Debbie Reynolds, “The Data Diva” talks to Michelle Beyo, CEO Finavator, Open Banking Initiative Canada (OBIC). We discuss the convergence of finance and technology, how she created her own path to leverage her strengths, Open Banking, APIs and data connectors, GDPR and other regulations and human rights in FinTech, Vaporware and unfulfilled promises, the importance of discussion of client’s current needs, her current concerns in privacy and finance, the importance of diversity to privacy, confusion between blockchain and cryptocurrency, technology can reduce friction, and hope for Data Privacy in the future.Support the show
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Debbie Reynolds, Michelle Beyo
Debbie Reynolds 00:00
Personal views and opinions expressed by our podcast guests are their own and are not legal advice or official statements by their organizations.
Hello, my name is Debbie Reynolds; they call me "The Data Diva". This is "The Data Diva" Talks Privacy podcast where we discuss Data Privacy issues with industry leaders around the world with information that businesses need to know now. Our special guest on the show from Canada, her name is Michelle Beyo. She is the CEO and founder of Finavator, Inc. She's an award-winning strategist and consultant in Toronto. She works in FinTech in the FinTech industry, and I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle when I spoke at a conference in Spain in 2022. And, you know, you just blew me away. You're so smart, down to earth and easy to talk to. And I love seeing so many women in the financial tech sector converge and be able to talk and have those panels where they're, you know, you guys are imparting a lot of great executive experience, but it was just a thrill to be able to see you on stage speaking and just, sort of moving and shaking so I thought it'd be great to have you on the podcast so that people get to know you.
Michelle Beyo 01:32
Thank you. A pleasure to be here with "The Data Diva". It was so nice to meet you in Spain and see you speak and. I think it's inspiring like to get into the technical details of data and Data Privacy and what it means for Canadians, Americans and our kids. So really honored to be here and get to chat a little bit with your audience.
Debbie Reynolds 01:59
Excellent. So why don't you tell us about your journey? I'm fascinated to know how you got into the sector. What excites you about it, especially at the convergence of finance and tech technology? I think it's fascinating.
Michelle Beyo 02:14
Yeah, both my parents were entrepreneurs. But they were solopreneurs. Right? They're like unless you want to be a doctor or lawyer, you want to go run a business just go. There's no university that can teach you how to do that. So I started my own company quite young got into the corporate space, fell in love with cell phone technology, actually worked at one of the biggest telcos in Canada, helped a franchisee open franchisee locations and got to see the move from analog to digital from, you know, from that brick phone to smartphone, and the pace of technology. In the six years that I was there. I just I fell in love with that, you know, pace and evolution for the consumer to be better and moved into the online shopping space. It was one of the first platforms for online shopping and airline infrastructure. And actually, Grand Alaska, Lufthansa, Delta and United online shopping while I was quite young, but it was two passions, right? I was able to help. And actually, in my time there, the financial crash happened in the US and I realized that the technology I was working on through products could help in hard financial times because people were able to find the products they needed at a better price and get points at the same time. So is that convergence of consumer-first technology. The company I was at also did credit card loyalty infrastructure. So it's helping with adding restaurants, spas and golf courses to that loyalty infrastructure got very close to Aeroplan, which is the largest in Canada, and helped conceptualize and launch a shop local program in 2014. With high-end retailers and that same consumer experience play right like how do you get them to get what they need and enjoy the experience? And I didn't touch payments just yet. But I got recruited to go work at one of the largest prepaid companies globally, and their international head office for 30 countries income, and I got to run their sales and marketing team. I launched their b2b division. And this is where it gets interesting. I went to a big payments conference and started to hear so much about blockchain and fintech and took an IB course, the first ever in Canada on digital currency, blockchain and fintech and it was an 80-hour pre-read and a three-day course, and I learned so much in such a small packed timeframe and it ended up being executives from all of the banks and from all of the insurance companies. I came out of that and launched WeChat for the organization at 7/11. And kind of went, oh my gosh, Asian technology is so far advanced from what's happening in North America, especially in 2017. And took a leap of faith and jumped into the blockchain for a company focused on GDPR consent on blockchain and digital ID. And it was six months before crypto went, and it was a really interesting experience to understand the power that blockchain could have on the future, as well as kind of looking at all of my background experience, applied for money in 2020 Rise up and was one of the 30 women selected, 500 around the world. And basically, within 24 hours of learning, I won a contract as an innovator, largely as a payments and open banking consultancy, to use all of my back knowledge from telco from online shopping from payments, prepaid blockchain digital ID to kind of help multiple organizations FinTech and across North America, to work together to try and, you know, bring us to where AsiaPac has already got, which is evolution of payments and the future of technology and the future of payments. A long journey, but one driven in purpose and trying to drive change.
Debbie Reynolds 06:32
Wow, that's fascinating. Wow, I couldn't have could have said that better myself; I love that I have a constellation of people that I get to know. Like you they have very unique backstories. You know, you have to create your own path and you're smart enough to see these different forces that are happening and able to leverage your skills and your passion in a way that probably could not have been done in a traditional job, right? So working for yourself, you can pull in all these different things that make you very unique.
Michelle Beyo 07:11
Yeah, it's been, it's definitely been a ride; I think no ride that is straight is ever interesting. So I think it's all about the opportunity of pushing yourself beyond what you believe you might be capable of and getting past any type of imposter syndrome to apply to your first award or to go out on your own. I think all little risks lead to a bigger, bigger opportunity.
Debbie Reynolds 07:38
Yeah, wow, you definitely cover the spectrum. I would love to well, you and I, we met at an open banking conference in Europe. And I would love for you to be able to talk to the audience about what open banking is. Because we don't hear a lot of talk about that in North America, especially in the US, you don't really understand what it is so we have open banking, in my view, so to speak. But it isn't kind of codified in laws. And it's not dictated by regulation here. But let's talk a little bit about what that means.
Michelle Beyo 08:12
I was really excited when I started to learn about open banking in 2007. Because the financial crisis that the US experienced in 2008 also was experienced by the UK. So there was a lot of distrust, I think in core infrastructures, and there's a million people screen scraping. I'll maybe describe that quickly. Screen scraping means that a customer in America or anywhere in the world is putting in their information that looks like they're logging into their bank. And this isn't a scam, it's actually just an infrastructure. That is, it's not secure, being widely utilized. So it's like an aggregator, likened to a FinTech that you want to sign up to, let's say, Robin Hood, or a crypto site or even a Wealth Management site. Or a FinTech like Greenlight or something of that sort. And you put in, you click on your bank, you click on your sign-in. And what that does is allows the aggregator to give that FinTech a screen scrape of your financial information to allow you to sign on quite easily, which every consumer is looking for at this point, and allows them to see some of the data. Allow them to get you into the infrastructure so that you can start using their service. So the problem is the consumer doesn't realize that as they're doing this, they're breaching their bank agreement, and they're giving their password up to the aggregator even though it's encoded. So realizing this was happening in 2017. In the UK, they basically started to create the first ever open banking infrastructure, which was mandated by the CMA9. There's nine major banks in the UK, but it allows the consumer to be at the forefront of all financial responsibility of data in the sense of if I want to sign up for a new FinTech, I should have a safe and secure way to do so. And only give them the pieces of information that they need to give me the service I want. And then I should be able to delete this information in the future when I no longer need this service or they no longer need my data to give me the service. So really putting the consumer at the forefront, it is safe and secure. And if the same need for fast onboarding, as well as allowing the customer to be in control. So this happened in the US and in the UK as a regulated movement to derive consumer First Financial Services, first and open banking and onto open file, followed by the Australian model, which is open data, it's even stronger and more beneficial. It's called the consumer data, right? And it was embedded as a regulation to allow for consumers to have an open banking, open finance, open energy, and open telco. Brazil, in the middle of the pandemic, saw all of the VC dollars that were happening and moving to the UK, all the fintechs that were coming out of the UK, and Australia, followed by Singapore, you know, AsiaPac, and all of these different markets of Brazil in 12 months, mandated a regular regulated path towards open banking, and then open finance. And within 12 months, the fastest market move in the world went and launched open banking and are already on their move to open finance. The US and Canada have not taken any regulatory moves and are doing what's called Market led open banking. Meaning they're letting the market move open banking, but it's the consumer by regulation, to be the ones in charge of their data to be the ones who are allowed to pick, you know, these are the five pieces of information and the only pieces needed to create the service. And therefore I would like to give these pieces and then revoke them. And fintechs don't want to screen scrape. They just want the data they need to give you the service you want for themselves and for the future. So I think that there's in Canada, we're looking at maybe a hybrid approach. But I think I was really impressed with Biden's Executive Order last July, where he mentioned data portability as part of an Executive Order. And Canada followed with our 18-month roadmap to the first steps of open banking. And I think all of North America is largely behind, though we're still facilitating access of data.
Debbie Reynolds 12:55
Right, exactly. I also want to talk a little bit about APIs, Application Program Interfaces, I like to call it like a connector. So let's say to move back and forth between, you know, apps or data sets that aren't kind of the same. So I think, you know, the API boom happened because I think, you know, especially with a cloud, being able to have infrastructures to make it easy for people to coalesce different data sets, and API's really allow that sort of interchangeable access, I think the danger in API’s, API's are awesome, that's great. But as you say, you know, you want to be able to control what data gets pulled back and forth there. So you don't want it to be a totally open system because you like you said, want it to be the data to be restricted to what's really necessary for that transaction. Because a lot of times what we see in banking, or what I see, you could tell me whether you think I'm wrong or not, is that in traditional banking, there's a lot, you know, banking is very heavily regulated industry, so they have to do kind of a lot of different things. So when you have these different kinds of these new financial products that people want to use, you know, in conjunction with their banks, they may not be as regulated, so they may not have the same obligations to the consumer. So what open banking is trying to do is create that transparency and put the individual first as opposed to oh, I'm a company, I want to take your data, then you know, you know, it doesn't matter what I do my your data as long as I give you a service. So I think well, you know, what, a lot of these regulations that people are trying to come up with and you know, technology will always go for before regulation, but the idea is, you know, the data that applications take about people to benefit the individual you know, not just company. So being able to restrain or constrain in some way what that data is, I think will help more flows or more different ways that people views different products to handle their finance.
Michelle Beyo 15:16
Yeah, you're 100% right. It opened up banking, it's trying to put guardrails on the road. It's not trying to stop the flow of data, but it's trying to give some guidelines. By implementing regulated open banking, you're enabling a human data rate. And therefore, as a consumer, we know that we're in charge and that we have access to our data. I kind of brought it back to telco when I was in telco for six years, you couldn't leave your telco company with your number; you had to stay with them for three years because the phones were so expensive. You had to stay with that service. And then at the end of the day, if you left for a better service, you would go to a new provider, they'd give you a new number, you'd start your identity all over again, had to call all of your friends to give them a new number. So eventually, it came to number portability, and you're able to move telcos simply by just going into a new location, getting a new plan, pressing a button signing consent, complicit consents that were on record, and your number got ported. But you didn't need to know all the technology behind it, it was just regulated and safe. So I'm hoping for the same concept when we look at open banking. So I can move from one bank to another without starting over because right now if I switch banks, all they know is they KYC. And they know me by facilitating a KYC. But they don't have any of my back data of what I've done financially. That's all proprietary data now owned by that bank about me, and I don't get to take it with me. So open banking is the freedom for me to take who I am as a financial human and take that with me to my next location to benefit me.
Debbie Reynolds 17:03
You talked a bit about your career journey. You talked about GDPR and different regulations that touch on data, and I would love to know how these emerging regulations around what I think should be a human right isn't in the US but should be a human right for people to protect their data. How has that impacted you in your work in FinTech?
Michelle Beyo 17:35
Yeah, I say that I, as I look to other markets, like even New Zealand, who's up and coming in the open banking world, they're also accepting and moving forth with the consumer data, right? And facilitating towards that open data perspective. I guess I'm optimistic that we have a lot to learn from other markets, especially in Canada in the US. I think that there is a need for the regulation and aspects to come in. And I think, though, it's taken a little while for the UK to move forth. Because they were the first to market, they didn't do it perfectly until they started in 2017. And they've got 5 million people using the open banking system. And many of them are actually using it to pay their taxes. Because I don't know if many people know but in most countries, I don't know, anywhere from one to 10% of taxes is lost, because they can't match it to who paid it for their small business or personally; what open banking does to just that one problem allows for instantaneous bank Pay button, which uses open banking to allow the matching of the transaction and the payment in one. And therefore I don't have the exact number. But I know it was one of the most successful case studies that has ever been facilitated in the UK. And they're now moving it across 19 different taxation offices. So if that alone is the purpose for countries to take on open banking, I think it's pretty powerful for governments to get their money faster and consumers to actually have their money get collected to the right location to be utilized for their communities.
Debbie Reynolds 19:26
Excellent. I would love to talk about vaporware. So basically, vaporware is products that promise that they're going to do these magical things they don't actually deliver on and we see a lot of companies, especially in emerging spaces, like you know FinTech, we see this a ton in Data Privacy tech as well. Where you have someone with a great pitch deck you know, they're said their Messiah will solve your problems. You take on, you pay the money you take on these products and they don't do half of what they say they do. So it's a lot of promises and smoke and mirrors. So tell me a little bit about that in the financial space. I think people want to trust, you know, finance, and they want to trust the things that they're sharing their data for. And you know, because there's so many different products or so many different people out here, saying that they do X, Y, and Z, how do organizations or how do consumers find their way or navigate their way to, you know, you know, the best applications or the best tools that really are going to help them?
Michelle Beyo 20:45
Yeah, I think it's a really great question because I think in every industry, that's a challenge; I think innovation is driven to some degree by organizations pushing themselves. But I think there's some merit in sharing what you have and what's in the roadmap for the future versus saying it's already there. Which, you know, sales can take a different hat. I'm in sales. But I believe I'm in ethical sales, and I like to when I work with organizations; I work with one big bank in Canada, one big Bank of New York that's NASDAQ listed and about 15 different fintechs. And three things that I do is I normally look at the product, try and help what that product does like maybe it needs another partnership to layer on to what the services are. Once that's done, then I can help them a little bit with marketing. And then from that, if I trust what they've got as a basis ground, I can help with strategic partnerships or sales. And for me, it's all like, what do you have? What's the basis ground of what's available? And then like, How can I help enhance this product? And I think when you look at what products should you use? If your friends are using it, I wouldn't say everything that you do; I dabble first. Because like, if you're going to try a new platform, you really like what the service says it has. If it's free, you know, I would take a look at what they have never widely utilized a platform until you've used it maybe for like six months, because every product that's innovative has like cycles, right? So some things might break and get better over time. So I think good technology still needs time to grow. For customers to fully trust, I think most consumers still have 80% or 90% with their bank and maybe 10% with a FinTech are a new trading platform. And I think that's probably a good breakdown until it grows. But there is vaporware out there, which is just organizations trying to ride the wave of what's happening. Or maybe they don't have, they have a great sales team and marketing team, but they don't have the technology team, or something's missing. I think that's why I'm so excited about open banking and open finance. Because if you drive accreditation, to be a part of an ecosystem, if you're not accredited, you're not a part of the ecosystem. And to get accredited, you have to be an organization that can, you know, get to the finish line of checkmarks. And, you know, it's going to take a year for most companies to accredit eight. So this open banking ecosystem is actually creating a safer financial ecosystem. It's not going to happen overnight. But it does take regulation and ecosystem move to get there to give better assurance, I think to the market. So you know, those seals of approval can come to your accreditation; they can come in different ways. But I think we need something as we grow.
Debbie Reynolds 23:48
Yeah. And I also evaluate products for companies. And so I've been doing it for over 20 years. But one thing that I always do is I've tried to make sure that the company tells me, what is your application to do today? Like right now, like not the roadmap? Because, you know, roadmaps change. Sometimes people decide, well, we're not going to do what's on the roadmap because our other customers want us to do X. So I think being able to figure out what the application and what the tool or technology can do right now, and how that matches to what your needs are, I think is very important. The roadmap is important as well because you do want these products to grow with the organization. If they can't, then you also need to know they're going to, you know, diverge away from what your core needs are, with, you know, baking or whatever.
Michelle Beyo 24:45
Yeah, I think you're 100% right. It will all come together once we all kind of have the same standard or, you know, country-based get standards.
Debbie Reynolds 24:55
Yep, I agree. I agree. So what was happening in the world right now that's concerning you, around either privacy or finance? What is emerging? What you're seeing in the news that concerns you a lot right now?
Michelle Beyo 25:09
Oh, my gosh, so much is concerning me right now, sense of the news. I'm an eternal optimist. I know that the downturn in the market; I've seen it before. We can rebuild; we can move forward. can't really stop what's happening in Russia. But we can all support Ukraine in different ways. I know a lot of people who are donating to Airbnb. You know, within Canada, we're taking in a lot of refugees. And there are a lot of organizations helping with tech relocations that have an incredible staff that's come out of the Ukraine. So such a tech hub. In that perspective, I have some, my roots come from there. My family left I guess, in the early 1900s, to Canada because they were farmers, and there's, you know, a huge farming need. When you think of them being the breadbasket of the world, it's just concerning to think that we're in this situation, but someone told me, you know, love conquers all, eventually. And I'm going to stay with that sentiment and hope that the good can kind of conquer the evil from that perspective. And I, just when I look at how do we ensure that consumers are first, that our kids have the future that they deserve? And, you know, I can't fix things I'm not an expert in so I choose to focus on open banking, open data, and diversity in driving diversity because I actually, I believe this one piece, I had a really, you know, one of those careers where I didn't have the university degree, I was working extremely hard to get to that next title. So I was working 60-80 hour weeks trying to prove out that I deserve that next role. And it wasn't until I actually found women in payments that I got to see other women who were striving and growing. And I actually met Bianca Lopez at one of these events, and she won this award for women in payments, and I was sitting beside her and I just met her, and I went, wow, you know, that's where I want to be. And I pushed myself; I got on my first panel; I definitely was completely stressed and was like, feeling very ill before I kicked off that panel was actually in Boston, at a Regulator Summit. And I was talking about prepaid, and WeChat, seven in the morning on the last day of this conference. But I did it and it gained me that little bit of confidence. And I ended up working for an organization that had a 50-50 executive team. And then I brought in my team at 50-50. And when I left for that blockchain company, I asked the CEO if he would take on 50-50 executive initiatives, and he did. And so we have that balance. Even though you know, crypto winter was not a fun thing to deal with, at least we had the balance at the top. And when I went out on my own, I also have a 50-50 organization. So when I went into my first board seat at the open banking initiative of Canada in 2020, in August, I asked the founder the same question, you know, I know it's my first board seat. I know it's my first time at this level, but two women and nine men doesn't feel the future of finance is like open banking. Would you be open to having a diverse executive team from a 50-50 gender diverse perspective, because I've got two teenage daughters? Absolutely, as long as you could help me. So we actually achieved our goal, moving some of the men to the advisory, because they're absolutely important and valuable insights for the organization and brought in three more, or actually two more sea level females from different parts of the industry. And now our eight-person board that's completely gender diverse. And I believe that through diversity, we can fix the world because I think when we have different points of view at the top, we can build better products, we can be a better community, and we can drive more revenue. I think the biggest piece about diversity is if you look at the stats, there's like a 17% higher revenue set for organizations that are diverse from the top and hopefully from the top meaning diversity drives downwards. But that's kind of another mission I live on. That I think I can affect this by bringing more women to play on panels and women to boards and hoping other men and women do the same because I think we all kind of shine that way.
Debbie Reynolds 30:08
I agree. And I support that as well. You know, you're building products for humans. So you need to have as many different types of humans as possible involved in these situations because it makes the product better makes you understand the different points of view and that these people go to so I think being able to have more, in my view, more of a human view of someone as opposed to just kind of a customer or a data subject view really helps humanize organizations and help them to really connect with individuals in the way that they should. There's a lot of stuff in the news, FinTech stuff in the news, especially around crypto. And I feel like when I'm talking about technology, I talk about blockchain as something that can help you do something, whatever it is. And I think a lot of times people misconstrue that with cryptocurrency in a lot of ways. So how do you how do you explain because I think you know, you say I work in FinTech people may automatically think, Oh, you're in cryptocurrency, like that's not what you do. Right. So how do you explain that to people?
Michelle Beyo 31:31
Yeah, that's interesting. So I see the blockchain as another layer of what the Internet can do. And when people first looked at the Internet, it wasn't the most. Let's say the players that were using the Internet at first like everyday Americans and Canadians were not touching the Internet in 1994. And I don't think they first saw that they were going to talk to their grandmother, using the Internet and doing so much different technology through it. So I think blockchain can be utilized to help many different things like product tracking, to ensure that things are ethical to ensure that things have certificates, to see refugees leave their country and actually have title ownership accessible, and to take with them so that they're not losing their property through lack of paperwork, or government takedowns to some degree. So I think there's a massive opportunity. Crypto is like loyalty, right? It's like a tokenized intrinsic value. And I see loyalty as the first-ever cryptocurrency, right? Like when you look at loyalty and points and having an intrinsic value that you could exchange for things. Right, so but it wasn't tokenized. And it didn't have the same layer of technology embedded into it. So I see them as two different things. I think that blockchain enables crypto, and crypto can be a good thing. I think maybe if it was regulated in a more succinct fashion, it could be a good tool. But to me, the thing that excites me is blockchain, not to just inserting blockchain into things. It's not needed because it isn't the most efficient in some ways. It's not meant to just be a VC investment tool, where you just say, well, it touches blockchain. It should only be utilized where necessary, but I think it really does give accessibility to a lot of things. And NFTs are quite interesting. Not in every fashion. But when you look at it from a corporate value, if you were able to NFT the logo of the company you own so that you had that trademark intrinsic value within the logo or within your IP. That could be a really intrinsic way to digitize an asset. So there's many interesting things that aren't just sensationalized. But it is interesting to have digital assets, even as you look at your children who are on Roblox, who want a specialty, I don't know, hat or shirt. But then their accounts could be hacked, and there's no intrinsic value in them actually owning that specific item. As we look to the Metaverse and as we look to the future, we can't stop technology. It's still going to move us forward. But what are the interesting aspects we could focus on? And, you know, it's definitely not some of the small tokens of crypto coming out. I think there's like 35,000 different tokens. I think there's about 10 that we're looking at in the market, and it's not something I spend a ton of my time on, but I definitely I think as a technologist, I think we all have to have our eye on what's moving and be calm. Just have it from that perspective, and I think, you know, I don't know, never give market advice, but everything in small portions, I think diversifies is the angle.
Debbie Reynolds 35:13
Yeah, diversification is definitely key. You know, I feel it’s like a digital gold rush at this point. So everyone's trying to rush in and doesn't really understand what's happening. Some people confuse it with traditional banking or Fiat and it isn't the same. So really understanding what you're getting into, I say, dip your toe in the water, just to figure out if you like it if you think this would be great for you definitely diversify. And then, you know, I'm excited, I've always been really excited to see really cool ways that people are using Blockchain. So finance obviously has a lot to do with identity. So seeing a lot of companies in the identity space really leveraged blockchain to be able to help validate or authenticate people's identity and ways to secure their identity, but then also create a bit less friction for people when they're going through, you know, these processes. So let's talk about friction a bit. So, a lot of what open banking is achieving, or what FinTech to me, is a benefit to it. And the reason why people will gravitate towards it will be because it helps them do something easier than they were able to do it before. So you know, your example about people being able to pay taxes and have that tax transaction be matched up with them and their identity. That's like a perfect example, in my view of reducing friction for people when they're doing these different transactions. So tell me a little bit about the value of using technology to make it easier for people to do things.
Michelle Beyo 37:11
Yeah, I think like when we look at that identity front, right? There's a lot of different ways that digital identity comes into play in easing stress on onboarding; I think the biggest thing is having a credential. I know it's a weird word for most people. But instead of like going into a bar and having to show your ID to say that you're a certain age or my strongest example is going to Vegas for a payments conference and having the hotel want to scan my passport to let me into my hotel room. You know, Marriott had that big breach of I don't know how many million people, 10 million people. Hotels don't know how to handle data, they should not be holding people's passport information in full digital records, as well as credit cards. I think if there was a digital credential that I could just tap, kind of like a QR code of that credential that I am over a certain age. That's the future of us being able to not have to give every piece of our identity to facilitate a service. I should be able to QR code insights that they get a checkmark that I am who I say I am or that I do come from Canada, and I'm here to take this hotel; they don't need to hold my actual physical passport in a digital record. And I think the future will allow us though, people are scared to some degree thinking it's going to give more information, it's actually going to give less, it's going to be like this little they get to scan this code and it just gives them a checkmark or just gives them a yes or no. Or it just gives them the age of majority or able to, you know, not restricted. So I think there's a big advantage of people holding less data about us, the data being cleaner, because it will just be the information they need. And it will just ease onboarding like when you go to the airport, now you have your passport, physically still. But when you're looking at getting your boarding pass, it's a QR code on your phone tap and go, it's saving paper and it's giving the correct information in a super simplistic way without having to have somebody look at your actual boarding pass to see if you're in the right location. Like we've evolved largely very quickly through technology. So I think when you think of fintechs, open banking to me means that if I'm at a bank, and I have seven different services with that bank, they don't have to KYC me seven different times. This is like a break in our regulations. They have to validate me seven different times and hold seven different records to give me seven different services, but if they had open finance or open banking, they would be able to credentialize me once. And then I would have to give complicit consent for them to use that credential to allow me to have another service without them duplicating the credential. So there is going to be less data held less data costs because there'll be less data held, and more accurate data because there won't be so many multiple records. So I see it as the future of finance is really on a global scale.
Debbie Reynolds 40:35
Wow, that's fantastic. So if it were your wish Michelle, and we did everything you said, What would your wishes be for privacy fintechs technology in the future?
Michelle Beyo 40:51
Yeah, I think my wish would be that government takes leadership, kind of similar to Australia and New Zealand. I can't believe I'm saying Brazil, but Brazil and many other countries to ensure that North America has been such a leader in financial services for so many years, like look at all the organizations, from PayPal to Apple to you know, so many others, look at all the fintechs that have come out to like solve problems we've never been able to solve or didn't know we had, but are helping people financially through Robin Hood, or through these FinTech banks like and 26 out of the US or out of Germany, really trying to customize services, there's even kids cards, to help them be able to understand earning money through chores and getting a digital gift card to access what they need to understand money. So I'm hopeful that we continue our trajectory as North America to be financial leaders. But I think to do that, we have to also be a part of this open banking, open finance, open data trend, because you know, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, all these other countries who are all focused on it, it is giving them a leg up in the sense of innovation, cloud-based technology, accessibility within a network and VC dollars, to a point where there's a clean and defined roadmap, allowing fintechs to massively succeed, and take mass market share that we might be so slow that we might miss the mark. And I hope you know, to have more legroom to run innovation, with consumers being the center of why we're running innovation.
Debbie Reynolds 42:44
Wow. Well, I'm so excited that you decided to be on the show. That's a great answer. I love it. I think, you know, I'm hopeful for the future, knowing that we have smart people like you and Bianca really leading the charge on FinTech and diversity and trying to create products in a way that really helps people and helps businesses thrive. I think that's kind of the key. So it has to be that balance can't just benefit one and not the other. So I think that you're definitely on the right track there.
Michelle Beyo 43:22
Thank you. Yeah, I'm really excited. Though life is quite busy right now being on the board of Open Banking Initiative Canada, being the CEO and founder of Innovator which is growing, but also kind of kicking off with Bianca a new company called Purpose ROI, where we're helping some organizations grow globally. That can help them align kind of to purpose, help them drive diversity, and then help them connect to global markets. So I think there's there's a lot of excitement in the future. And I think, based on what we've all been able to achieve so far, knowing we all worked so well together, I think we just need to do more of that and bring more people to the table.
Debbie Reynolds 44:09
I agree with that. This is fascinating. Thank you for making that announcement. This is very exciting. I think you all are definitely market leaders, in my view, you know, you're looking toward the future in a way that not everyone is. So I think you guys will always do really well in this space. And I'm excited to see what you're doing. And also I'll support you and your efforts.
Michelle Beyo 44:33
Thank you so much. It was such a pleasure to join you. And I look forward to seeing you at the next conference in person and hopefully in Spain.
Debbie Reynolds 44:41
Oh, definitely in Spain. I'll definitely be there for sure next year. Amazing. It was great. It was great. I highly recommend it. Thank you so much for being on the show. This is great. This is a great education for people who don't know as much about FinTech. Definitely take a look at Michelle and what she's doing. You always put out really cool content. You're always speaking at very interesting places. And I like your content also on diversity efforts.
Michelle Beyo 45:16
Thank you so much. Well, I am so excited to be here today and look forward to our next meeting in person and interacting with your audience.
Debbie Reynolds 45:26
Excellent. Excellent. Thank you so much. Talk to you soon.