Opening the First Cardless Bank – Chief Mobile Officer Explains Strategy

What's Next In Payments®
8:21 PM EDT January 1st, 2012

NameScott Bales

Title: Chief Mobile Officer

Company: Movenbank (view company bio)

Related Story: World’s First “Everyday Cardless Bank” Debuts

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PYMNTS.com: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got into payments and what it means to be Chief Mobile Officer for Movenbank?

SCOTT BALES: Throughout my career I have always been attracted to Innovation, where I built the reputation of being a Change Agent, which is why ANZ gave me a call to help them launch WING, their Mobile only brand for the under and unbanked population of Cambodia. My year in Cambodia sparked an amazing enthusiasm in me as the team drive real innovation for a great cause, financial inclusion. Ever since then I have been hooked on the possibilities of mobile technology in financial services. My role at Movenbank is my chance to demonstrate the application of my experience in building a Bank with the Mobile Device at its core, no branches, no plastic, just a brilliant customer experience, anywhere, anytime….

PYMNTS.com: What was most attractive about Movenbank, and what was the driving factor to join the team?

BALES: Movenbank is an idea that has come out my good friendship with Brett King. We often would discuss the possibilities with amazing enthusiasm. Movenbank is our chance to bring some of the best minds in industry together. The idea and the team were more than enough to get me excited

PYMNTS.com: PYMNTS.com is all about “what’s next” in payments. How will you, in your role, help Movenbank define “what’s next”?”

BALES: Interesting question. Firstly, my role at Movenbank is about taking what I’ve told the Banking & Payments world is ‘Next’ and making it real. For some time now I have spoken and written about the possibilities of mobile technology in the future of payments. Movenbank is my chance to practise what I’ve preached. By delivering on the ‘What’s Next’ vision, I hope that I will be able to impart some confidence in the major banks around the world that’s time to make a serious move into Mobile oriented business models.

PYMNTS.com: What do you think it will take to ignite mobile payments here in the United States?

BALES: The United States is a tough market given its recent history. Banks role as a trusted member of society is continually under threat. At the same time, the customer’s expectations are chaining from physically accessing a branch and conforming to all of the Bank’s rules, to a customer that expect service on their terms, which are often anywhere, anytime…. Or as we at Movenbank, always banking, never at a bank. This shift is consumer preference is an opportunity for a bank to deliver a superior customer experience that not only fits the new lifestyle of the consumer, but also helps them spend, save and live smarter with their money.

PYMNTS.com: Who or what has been your biggest influence in your career?

BALES: I have been very fortunate to have been around some progressing minds throughout my career, which have continually encouraged my creative mind, and supported my role as a change agent. But three stand out as key contributors to my journey. Firstly, Brad Jones, who gave me the challenging task of building the technology business to support WING in Cambodia. Brad and I have crossed pass several times over the years, more recently when he lead the integration of VISA’s acquisition of Fundamo. Which brings me to my second influencer, Hannes van Rensburg, Fundamo’s Founder and CEO. Here is a guy that has passionately pursued the Mobile Money vision for 10 years. Along the way building the industry leader for solutions across the globe. Over my time as Fundamo, Hannes and I were very close. He is one of the industry’s great visionaries, and it was so inspiring to be around him. Lastly, Brett King, Author of the famed banking book Bank 2.0. Brett and I have built a strong bond around our visions for the future… a vision which Brett and I aim to show the world through Movenbank.

PYMNTS.com: Finally, let’s play a little word association. Please provide the first word or phrase that comes to mind for each of the following:

BALES:

Cash in…. DEAD

Checks are… DEAD

Mobile commerce is… EVERYWHERE

NFC is…. Not yet understood by bankers, but will change the world

The most important thing to consumers is…. On my terms

Bio: As Chief Mobile Officer, Scott will be responsible for defining the Movenbank mobile-centric bank technology vision and implementing the mobile technologies that will enable Movenbank customers to spend, save and live smarter. (Read More)

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