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Jo Ann Barefoot discussion disrupting innovation in the financial services sector and beyond.

Jo Ann Barefoot discussion disrupting innovation in the financial services sector and beyond.
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Boston, MA


Jo Ann Barefoot discussion disrupting innovation in the financial services sector and beyond.




Moving The Regulatory Mountain: CEO of JWG and Founder of Regtech Council, PJ Di Giammarino

My guest today is one of the world’s foremost thinkers on how to modernize financial regulation through technology. He is PJ Di Giammarino, CEO of JWG and founder of the global RegTech Council.


Complete Financial Inclusion: The World Bank's Harish Natarajan

My guest today is the World Bank’s Harish Natarajan, a leader of one of the most visionary and ambitious efforts underway in the financial world -- to achieve complete financial inclusion. Throughout history, the idea of reaching full inclusion -- enabling everyone to access the mainstream financial system -- seemed like fantasy. Financial services have always been expensive to produce and deliver, making it unprofitable to serve everyone. In addition, they often involve the need to...


Know Your Customer: Alloy CRO Laura Spiekerman

One of the biggest challenges in fighting money laundering is satisfying the KYC, or Know Your Customer, rules. These regulatory requirements make sense in concept -- they require financial companies to verify customers’ identities before letting them connect to the system, in order to screen out high-risk people and entities and as a foundation for meeting the legal mandate to monitor financial activity for potential crime. However, the traditional verification process has always been...


Talking Through the Storm with Jan Lynn Owen

I am especially thrilled about today’s guest -- California DBO Commissioner Jan Owen -- because this episode has been years in the making. I’ve known Jan for a long time, and as anyone who knows her will attest, she’s a breath of fresh air in the regulatory world. She’s candid, she’s outspoken, she’s thought provoking, and she's fearless in tackling thorny issues. We’ve been looking for a good chance to sit down and talk, and we finally found one this summer. As it happens, it turned out to...


Machine-Readable Regulation: Compliance.AI CEO Kayvan Alikhani

What if regulations were machine-readable? What if, when regulatory changes come out, financial companies wouldn’t have to download hundreds or thousands of pages of rules and read them all? What if they didn’t have to rely on lawyers -- their own, and also the legions of legal experts and consultants who translate rules for the industry as a whole, to help them understand what to do? What if, instead, they could run new rules through a machine-based review, and get all those answers...

Transforming Identity: GlobaliD CEO Greg Kidd

It’s always extra fun when we have a show where the guest talks about the days when Jack Dorsey hacked him and lived in his backyard. For today’s conversation, I’m joined by my friend Greg Kidd, Co-founder and CEO of globaliD. I’m predicting right now that this one is going to be a Barefoot Innovation fan-favorite. Greg has an unusual background. He was involved from the early days of Ripple, Twitter, and Square. Unlike most Silicon Valley innovators, though, he’s also been a banking...

Congressman Gregory Meeks on Win-Win Fintech

We have such a special guest on today’s show. Gregory Meeks is the United States Congressman representing the Fifth District of New York. He is also a leading member of the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services. I was able to sit down with him, in his Capitol Hill office on one recent, hot summer day, to talk about how technology is changing consumer finance and, especially, how it can expand financial inclusion. Congressman Meeks has been bringing breakthrough leadership...


Innovation at a Small Bank: Radius CEO Mike Butler

Today’s guest is Michael Butler, CEO of Radius Bank in Boston. As with our recent show with Bob Rivers of Eastern Bank (which is also based in Boston), Mike belongs to a small, but growing, group of CEOs who are truly transforming their community banks through technology. When conversation turns to the tech future for community institutions, these two banks’ names always come up. We’ll link in the show notes to the Eastern episode and you’ll notice many common themes -- especially that...


Data that Deepens Financial Access: Experian and Lendup

Today’s show brings us two fascinating guests. Alex Lintner is President of Consumer Information Services for Experian, and Sasha Orloff -- who is a previous guest on Barefoot Innovation -- is founder and CEO of LendUp. They recently joined forces to explore using new kinds of data to widen financial inclusion. We all sat down to discuss it at the LendIt conference this spring in San Francisco. Credit scores are a great tool for evaluating the creditworthiness of many consumers, but as Alex...


Regulatory Challenger: LabCFTC and Daniel Gorfine

Some organizations are so interesting that we come back to them more than once. Among US regulatory agencies, the most fascinating may be the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Last July we ran a podcast conversation with the Commission’s Chairman, Christopher Giancarlo, which goes into greater depth about the role of the CFTC and it also contains Chairman Giancarlo’s thought-provoking statement that the top priority facing every regulatory body is to convert the rule book from analog to...


Regulation Revolution: The Financial Conduct Authority and Digitally-Native Regulatory Design

This is the most unique, and the most consequential, show we’ve ever done. If our thousands of listeners all think about it and especially if you share it widely, it has the most potential to actually change the financial regulatory world for the better and also in turn, therefore, to improve the financial world, too. It goes right into the heart of the most important work, being done by the most innovative people, on redesigning regulation for the digital age. My guests are Chris Woolard...


Innovation and Community Banks: Eastern Bank CEO Bob Rivers

One of my goals for Barefoot Innovation is to amplify the voice of America’s community banks about the future of financial innovation and regulation. Today’s guest is perfect for this. He is Bob Rivers, CEO of Eastern Bank in Boston. At age 200, Eastern is the oldest and largest mutually-owned bank in the United States. At the same time, it is one of the most “young” and nimble community banks in adopting new technology. Mutual savings banks were once common, especially in New England. Most...


The Courage to Change: Former Wells Fargo BSA Officer Jim Richards

We’re moving into a new era of regulation and compliance that will be driven by new technology. Most of our listeners know I’ve co-founded a regtech firm, Hummingbird, to help bring this new model, first, to anti-money laundering, which is widely seen as the arena where the old compliance model is most broken, and where new technology could go the farthest, fastest, to solve everyone’s problems -- by both improving outcomes and cutting costs. There is a growing global “regtech” community, in...


How to Change the World: The Gates Foundation’s Michael Wiegand

My guest this week is Michael Wiegand, Director of the Financial Services for the Poor strategy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. If you had new ideas for solving the world’s toughest problems, and ample resources to devote to pursuing them, you might do what Bill Gates did when he stepped back from running Microsoft in order to apply what he’d learned there, especially about the power of technology, to problems that have long seemed unsolvable. He and his wife launched their...


Affordable Financial Advice: Nerdwallet CEO Tim Chen

Tim Chen is the founder and CEO of NerdWallet, and he’s a classic American story. In today’s episode, he describes the remarkable journey he’s taken so far in his still-young life, which has had dramatic ups and downs -- (as he says, when one door closes, a bigger gate may open). NerdWallet, which he founded at age 26, now helps more than 100 million people every year shop for and choose financial products that meet their needs. NerdWallet is a matchmaker, guiding consumers to find the...


Sponsor Bank: Cross River Bank’s CEO Gilles Gade

My guest today is pioneering a crucial innovation within the innovation landscape in finance -- by providing banking services to fintechs through a platform-based financial services model known as the sponsor bank, or partner bank. In today’s episode, Gilles Gade tells the story of founding and building one of the leading sponsor banks, Cross River. Most fintech companies are licensed by their states, but are not banks. That means that every one of them has to find a bank through which to...


Digitally Native Finance: Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden

Today’s episode is like a crystal ball glimpse into the future of banking, narrated by my guest, Anne Boden, the thoughtful and charismatic Founder and CEO of Starling Bank in the UK. Anne has years of experience at large banks, including in IT roles. At one of them, she led an effort to develop an innovation transformation. It brought her to a critical conclusion: that the only way to create a really innovative bank is to start “from scratch.” When the UK government in 2013 responded to...


Collaboration Innovation: Charlotte Crosswell and Dan Morgan of Innovate Finance

I always love it when we find innovation in unexpected places, not just in the financial products and channels and regulatory issues we discuss, but also in people inventing new ways to get things done. Today’s guests talk about taking a very old kind of entity -- the industry trade association -- and updating it for the 21st century financial world. As often happens with innovation, the thing that’s new is actually very simple, maybe even obvious, and yet when you set it in motion, things...


Finance and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Tim Pawlenty, CEO of Financial Services Roundtable

Today’s guest is a familiar name and face for everyone who follows U.S. politics. He is Tim Pawlenty, CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable. Tim was previously Governor of Minnesota and became well-known to most of us when he ran for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. He’s been a prominent voice on public policy for many years. He was also a speaker on a panel I moderated last fall at Money 2020 on financial innovation and regulation. We decided to continue that conversation...


The Data Economy: A Lively London Debate on Fintech in Europe and Africa

This is the most fun show we’ve done in ages, or maybe ever. My friend Jean-Stephane Gourevitch offered to gather some really interesting people in London to talk about the data economy. We finally sat down last fall, during London’s Regtech Rising conference, and wow, did we talk. Jean-Stephane himself is French, based in London, and works with fintech startups throughout the world. His guests were, first, Edward George, who leads both research and the UK representative office for the...