Digital Banking

Global Digital Banking; Interview With Jason Blick, the CEO of EQIBank.

EQIBank offers global digital banking for business to over 180 countries with lightning fast transfers and digital onboarding. The CEO Jason Blick will be sharing more details with us in this interview.

Hello Jason, and thank you for talking to us today. Can you maybe begin by telling us a little bit about yourself? 

I’m Jason Blick, the CEO of EQIBank – a leading global digital bank that’s reshaping banking through integration, innovation and integrity.

EQIBank seems like an exciting company. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

EQIBank was established in 2015, and we do things a little different. We provide global digital banking to entrepreneurs, disruptive industries, and those at the cutting edge of innovation. We aim to provide more productsmore countriesmore currencies than any other digital bank:

  • Banking
  • Lending
  • Insured Custody
  • Wealth Management

How do you think offshore banking has evolved and changed over the past few years?

You no longer need to buy a plane ticket to move and manage your funds offshore. The entire banking industry is going digital. Clients want digital access to their offshore funds. 

The global banking market exceeds US$130 trillion, and over US$32 trillion is held offshore. It’s a vast and important market, and clients expect instant transfers, quick onboarding, and 24/7 banking. EQIBank is a global bank that offers digital efficacy to a market that has been desperate for modernization.

We are seeing the rise of transactional banking – a model that is both more stable and cost effective. Can you elaborate on why you think this has happened and how the transactional model works?

Transaction banking is the business of managing cash for companies and financing trade and supply chains, helping companies manage working capital, liquidity, and risk more efficiently. In the age of globalization, they need end-to-end cash management solutions to manage pools of liquidity in multiple regions, as well as instant transactions. 

To serve these clients, banks must overhaul aspects of their operating models in order to lower the cost of doing business. New digital technology automates the traditional paper-intensive way of doing business and drastically cuts costs. Traditional banks, with their legacy IT systems and pre-internet systems, simply can’t provide the services clients now require. EQIBank is different; we provide digital global banking in order to deliver exceptional results for clients who can focus on growth.

A lot of people still remain unconvinced about holding funds offshore – however the funds are not literally held offshore. How does it work?

Seventy-three percent of the Fortune 500 hold money offshore, totaling around $2.6 trillion and over 50% of the world’s cross-border assets and liabilities (US$32 trillion) is undertaken offshore. The various protections and benefits afforded to companies registered in such jurisdictions create an attractive, and in certain respects ‘neutral’, environment for those operating on an international level. There are several reasons businesses and individuals bank offshore, including: (i) securing and protecting capital; enjoying the highest levels of private banking; (ii) having convenient and accessible access to funds; (iii) to potentially save tax on deposits, savings, and investments; (iv) so you can better finance and manage international investment and business; to benefit from superior lending, credit and forex facilities. 

Many people often ask where the actual offshore money is held. Usually, offshore funds are held in “nostro accounts,” a bank account containing the currency of the country in which the funds are held. EQIBank holds US$ with very large banks inside the United States providing unprecedented security. 

What would you say are the 5 most important things for a bank to be successful today?

These are challenging times for traditional banks. On the one hand, they need to speed up their adoption of new digital platforms, so that they can meet the demands of modern customers and compete with disruptive fintech players. On the other hand, they also need to transform how they connect to the legacy systems that underpin much of their business if they’re to integrate seamlessly with these new digital platforms. Faced with the challenge of bridging the divide between two very different generations of IT, the vast majority of banks have recognized it’s almost impossible for them to evolve. Leaders in digital banking talk about the difference between digitizing aspects of a bank and creating a truly digital financial institution.

  1. Digitizing or truly digital? The traditional approach, with siloed channels (like web, online or branches), is neither customer-friendly, staff friendly, nor efficient. Banks must become truly digital, not just aspects.
  1. Hubs or pieces? The Googles and Facebooks of this world regularly introduce new features, quickly and at almost zero marginal cost. A hub-strategy empowers a bank to go beyond responding to market realities, and quickly create and launch products seamlessly and globally.
  1. Open for business? The danger of disintermediation for several years. Opening up their APIs gives other parties, including competitors, unparalleled access to a bank’s data. Banks must open up their APIs – but they can also benefit by becoming consumers of them, tapping into third party capabilities to add real value to their offering.
  1. Big ideas for big data. Banks hold big data, so use it! This means segmentation, targeting and tracking can be done by collating data from various sources, and analyzing it to create actionable visions. The goal is to leverage big data to create more efficient operations and happier customers.
  1. Partner or die? As banks slowly wake up to the threat of tech giants, they will need to invest in, build and partner with Fintech Companies to survive a digital era.

EQIBank provides banking to over 180 countries with lightning fast transfers and digital onboarding. Who is qualified to open an EQIBank Account?

We tailor our services for high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) and the business community. Our clients are global citizens. They need sophisticated banking products that are available globally. 

AML and KYC procedures are a make or break both for the client and a bank. As a part of the global financial system, you share the responsibility for reliable and safe transactions that follow international law and regulations, yet have a responsibility to Clients for fast and efficient service. How do you solve this and balance the two?

While each onboarding experience at a bank is unique, there are far too many friction points. Signing up for a new bank should as easy as signing up for social media websites. But, digital onboarding cannot overlook stringent requirements placed on other bank onboarding processes, such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML). 

Balancing traditional KYC processes and consumer demand for immediacy will be key to meeting today’s customer expectations and bank regulatory needs. During the onboarding process, our prospective banking clients go through sanctions screening, direct connections to company registries, identity verification, digital asset wallet screening and sometimes biometric checking. 

We have implemented one of the best digital onboarding processes and many of our clients will be able to send their KYC documents to us with only ‘one click.’

We’ve long heard that technology is the future of banking. Do you agree? And if so, what technology is the future of banking?

Financial service providers have been empowered by digital technology. They are often subject to ‘lite-touch’ Regulation and this has allowed them to flourish. Their emphasis on investment in technology could help them court tech-savvy customers. In order to compete, traditional banks are investing in digital banking technology – mobile, web and digital platforms. 

Open platform banks are change banking through APIs. Customers benefit from a wider suite of products and services offered through their banks, giving them more options than ever before. Modern banks, like EQIBank, serve as a platform on top of which third-party companies can build their own applications using the bank’s APIs and data. Basically, your bank is your business partner!

The industry is evolving constantly. With artificial intelligence (AI), customer experiences will be transformed and entirely new business models in banking will be established. Today, artificial intelligence is used in chatbots, which assist customers complete simple tasks, including making payments. 

In-bank experiences won’t center on payments for much longer. CapitalOne Café, where CapitalOne has contracted with Peet’s coffee to serve espresso and other hand-crafted beverages, is just an early example of the evolution of the bank branch. Vikram Pandit, former Executive at Citigroup Inc., predicted in 2017 that 30 percent of banking jobs could disappear due to new technology. The role of human employees might be to answer questions and try to make sales into more complex products, while tech kiosks replace traditional tellers. 

Finally, EQIBank sounds like an exciting company for sure. What can you tell our readers about your plans for the future?

Of the ten top companies in this year’s Forbes 100 list, seven are banks and just one company, Apple, is a non-financial institution. The message? In an era marked by technological change and industry disruption, the relentless growth of financial services in emerging and developed markets alike makes banking the steadiest business on earth. These companies are moving from “monoline to multiline” businesses as they expand beyond merely holding customer deposits or issuing credit and debit cards, but EQIBank is MILES ahead here and will continue to be so long into the future.

EQIBank can open accounts in as little as a few hours, come talk to us!

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