talks with several banks outside the U.S. to develp APIs for adding services to the banks’ platforms. The project also has an app store it shares with all the banks it works with. Its first app allows musical tones to be added to a bank account as events take place – a happy tone for a deposit, a sad one for a withdrawal — Redfern is a musician.
PostFinance is a Swiss bank that, under Tabakovic’s guidance, seems to have a lot of problems other banks struggle with all figured out. Without making a big deal of it, the bank’s home page includes the option to top up iTunes credit with a user’s PostFInance account. Ok, cool. Tabakovic is also a big wheel at Mobey Forum, a global interbank network promoting advances in mobile banking.
Co-founder of Standard Treasury, Zac Townsend has an accomplished history in startups, also working at Stripe. 2014 has been good to Standard Treasury, which won the InnoTribe Startup Challenge NYC and will be attending Sibos 2014 in Boston this September in search of the overall crown. The Y-Combinator alum focuses on creating API’s for banks that they can easily integrate into existing systems. This man knows his banking APIs.