The best way to tell the FDX story is through the voice of our members. Welcome to the FDX Member Spotlight series, in which we sit down with some of the professionals from FDX member firms who juggle the responsibility of their day jobs with developing, integrating, and implementing the FDX standard for the benefit of consumers and the entire financial services industry. We ask them about their experiences, goals and thoughts on the process.
This month's Spotlight features a conversation with Keren Moynihan, CEO of Boss Insights.
- Tell us a little bit about your background. How did each of you get into the world of open banking and finance?
Keren Moynihan: I started my career as a commercial banker at a bank. As a frontline employee, I was assisting business consumers firsthand and making sure that their business banking needs were being met. At the time, many of the processes were manual and took quite a long time – weeks or even months. When I saw that technology was infiltrating financial services, I thought “Why not join that side of the equation?” to make sure that banks and FinTechs were well-suited to put their customers first. Later, I would become a third-generation entrepreneur. That first generation was people who left a war-torn country with no safety net, money, family, or a place to turn if things went wrong. Every time I was serving a business or helping them grow, that is what I had in mind. Some people have no other option. It’s exciting to look at the industry now and see that businesses are finally being treated in a better way.
- Could you tell us a little bit about Boss Insights and what led you to found the organization?
Keren Moynihan: Boss Insights, an acronym for Back Office Software System, is a “tech” meets “fin” story. Similar to Amazon’s practices of putting the customer first, really understanding the consumer on a data-driven level, foreseeing the needs of consumers and businesses, Boss Insights began with a mission to reinvent inter-business communication, bridging data gaps between banks and business customers. With our open banking API, Boss Insights integrates accounting, banking, and commerce data from more sources than any other platform, helping banks and lenders accelerate lending from months to minutes.
- How does your experience as a former commercial banker shape the work you do with Boss Insights?
Keren Moynihan: When you’re on the frontlines as a commercial banker, the bank helps to grow your book of business, but if you’re at all connected to your customers, you’re really fighting for them to be able to succeed. And my goal was to see them succeed. Essentially, I was running an open banking platform in my mind, figuring our which businesses needed which product and how to get the right services in the bank to best serve them. Now, it’s not just one person that is dedicated to making that happen. There are several systems in place. Businesses today have on average between 5-8 financial relationships which means they aren’t just working with one bank or one FinTech. With several banking relationships to keep up with, it’s no wonder that many businesses struggle to get a sense of the true overall picture of what they need in order to grow. My goal now with Boss Insights is the same as it was before: to see the business succeed and grow.
- How does that intersect with the larger discussion around consumer data sharing and open finance?
Keren Moynihan: It is possible to enable a business to share data in a secure, consent-driven way to a financial institution. Boss Insights was a leader in developing this technology and now works closely with FDX, with myself serving as a Co-Chair of the SMB Research Task Force. In collaboration with other players in the financial ecosystem, we are identifying the synergy between consent-driven standards and actual market use cases when you’re talking about open banking and open finance. This is something we are passionate about and want to make sure that when a business is sharing their information, they’re doing so in order to get insights that will help them grow.
- Do you foresee any changes or new trends in the world of open banking and finance in the next six to 12 months?
Keren Moynihan: What I am hoping will happen in the next 6-12 months is that partnerships and alliances will be formed so that the right tech solutions can be in the hands with the right solutions provider and the industry truly can move forward. That we are not talking about digitization, that we have solved it; that we aren’t talking about equal access to capital for all businesses; that it’s already there and they’re being funded on their own merit.
- What are some of the concerns and challenges you/Boss Insights are seeing when it comes to the development of open finance and banking tech?
Keren Moynihan: If I had to boil it down to one issue, it’s that many of the folks leading Open Banking and Open Finance have not been on the front lines of banking. Having experience in that role just gives you a different frame of reference because you understand on a visceral level what a business is dealing with. We all say in the industry that businesses are not experts in financial services so let them go and build their company, whether it’s being a social media influencer or a trucking logistics company or a winery, but if you go to any financial services website you’ll find a product-driven approach. With more insight on what the user journey is and what the product base is for SMB customers, we can better serve the consumer. Education is one of our primary verticals in the SMB Research Task Force to combat this challenge.
- What role does Boss Insights currently have with FDX? What are Boss Insight’s goals and objectives as a member of FDX?
Keren Moynihan: FDX as an organization has brought multiple players to set aside their differences and work together on this one project of bringing standards to the industry for sharing financial data. While that might sound simple, anyone who’s tried getting 200+ organizations with differing opinions to agree knows differently, and yet somehow, we are all managing to work well together. One question I had early on for FDX is “How do you get involved in the organization?” and the answer is so simple: just raise your hand. Boss Insights was really excited to raise our hand and get involved. We’re proud to be heading a group that was formed recently to work on SMB specific issues and integrating with other working groups and task forces. Standards are not just being put upon the industry, this group is coming together on common ground and around common principles so that the industry can move forward in a responsible and consent driven way.
- Lastly, we like to get to know our new members better outside of their industry roles. What’s one hobby or activity you like to partake in on the weekends?
Keren Moynihan: I love to travel. Anytime I am not working, I am grabbing the family and we’re getting in the car or hopping on a plane to take a trip. With hiking, cycling or water nearby, I am a happy camper.