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Can fintech transform banks into tech companies?

Banks are being transformed into tech companies and we are witnessing the the beginning of a a bank evolution. AI will play a major role in transforming these banks, said Gerard Rafie, CEO and Founder of FintekMinds, a fintech consulting company for Capital Markets and Treasury.

The FintekMinds founder, who has over 30 years of experience in banking and financial technologies, was the head of sale for  Murex France before he left to join and grow a competitor in the US called Calypso Technology. Believing in the importance of fintech in today’s world, he and Mounir Bsaibes, a software development program manager at IBM, sponsored a LebNet event in Austin on May 24, to showcase the role of artificial intelligence in fintech.

The event kicked off with a presentation by Steve Harper from Ripple Central on the power of networking then a panel on Artificial Intelligence and some of its practical and tangible applications. The panel was moderated by LebNet president George Akiki and joined by Gerard Rafie, Roy Arsan, Cloud Partner Engineer at Google, and Nabil Chehade, Vice President of Product and Technology at Apprentice.io.

Below you can find few insights Rafie shared with LebNet on how the fintech industry will disrupt the banking sector.

Bank used to fight tech companies, now they are becoming them.

It’s no longer unusual for people to purchase a credit card online from Amazon or even apply for a loan from PayPal or Quicken, said Rafie. These big tech players are disrupting banks and they are here to stay. Hence banks are looking to step up their technology stack to compete with these new entrants.

Building a solid network is not quantity, it’s quality

Another important subject tackled during that day was the power of networking and how entrepreneurs can avoid falling into the trap of engaging in meaningless conversations during social events.

“Networking is no longer a business card, an elevator pitch and a LinkedIn connection. In today’s ‘relationship driven economy’, people want and need to look for heart to heart belly to belly conversations not gimmicky networking conversations,” said Harper in a chat with LebNet. “It’s through the actions we take that we truly learn how to genuinely connect with other people.”

Finding and making connections is an easy job, according to Harper, but building real relationships takes time, energy and effort. “That’s where most people fail because they aren’t willing to truly invest in what it takes to build a real relationship.”



LebNet, a non-profit organization, serves as a multi-faceted platform for Lebanese professionals residing in the US and Canada, entrepreneurs, investors, business partners in a broad technology eco-system, and acts as a bridge to their counterparts in Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East

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