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Melanie Barker: Why I Joined Bond

Melanie Barker: Why I Joined Bond

Over the past 25 years of my career, I've witnessed and learned from seismic shifts in the financial industry. From startups launching new payment processors, to fintech companies building platforms of the future, to banks running startups within their enterprises, the world of finance is always changing, and that's what makes it so exciting. With those changes, there are always new problems to solve and new solutions to build. That's exactly what brought me to Bond. 

At the start of my career, I was working at JP Morgan Chase when they began issuing credit cards on a national scale. This required an entirely separate vertical in which JP Morgan Chase ran everything from card production, to payment processing and statement rendering themselves. They were completely integrated. Having the entire lifecycle and operations of a major payments company gave me the opportunity to learn a tremendous amount about how a massive financial system lives and breathes. But the lessons I learned also left me with a lingering question: How would you build something like this if you're a smaller bank?

After JP Morgan Chase, I worked at a series of smaller and mid-size banks and financial institutions to understand how they could more effectively serve the community around them, their customers, and their business. I wanted to see how they could do all this without access to the tremendous capital and resources of a bank JP Morgan Chase's size.

There's an old saying, "There has to be a better way to build a mousetrap." It's about elevating and improving something that we think of as standard, whether that's a common mouse trap or a customer experience in the financial industry. That was my feeling working at the small and mid-size financial institutions, there has to be a better way to build. 

I saw where a bank's desire to offer up their customers a new product was stifled by outdated, antiquated legacy infrastructure. I was thoroughly surprised that the same tools which helped banks perform critical tasks like credit scoring and risk management could also prevent them from competing in their market. They were consistently left with an impossible choice of replacing the software their business relied on or remaining stagnant and not innovating in an incredibly competitive financial market. 

The choice is to build a better system.

When financial institutions of any size can partner with trusted brands, their customers win, their company wins and their communities win. Instead of investing valuable time and money untangling themselves from archaic architecture or trying to run in place without launching new products — these institutions can now be in charge of their future because they have the tools they need. And companies can focus on what they want to build for their customers without having to worry if they can do it in the first place.

I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Bond as Head of Technology Partnerships where I will focus on bringing together best of breed technology partners to support and accelerate our brands and banks journey in launching amazing new products to serve their customers.


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