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A Transforming Industry: Exclusive Q&A With Financial Services Roundtable CEO Tim Pawlenty

The head of the industry lobbying group sat down with Bank Systems & Technology to discuss some of the major issues affecting financial services.

Bank Systems & Technology: What are your thoughts on how mobile technology has affected financial services, will the industry eventually move toward a completely mobile world?

Pawlenty: The world is just massively moving in that direction, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, so to speak. There is an increasing number of transactions taking place on mobile devices every day. It's an accelerating area of activity and measures need to be taken to make sure those transactions are protected and secure. None of these systems are 100 percent foolproof, including some of most established systems around, they all have some degree of risk of hacking attached. We have to make sure everything is as secure as possible.

Mobile will continue to evolve and transition, and where that ends up remains to be seen. I think you are always going to have a need for people to have personal interactions in their financial services relationships, and I don't think brick-and-mortar locations will go away.

Bank Systems & Technology: What about all of the new technology companies that have popped up in recent years offering payments and other financial services. Is there a threat banks get completely disintermediated in the future?

Pawlenty: Well, there's always going to be a need for banks because of the clearing functions they provide, but on the other hand they don’t just want to be clearing houses. They want to provide services. When you look at some of the companies emerging in payments and e-commerce, retail and other verticals, if you have the capability to store value and transfer it and accept it as payments those are the makings of a transformative set of disruptive competitors.

The challenge for banks is to be part of it, and they're working hard at it and making good progress. I anticipate banks will be vying to be service providers and will not cede territory and will compete to be a part of it.

[Related: Legislation Still Needed On National Cyber Security Standard]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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